The short answer is I’m doing this because even though I’ve done some crazy stuff (relative to what other people think is crazy), to me they’ve always been more of a calculated risk.
And normally it’s a once off risk. I’ve always known deep down that if I train hard enough, prepare and visualise enough, I should pull it off barring some catastrophic accident. The IRONMAN 2015 was the closest I’ve come to doing something that I wasn’t sure if I could pull off, I had never swum that far and had never run that far. But even with a fractured hand from a bicycle accident a month before and hitting the ‘wall’ quite badly on the bike – I was so scared of the run, that I ate too much while on the bike leg! – I still came in with some time to spare.
I’m doing this because of all those pithy cliches and motivational quotes you’ve heard of already:
“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that matter, it’s the life in your years”
“In the end we only regret the chances we did not take”
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves”
“Get busy living or get busy dying” (Thanks Shawshank Redemption)
I’m doing it for all of the above and more. Haven’t you always wondered what it would be like to take the biggest thing on your bucket list and actually do it? I’m doing it because I can. I’m doing it because I really don’t know if I can do it, because it actually terrifies me. That there is something that is so out there, that I will just have to think on my feet and make the decisions in the moment. And it’s not bravery which everyone thinks it is, it’s ignorance, it’s faith that the adventure will work out in the end, it’s the promise of some insane experiences, it’s for a very meaningful cause and it’s a lot of stupidity. But hey, I wasn’t not head boy for nothing.
So that something stupid for me is cycling Cairo to Cape Town to arrive in time for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour. Then lining up for the Cape Epic a week later, then lining up on the start line of the IRONMAN 2017 a week later. A journey that promises to throw up mental and physical challenges that I have never had to deal with and that really weirdly excites me. And then straight after, I feel like I want to throw up with anxiety. What is my limit? At what point do I run away and ask someone for a hug? Not too mention that challenge of fundraising and promoting this whole crazy expedition.
Did I mention how much I hate fundraising?!