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Alex Staniforth (ADVENTURER)

Alex Staniforth is an adventurer and charity ambassador from England. In this episode we are talking about the back to back disasters that happened to him on Mount Everest, what went wrong and the fallout from it. He has completed numerous endurance challenges raising money for mental health charities. In today’s podcast, we talking about mental health. He is no stranger to adversity – suffering epilepsy and bullying in early life. He now uses this as motivation for outdoor challenges; now helps others to overcome theirs.

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Transcript of our Conversation

Alex Staniforth

[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome back to the modern adventurer podcast coming up. I think being in the Hills, it’s just inspired me to dream bigger than ever before. Just to question all these limits and these doubts that we put on ourselves. And I came home and of course being a millennial, I went on Google and I just became captivated by the idea of climbing the world’s highest peak.

my next guest is an adventurer and charity and Busta. He has made two attempts to climb Mount Everest and has completed numerous endurance challenges throughout. He is no stranger to adversity. He suffered epilepsy and bullying and early life, but uses this. Now it’s motivation to drive himself forward in these outdoor challenges.

I am [00:01:00] delighted to introduce Alex standing forth to the show. Hi John. Thanks for having me. Hello. Great to have you on the show. You are no stranger to adversity and challenges, and I think it’s great that you use these life challenges. Through your outdoor adventures, probably the best place to start is with how you got into these adventures.

Yeah. So to, I guess, to take you back it, like mostly saying sense of style and childhood, um, At a very normal normal start in life. If you can call the call at that way, uh, my parents gave me a great start. I was brought up near Chester and harder. Yeah. I said I had a pretty normal start in life, but when I was about nine years old, everything kind of changed because I had a mild form of epilepsy, which was quite a terrifying thing for, in person to go through such an important age.

Now that itself is only very mild. Fortunately, it was brought into control, uh, but led to lots of different challenges. [00:02:00] I was, you know, I was relentlessly bullied all the way through school where, which just shattered my confidence and left me feeling worthless, uh, suffering with anxiety and panic attacks, you know, where even having a seizure in McDonald’s meant that just the smell of fast food could trigger a panic attack many years.

So that made school pretty challenging. And I hated sport at school. You know, I hated PE very far cry from, from around now and most way level I’ve had a stomach ever since I’ve been out to speak. I mean, I’ve never known life without having a stammer, which is pretty unusual when I’m now a motivational speaker for a living.

Um, but that kind of sums up really my journey is that it’s, it’s all been about overcoming adversity and using physical outdoor challenges. So overcome personal challenges, you know, never really settling for base camp, never following the beaten track. And I guess trying to make the biggest difference that I can along the way.

Um, so I [00:03:00] think finding the outdoors by chance at about 14 years old, uh, is really that, that changing that, uh, that was the kind of pivot point for me, um, that really set me on a different direction in life. And. 10 years later. Uh, I’m very lucky that now I can combine this passion for personal challenge, with inspiring others, to combat us as a speaker, as an author of two books.

Uh, I’m a brand ambassador for a few charities and organizations and started a charity last year based on mental health, trying to restore mental health through outdoor experiences. So it’s been a very unusual journey. Um, You know, from the early challenges, it’s important to say that it’s not like I’ve completely reasonable for them.

Um, my stomach is still very much there. I can go and speak to 500 people, you know, in a presentation and then not be able to ask for a train ticket on the way home. Oh, I’ve smashed it. Phones at home. Just for the frustration of being able to say my own [00:04:00] name. Mental health has probably been my biggest challenge at all.

And I think that’s the important message is that we all have those peaks and troughs. The most important thing is just to keep on going amazing. And so when did you get the idea for Everest? When did I get the idea was actually about 14 years old, not long after I kind of found this escape of the outdoors.

And I was always aiming for the big things. Not exactly a very strategic, you know, start small, but it really was all inspired by the adversity. And although it wasn’t much compared to what some people go through at that age. Um, at the time I was invited hillwalking in the Lake districts from a friend and, uh, something I’d never really done before my parents.

