In a moment I’ll cut to the main story of this post, about Ross Edgley, the man swimming around Britain at the moment. From athletes to presidents the term has carried us through 100 years or more and still holds a very good place in getting people off their arses and into the driver’s seat of their lives. As a coach I believe that using examples of as many inspirational people as possible can help the world be a more connected and positive place. That is why I share stories that I read about or hear about because I believe that is more important to us than the average news story these days.
Ross Edgley – a man that I had no idea existed until someone told me about him last year. “Have you heard about this guy who decided to swim 40km with a tree tied to his back?” A tree, I know… Crazy right? He did it for multiple reasons but the one that stands out is that he loves a challenge. His personal challenges have ranged from swimming with a tree on his back, swimming non stop for 48 hours and covering over 100km. Whilst all of this is something that you might find bizarre it is actually Ross just being a bit of a fitness scientist. He is learning and adapting the whole way and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge to boot.
This isn’t why I am writing about him today, sure he has achieved a huge amount in his life and is a knowledgable person, however he is currently aiming to swim around the entirety of Britain without touching land. For the last 7/8 weeks he has been swimming on and off in 6 hour intervals, against tides and passing between shipping lanes to achieve his latest challenge: swimming around Britain in 100 days.
He is doing weekly videos about his journey and it is immense. He has suffered some physical and mental set backs, but still has the tenacity to get through it. It was only yesterday that it really dawned on me how amazing the journey actually is. He has swum from Margate all around the south coast of England and is now past the Bristol channel and working his way past Wales. Whilst on a map that probably looks like a few centimetres, he has actually been swimming for 43 days and has probably done 500000 strokes.
What can we learn from his challenges?
Whilst he might inspire some, others might think he is completely mad. I think the biggest thing that we can learn from these challenges is that there is always the chance to embrace life and do something we love. Ross loves to push his body to extreme places to prove what it is capable of; most people, unfortunately, don’t get to experience that in their lives because they never learn to dare.
I hear the quote all the time, “do one thing each day that scares you.” I think that is the wrong way to think about it, so I’ve changed it. Do one thing each day that challenges you. It could be climbing more stairs, doing some more steps, going for a run, reading a book, networking with new people. It could be taking a chance on someone romantically, or even taking some time to meditate and get out of your own head for a bit. In my kickstarter program I teach your how to challenge yourself each day and to create sustainable habits that help to transform you from the inside out and the outside in. There is, however, a lot to say for embracing the challenges we face in the first place.
The lesson I learn from watching Ross’s journey and seeing how he has thrown himself into deep water (pun intended,) is that we are remarkably adaptable creatures. We have survived change for many years and will survive more and more change in years to come. Challenges and obstacles in our lives should be seen as something to tackle rather than something to shy away from.
So my thoughts on this fine day are for you to head out into the world and tackle the crap out of all the obstacles and challenges that you face and if it isn’t too cheesy to say: DARE TO BE GREAT!