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Creative & Mindful Adventuring | Discovering Endurance | Photography & Illustration | Advocate for Mental & Physical Health Synergy

Yes, you can.


When we face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, it is the human spirit, which has stood the test of time, that knows those trials are lessons for us to work with, learn from, and surpass. Recognise your struggles, and work with them, they are part of your story.

In 2016 I took on the greatest adventure of my life (aside child-rearing) and embarked on a mission to run from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again, the equivalent to running up and down Mount Everest more than eight times: simply to prove that I could both mentally and physically. Plan A promptly fell apart, but that is the delight of plans, when they are flexible, so a few more sequential (alphabetical) letters down the line and the result is a resounding success: yes, it is possible to take on and complete an enormous challenge with a mental illness.

No, it won’t be easy. Nor should it be.

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Challenges

Scroll below to check out my upcoming adventure challenges for 2017.

Since completing LEJOGLE my mental health took a nose dive. That was never the plan (is it for anyone?), but I’m fortunate to have the safety net of knowing that I can get up and go again when my mind is healed. Expecting great adventures to end with rainbows and butterflies undermines what lies at the heart of it all—honest survival.

My most recent challenge was to run almost 1800 miles (originally planned for 1680) from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again, most days on the hoof, and the equivalent of climbing and descending Mount Everest eight times, with a view to setting a new world record (still evidence gathering for this enormous file) in the name of those fighting the stigma of a mental illness. The last decade was a rise from beginner runner to GB Age-Group triathlete taking on open water sea, river and lake swimming, sprint to double-ironman triathlons, mountain bike and road duathlons, and winter aquathlons in briny pools. Saying yes to ideas allowed me to discover that my heart belongs to mountain races and trails. A Yorkshire 3 Peaks Race finisher, I’ve completed the Snowdonia 7 {Peaks} race three times, the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way twice in one year, with a multitude of 5-hr to 4-day adventure races under my belt. Needless to say, the outdoors is my playground, even when I only get to look out the window.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or dipping your toe into adventures and racing for the first time, we all need ideas and morale-boosting sessions to keep us fired up and finishing what we’ve started. I don’t have all the answers, but I do like to share and learn in return. If I can help you get started, or help you review a route or transition stage, just ping me a message. I love maps and, ironically, I love a good plot.

Some people take time out to repair broken bones, every now and then I have to repair a broken mind. As Rag’n’Bone Man sings, I’m only human, after all.

Namaste.


2016—LEJOGLE
2017—Challenge 5 Alive
2018—Wild Dee Swim

Create

Creativity is a form of communication from the soul. It cannot be conjured, tangibly possessed or limited to a single form. We are creativity, and we recreate it every day in new and magnificent ways.

“Creativity takes courage.”—Henry Matisse

Holding your creativity inside, never letting it out, must be terribly confusing and painful for your heart, for your mind. But it can also be scary to let it reveal its true form, to set it free, because it is something that reveals the inner parts of us that cannot be caressed when we’re low and need comfort. Nor can it be stolen, yet we may always fear losing it.

Current projects include working on illustrations for a Coffee Trail Book, writings and illustrations for the Fierce Mind memoirs, photography to accompany adventures on the trails and in the cities, creating food portraits for recipes, and observations of life.

Click the images below to access the portfolios.

Photography
Illustration

Allowing myself to reveal my creative nature took time, it was abandoned for many years after I feared that I wasn’t good enough to be considered creative, or an artist. It took a trauma to wake it up again, and thank goodness for life’s experiences.

That trauma set me on a path to here, at the time it was the end of one world, and yet the start of a new one.

Here I am nurturing different angles of creative form, experimenting with techniques, allowing my style to weave into my daily life. It is only recently that I’ve merged my illustration & wooden craft business into freelance design & photography with the purpose of focusing on the outdoors: creative mindful adventures, bringing serenity to my heart, promoting a healthy body, and giving my mind some space to roam free.

To be able to create is spiritual, it’s also how we can heal.

For commissions please get in touch via the contact form.

Namaste.

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