What particularly outdoors minded. My dad was a runner, but besides that, we didn’t do anything massive and I’m not walking the latest streets one day, 2010. I just [00:05:00] remember asking the question to myself. Where’s Mount Everest. I think being in the Hills, it’s just inspired me to dream bigger than ever before.

Just to question all these limits and these doubts that we put on ourselves and. I came home and of course being a millennial, I went on Google and I just became captivated by the idea of climbing the world’s highest peak. I found other people like me that had done it. And especially those with kind of that normal background, you know, they didn’t have wealthy parents just to pay for the trip because that’s often the biggest barrier they’ve managed to find the funds and make it possible.

And I think knowing that other people are gonna, can, it gives you permission to try. I think at that age, I just committed to myself that one day I was going to climb Everest and it just seems to me the ultimate way to really fight back. I guess I never mentioned at that point that actually four years later, I’d be at Everest base camp about to make my first attempt.

Good. And so [00:06:00] you’re at, um, Mount Everest base camp. Uh, what happened. Well, I’ve got caught up in the two biggest disasters in every history, executive years. Um, and yeah, it didn’t go to plan. These things rarely do. That’s a pretty much the same as life. And we got to base camp, um, after three weeks of tracking in, I mean, I was with a team led by, uh, the same climate wrote to route first taught me rock climbing and the likes and we, yeah, we, we spent three weeks walking from local or then a day before we arrived.

A huge avalanche in the eyes for kill 16 climate Sherpas. So it all went Patchett. We had to pack up and go home obviously without stepping in a single for all the mountain. So I think, I guess my immediate reaction 18 and that kind of naivety was that the harder I work look here at gap. I’m thinking that’s true in some, some instances, but.

Also sometimes failure is completely [00:07:00] inevitable. You know, doesn’t matter how hard you work. I mean, I don’t think there’s a give it down and COVID, doesn’t give it down to that. All of our plans. And it’s being able to reframe failure and think, okay, what can I learn from this? How can I use this experience to combat stronger?

So after a bit of soak, can, you know, you take responsibility. And then another year of training and a year of fundraising, it went back to a verse in 2015. And this time we were on the same team, same format. And then. We were in the Khumbu Icefall, which is just above base camp, moving to camp one for the first time and the earthquake hit Nepal.

So we were in the Icefall about 6,000 meters. When the ground started shaking, we got hit by a big powder over lunch. We’ve been trapped on the mountain for two days. Base camp down below is pretty much wiped out by a much bigger avalanche triggered by the earthquake and, uh, Yeah, it was, um, well, how to describe it, really?

We were stuck at camp one of the two days with, [00:08:00] after, you know, after shocks and other lunches. Um, not, not knowing that actually we were in the safest place at all, you know, and that we’d lost three of our team done at base camp, along with 21 people in territory. So yeah, I think had we not left base camp that morning, I would probably want to speak to you now.

So that having that experience 19 kind of puts a lot of things in perspective. So obviously after that, we eventually got helicoptered outcome form and yeah. Headed back to camp, come and do wow. And as such a young age to have that happen, not once but twice. Um, what was the, what was your initial feelings when you got back to the UK from it?

I think the first time round, obviously it was very different, you know? Dreams can be replaced lives can’t you know, and, and you’ve, you’ve got to keep that perspective second time round. It was, it was more about the kind of trauma, the guilt that why then you [00:09:00] know, why, why not me? Uh, this shouldn’t have happened, you know, base comes meant to be the safe, safest place.

So I guess there was a, from a mental health perspective. Yeah. I think I was really suffering with a trauma for a long time. And, um, I just threw myself into fundraising for the victims. Uh, doing some more challenges and, uh, decided I couldn’t climb Everest. I was going to cycle it. So there’s, um, a challenge notice Everest thing where you cycle up and down a Hill to do 29,000 feet within 24 hours, uh, to raise money for people at DePaul.

I wrote my first book Icefall, which really helped me to kind of put her kind of process at all. Um, and then speaking, you know, kind of fell into motivational speaking, which. It was never part of the plan, but it’s the most rewarding thing in the world. But I think at the time, um, I was just running away from it.

