i have never been so excited to write a blog!!!
so excited i don't even have the decency to say good morning first apparently. (good morning, sorry about that)
why the excitement smithman, had a pretty great week?
actually no, one pretty crap one to be honest.
well, unfortunately two sources of sponsorship for my everest trip are not now happening, and at this present moment i am now not going to everest.
well, i wasn't confused when i heard, i was downright angry, then upset, then scared, and now exhilarated.
exhilarated, how come?
well, for the last six months i have been going to schools standing up in front of the next generation, telling them to follow their dreams, achieve their potential, work hard, and most of all never ever give up.
when my daughter tiffany left home to become and actress i told her, and always do tell her, never ever give up, when my other daughter chloe struggled on mount kilimanjaro halfway up on summit night, in weather so cold her water bottle froze like a popsicle, i told her never ever give up, and they haven't, ever.
so now i have a chance to show them, my children, the schoolchildren from the schools in all the assemblies i have presented to, and everyone who decides to read or watch the next sixty days of what has the potential to either be a car crash or an epic win for the little guy if he believes enough that he can do it.
do i believe i can raise the money needed for my ticket to everest, within 60 days?
and if i fail it really won't be because i gave up, so therefore i am actually buzzing with excitement to get the chance to show what we can all do, not just talking about it, leading by example, and if i get there i will have won, and if i fail giving it my best shot, i will still be able to hold my head high and show that i never ever gave up.
so to work, this aint gonna happen just by talking about it.
i need to take action.
i need to ask for help.
woah, back up up there cowboy, ask for help????
'we don't ask for help', my inner voice chirped in, 'remember that time with your old man, remember when he made you feel awful, and you vowed never to need anybody's help, so you would never have that feeling ever again?'
oh yeah, i do remember, now you, inner voice person that remembers that shizzle from forty years ago, but is nowhere to be found when i can't find my keys, mention it!
the story inner jeff is referring to when as an eleven year old i stood across the desk from my dad in his office asking him for help.
my dad left me and my mum when i was seven, and every week i had to collect my mums maintenance money from him, which was degrading enough an act in itself, but as i grew older i didn't think that much about it, but whilst going to school one day i had discovered that my trainers had started leaking water and making my feet wet whenever it rained.
i combatted this action at first by putting cardboard inside my shoe, but by the end of the day i had a kind of papier mache effigy of my foot, which was great if i was doing a blue peter sketch, but started to become tiresome after a week of wintery conditions.
i knew mum couldn't afford new trainers, so i decided to ask my dad to see if he could help me out.
as i told him my story and showed him the hole, he asked how much trainers were, and i pitched him the price of an average priced pair mid range, so as not to appear greedy, but also, not low end enough that my mates at school would recognise that i was a plum, black plimsolls just weren't gonna cut it.
my dad barked 'how much!' and my dad had a loud shout, i knew this was a pants idea, oh well the genie's out of the bottle now, we spent the next five minutes discussing trainers, and how my dad's financial situation couldn't stretch to such luxuries, and that he would see what he could do, and i crept off back to whence i had came, with squelchy feet i hasten to add.
now this moment in my life was great for me, but i didn't know it at the time, but what this did was galvanise something inside me, and i vowed never to let some bastard make me feel that way ever again, so i must never put myself in a position to need help like that, and i have spent the last four decades trying to fight hard and build my world without putting my hand out to ask for a new pair of shoes to stop my feet getting wet.
so this week we concluded i need to ask for help to get me to everest.
for the world to see.
can you imagine how my stomach felt?
i'll tell you as i sat in front of the video, pouring my heart out, asking for a new pair of shoes, i felt physically sick, and the demons came out to play in my head.
but i did it.
and then we had to press the button to make it live online, and i had another flashback.
some years after i finished playing hockey i decided i needed to get an adrenaline rush that was missing from my life.
i had spent years playing ice hockey professionally, as a goalie, which basically as a job means that if you make a mistake and let a goal in, the opposing team and their fans cheer your error, a red light goes on behind you to highlight the fact, your teammates get disappointed, and life is crap, imagine that in your own job, now that is pressure. now don't get me wrong, there are some pretty amazing moments too, like saving a penalty shot in wembley in front of fifteen thousand screaming fans that mean your team win the grand slam, and you get covered by your team mates as they skate screaming onto the ice to congratulate you.
how cool if you hit that sales target and that happened eh?
highs and lows i guess.
but that left my life after hockey, and i needed my drug.
i signed up to learn to skydive, and did my accelerated freefall course, which enabled me to fly through the air on my own.
as chloe and i went to press the button live, i felt the same fear as standing in the doorway of that cessna every time i jump, fear makes your heart race as the door of the aircraft is opened, the wind rushes in, the engines cut back, and the red light inside the aircraft turns green.
we pressed the button on our indiegogo crowdfund going live.
so that was that, now we had to sit back and wait.
we had to social media the whole thing, this was gonna need as much exposure as possible to get traction, and get people to help, so we basically bared our soul, and i felt, and still do feel very, very vulnerable, and i hate it.
vulnerability growing up in macho world like i did was not normal, and this is probably why it is so difficult for male gay athletes to come out, but that's another story altogether, but definitely worth thinking about, as a working class lad from finsbury park it was never easy to show weakness, fear or vulnerability, so my muscle memory was finding it very tough to reveal this to the world, those pseudo friends who would tell you what a shame it was, but behind their masks were laughing at your failure, my heart raced.
but then there was calm.
you can do this.
this is an opportunity to practise what you've been evangelically preaching to all those schoolchildren, all your blog readers, and all those bigmoose followers you have encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, all the ones who abseiled to raise money for teenage cancer trust, all the ones who ran a half marathon, the one who skydived to raise money for his mate with cancer, who sadly died recently, every parent and disabled child who have found something within the supertri that makes them feel amazing, and makes them laugh and cry with emotion, now is the opportunity to inspire again, so that dear bigmoose blog reader is why i am excited.
i have the opportunity to step up to the plate and succeed big or fail big, and i genuinely feel like i am going to succeed, and if i do then hopefully i can carry that around with me for the rest of my life to inspire and encourage every person i ever meet, and that is worth fighting for.
so come with me on the journey, and see how it pans out, it's gonna be pretty scary, but hopefully we get the result that will make the biggest impact on the world.
oh and if you thought that was me getting a tad emotional today, i'll share with you guys something that i haven't told anybody else, moose's wife asked me on my last trip to everest to sprinkle his ashes at the top, and i haven't done that yet, but man oh man i am gonna give it my best shot to try to.
so, to finish with, as i fight back the tears as i write this, i saw this lush video this morning, which you've probably all seen already, but i loved it, and wanted to share, i hope you like it.
have a great week, and go do some cool stuff.
wish me luck as i follow my destiny,