Anybody that’s been following me for a while knows that I’ve spent a lot of time recently being fascinated by the mindset of individuals that take on that challenge. We all have that thing that floats around at the back of our heads, that goes, ‘Oh, I’d like to do that – oh I think I should do that.’ And it’s the ones that go, ‘It’s happening. It’s definitely happening. It doesn’t matter what the obstacles are, I’m going to do it.’
So, I’ve been to talks recently by Kenton Cool, by Stephen Venables – who have done fantastic things on Everest and Antarctica and various other places. I’ve also been to talks with the fantastic Steve Judge, who came across an amazing injury to be a Paralympic champion – a paralympic gold medallist even. And obviously shooting with the amazing Ash Dykes and these are all that heard me talk about Ash enough but, well maybe never enough, he’s a fantastic individual. Louis Alexander, again, 17 marathons in 17 days. It’s just amazing and all of them, all of them I spoke to, because I managed to speak to all of them, a kind of 1-1, a little bit of a chat around the other things that were going on.
And there’s something behind the eyes, there’s a mindset or a shift that is different to the rest of us, you know? Or at least it’s not necessarily different to the rest of us, but it’s more active than the rest of us, that one little bit, where we would find the odd bits of stuff of, ‘Urrrr, that might be tricky,’ or ‘That might be difficult,’ their mindsets, their little shift, their little spark, is very different and it’s that that really fascinates me. Of how you can go, ‘Yeah, it doesn’t matter that this has happened,’ it takes away all of the negative thoughts that creep into things, into plans and processes and what could happen.
So, fast forward to I think it was either Louis or Ash who commented on a post on Instagram or it might have been LinkedIn. And it was about a fantastic gentleman called George Bromley, who has taken a break from his military career to do something that nobody’s ever done before and to just crack on – and his challenge was to do a beeline from Lands End to John O’Groats and in a straight line, as best as possible. And I spotted this while I was away on holiday myself in the Lake District, so I was surrounded by mountains, I was surrounded by walkers and to read the little snippets, because at that stage it was early on, it was actually just as he’d started and to hear the stories, was just like, ‘Wow, this is somebody with that spark,’ and although the military career, he’d not got a history of long-distance travel or anything like that. So I reached out and lo and behold, he happened to be going sort of close to me at some point later in the journey, depending on timewise, because obviously, time was an issue – you never know how long it’s going to take to do these things.
So I reached out and the plan was to call as he landed at Kirkcudbright in Scotland, after being on the Isle of Man, I could take some pictures and just meet this guy with an amazing mindset. And so we did! As ever, the diary doesn’t always fit with these things and I happened to really busy on the day that he landed, so it ended up being two days later when I managed to meet him and he was already well up into the Ayrshire woodland by the time I got to him. But as you can see from the picture, as you can see from the story, he’s a fantastic gentleman, and completing that journey through adversity was just amazing. George will tell you in more detail and please have a look at the Beeline website to get some more details on the actual journey and what happened. It’s a fantastic story and I can’t claim to be any part of it, I just happened to nick his time for half an hour while he was walking, but at least I feel like I can at least capture some pictures and capture that as a memory and keep cycling it round on my system because I think stories like that need to keep going. And certainly, if this strikes you, with the charities that he’s working with, there’s plenty of opportunity to still donate to the charities and make a lot of difference to people that are really struggling with many things at the moment. As you can see from the list, it’s a diverse mix of charities, so it’s a fantastic opportunity.