I wasn’t really dealing with it. Um, cause nobody else can really understand, you know, the only friend that could really understand was those have been on the trip with me, who didn’t really wanna talk about it. And [00:10:00] then also a friend who’d been in the army, you know, he’d seen a lot worse. So even today to be honest, it’s still kind of bad.

You know, you still never forget that moment of thinking. This is it, you know? And by the end of that year, uh, I kind of really hit a low trough, probably the lowest I’d ever been, you know, and just that sense of loss of everything, loss of purpose that we spoke about before. I think that loss of purpose, you know, it was really hard to pick yourself up from got to the point, man, running has always kind of kept me doing some things, you know, kind of gave me some feeling, but I remember entering a half marathon and, and just.

Bailing halfway round, I just quit stopped and watching sports home. And that was when I kind of realized I had to reset that, you know, I need some help. I couldn’t manage this on my own. Um, I think he was when all those other things like the fundraising and the writing and kind of gone, you know, I had to face up to it.

Um, [00:11:00] but I think the underlying feeling was that I’ve got to make the biggest difference. I can. I owe it to the guys and hopefully that I’ve got out to a cheaper. Did you feel that, um, the sort of purpose of Everest was to, I didn’t know how to sort of phrase this was to sort of show that. I don’t know how, how can I say this?

The idea of Everest was very much about conquering the demons from a young age. I think so. Yeah. I think. And you engage. It was about proving myself wrong and proving the police wrong. But then actually I realized that that was never going to get me anywhere. It’s the same with many goals in life, if we’re always chasing that next thing success, but whenever we’re never content, because we always want the next thing.

And I think I kind of realized that I had nothing left to prove anymore because I’d already got to Everest, which was the self was probably the hardest [00:12:00] challenge. And I wasn’t really being true to myself and therefore we’re never going to be happy. I think the real, the next big, yeah, good point in the journey was actually in 2016, when I went back this time trying to climb a chair or human Tibet, which is a six-five speak in the world.

I think that was more to put Everest to bed, but also at the time it was actually for training for making a third attempt Everest. Um, that was my best chance of getting over 8,000 meters getting smell to you experience because I don’t, you know, I only been to 600,000 number. See, um, And obviously I know for us, we didn’t get high and then come on.

So that trip went a lot better. There was no disasters. I got some 7,000 to, uh, to, to, to meters camp one, uh, sorry, come to, and then it was the altitude that as always has always got me. I’ve always been rubbish altitude. I remember that night in the tent at 7,000 meters. So thinking to myself, you know, why am I really here?

What, what difference am I making? On average, we saw our tents buried under a [00:13:00] foot of rock and ice and snow, you know, and I thinking, what would I have left behind? Had I been in that tent? And then that was when I was able to let go of Everest and actually realized that it wasn’t just about the top. Um, and I kind of lost the drawer.

It wasn’t about fear. It wasn’t, you know, it was just acceptance. I think that’s kind of where it sent me to where I am today. And where are you in terms of your, your sort of challenges today? Well, since that it inspired me to, to kind of stay close to home for challenges and adventure. I mean, I’ve always loved running.

That’s probably been the only sport I’m marginally good at, or don’t feel, um, I’m useless in the gym and everything else. And I’ve always enjoyed brooding kind of, kind of, uh, competing level, you know, opt up up to. Probably marathon’s probably my strongest distance. So I’d have to sacrifice all that forever, just cause the injury risk and everything else.

And I just [00:14:00] enjoyed that just to keep you ticking over. But I was inspired by Elise Downing, um, who ran around the coast of the UK the year before. And I loved how you kind of carry people on the journey. You know, people were joining her along the way in various parts of the country and it was just a really good way to.

Raise awareness and to see what we have here in our home soil, um, something that I’d always taken for granted. So I came up with the idea, the idea of a whole new challenge called called climate UK, which is climbing to the highest points of all 100 counties in the UK. And that was a human powered, 4,000 mile journey, cycling, walking, running kayaking, uh, in Sempra two days.

