I follow quite a few travellers and adventurers on blogs, Facebook and Twitter but this week two guys have really stood out. They have been all over social media and have even made the TV and radio but sadly these things never seem to be big news. Personally, I think both their stories would make great headlines for the tabloids and bring some welcome relief from all the doom and gloom that we are fed.
Last Friday James Ketchell arrived back in London after cycling 18,000 miles around the world in seven months. Pretty impressive eh? But that was only the third part of his ultra triathlon. You see, he first rowed across the atlantic single handed and then climbed Everest before embarking on the bike ride. I have listened to some of his media interviews and he seems like a very humble character who makes light of what he has done and the money he has raised for charity. Throughout his travels he has endeavoured to engage with school children via his web site and through talks and I am sure he has sparked some real ambition and excitement in them.
The second source of inspiration is Jamie McDonald who today completed a 5,000 mile run across Canada, in winter, unsupported and mostly in a superhero Flash costume. Absolutely bonkers and a real life hero. He has raised enormous amounts of money for children’s hospital charities, a direct response to the time he spent in them himself in the first part of his life. He too is humble and very likeable. He seems to have captured the imagination of thousands of supporters both in Canada and back here in the UK and no doubt he will inspire other to great things.
I took the trouble to look up a few mainstream newspaper headlines from the days that these chaps finished their adventures and I found the usual shock horror stuff about the floods, rape and exploding cancer levels. This post is my feeble attempt to tip the feel good balance the other way. (I suspect the circulation of this blog may be against me in my efforts.)
So if you, like me, are fed up with negative news take at look at the web sites of James and Jamie for some truly exceptional inspiration.
Huge congratulations to both of them for; the money they have raised, for what they have achieved and for making the world a nicer place.