And that was all raising money for your minds and mental health charity. And I threw myself into that and it kind of became my new Everest and I realized then that that was what it was all about. It was about the journey. Um, and that was the hardest thing I’ve done. It was the only thing where I’d ever actually achieved what I set out to do.

So that gave me a really big confidence boost and, [00:15:00] and. From then on, I spent a year basically, um, training front, you know, training, training, training for a marathon, um, because I was writing my second book, uh, another peak and didn’t really have time to go off for months and months doing a big challenge.

So I just ran and tried to bring my times down for, you know, a suffering marathon. And then, uh, since then, I mean, 2019, um, I moved up in the Lake district. So that kind of took my energy for year. Just did a lot of fell, running a lot of races. Um, I’ve done the odd spontaneous thing. I mean, the end of 2017, I tried to cycle from home to Attenborough in one hit, which from Chester originally was about 310 miles.

Um, so I kind of liked the sporadic spontaneous in Jordan stuff. Um, but in terms of big projects, I felt I needed, I was overdue like a big, big challenge. So last year in August, I, uh, I run the national free pigs. So we’ve probably, most of us have probably heard of the national [00:16:00] free piece, but never score for pike and Snowdon, but normally you would drive between them in 24 hours.

And I did that when I was 16. That was probably my biggest challenge at the time before Everest and after Mont Blanc and everything else. Um, and, uh, I decided to run the entire distance between them. So 450 miles in, uh, nine and a half days. So it buses 17 orphans, and I was trying to break the fastest time, which I didn’t do.

Uh, but that was, that was my focus for last year. And I think definitely for the next, for the Sable ultra running is my thing. Um, I really love, I’ve always lived in Jordans and those really long painful things. Um, but I think that’s where I want to focus. My energy now is close to home and just trying to do things differently.

I’ve never really interested in. In the conventional challenges, um, that that’s going to really rewarding change. Really? What was that a three [00:17:00] peaks challenge, like, cause you’re over nine days, were you self supported or were you doing it sort of solo and just sort of relying on, I’d say sort of credit card touring types.

Originally on the national free peaks run. Um, I had planned to be self-supported, but I realized that I’d never, I’d never run an ultra before. Well, I’d never raced an ultra before I’d done one 46 miler in training. Um, and then a lot of long runs, but that was it. So that was a bit ambitious, you know, I was, yeah, I was being very ambitious there, so I kind of changed the plan and I had bits of support.

I had friends and cars and a friend Richie was there for the first three days. And. Various people at similar stages. There was definitely a lot of challenge when I was on my own and I had planned and trained to have everything on me in a rucksack and then sending things ahead. Um, but with the mileage and everything else that just didn’t work.

So I didn’t have a still kind of barrier support cars, but it was self-sufficient as much as it, as much as it could be. You know, [00:18:00] I didn’t have like a dedicated vehicle all the way. I was still having to fuck around in hotels and BnBs picking my own food, picking my own supplies. Um, I think when you’re doing so nearly 50 miles a day on tarmac, you kind of really that, and I wouldn’t have got, I wouldn’t have got there without that for people listening and watching mental health is a huge part of what you do.

And. Cause it’s sort of sometimes creeps up on people without them even realizing, you know, someone who you see on a day-to-day every day looks like they’re doing well, but behind sort of closed doors or behind. Uh, the sort of exterior deep down, there are always issues that sort of creep up on people.

How does mental health sort of affect you and for people listening, you know, how can it be spotted? Well, that, that, that person that you described, you know, that kind [00:19:00] of looks like they’re okay. Was, was me and still is me. Um, I mean, I guess it all triggers back from angina to you when I was younger and the panic attacks with epilepsy, but in terms of a more diagnosed problem, uh, I first had depression pressure when I was about 16.

That actually happened when I was injured, I couldn’t run and losing my outlet. My escape suddenly just completely free me combined with fewer things. I think I’d always been very prone to it because being a perfectionist and very high achieving mindset, um, I think I was always very vulnerable to low mood and low self worth.

Um, and then as always running kind of got me back out of it, uh, having challenges, having purpose. And I think I’ve, I’ve had sort of peaks and drops since then, but it got a bit more challenging. The second, you know, the second time round I got injured. Um, and again, I was about 16 and. That was when the meeting sort of started.

And [00:20:00] that made things a whole lot more complicated because I’ve always loved food. And obviously as a runner, as an athlete and you need a lot of it. Um, but then that became my coping mechanism, that the cave, my only control and that quickly got out of hand led to eating soda, you know, that was academia, uh, binge eating disorder.

And that’s kind of been with me ever since, I mean, eight, eight, nine years later. Um, it’s never gone away. You just learn to deal with it. You know, I’ve never seen food in the same way again, and there’s definitely risk for roughly. So we need to be more aware of now is this whole culture of earning calories and training.

It’s it’s, it’s very, it’s, it’s quite risky. Cause I fell into that now. I was able to recover from that, but ultimately I wasn’t really managing it very well. I had episodes where I struggled. Sometimes I was fine. And have a bout with depression after Everest, when everything went wrong, standardly. Um, and that was when I went the help.

You know, I realized that this isn’t an, I couldn’t manage on my own. And I guess [00:21:00] that was when it got so bad that, you know, I need a medication. Um, but I think I I’ve always believed in kind of purpose, not pills and it didn’t work for me, you know, before that could really help. I’ve been able to. Almost get myself out of it by finding a new purpose, finding a new challenge.

Um, and I’m not saying that it’s not for everybody. You know, people have to find what works for them. But, uh, what, what really inspired the climate UK challenge is the fact that it took me longer to get an appointment for my mental health than it did to cycle around the UK. Um, that kind of highlighted just the lack of support available.

You know, I was always able to kind of pick myself up for the outdoors. Um, but as for today, I mean, at the end of 2018, after that year of competitive again, training and trying to race and not my times down over the marathon, I’d fall into the trap of, of under-eating over training. Um, and I guess the eating disorder still, it still manifests itself now, you know, I still have to be very careful.

[00:22:00] Um, I got, yeah, I got injured at the end of that year. Uh, run again, a few of things are going on and, and yeah. Then I had a really bad year in and out therapy and things and, and yeah, I mean, I’m very open about it as you can tell, because I think I’ve realized that everybody’s dealing with something. And if my story helps other people too, to put their hand up first, I know that it has a positive multiplier effects.

Um, you know, I’m, I think I’m in a really good place now. Um, Some of the, you know, some help of how it has been fantastic. And I’m very grateful for that. And I still have to work on that. You know, I’m still my own therapist now. Um, I still have to watch out for the triggers and, and take action. And then I’m very grateful that I can, I can run stouts and I now have a much healthier relationship with food, but I think starting a charity has all been about trying to help people find those tools because, uh, People could see me speaking on stage very confidently and looking fine.

Um, when really they don’t know what’s going on behind. [00:23:00] And, uh, one of the guys inspired me to open up was, um, Tom Fairbrother who set up a project called a train brave. And I saw he does. He does such a positive response to speaking openly that I had nothing to be afraid of really. I think what I love about your story is how you’ve used something negative in your life and moved it into such a positive sort of, uh, community and, um, sort of passion that you have.

I. I guess that’s been my default response from a young age, from that first walk in the lakes. It’s like that realization that we don’t always get to choose our challenges. We just choose how we respond to them. Um, and that happens by default now. And, and whether it’s on an expedition or just day-to-day life, um, just an attitude we have to take and same with COVID.

I mean, I sat down and started, locked down and said, okay, what can I do in this time to make a difference? Uh, [00:24:00] cause I can’t control this and can’t control that. Um, yeah, adversity is the best teacher and it’s it, you know, th th th there’s the old quote by Bruce Lee, you know, obstacles or opportunity in disguise, because if we focus on the problem, which is making it bigger, so we’ve your projects?

What are you doing now in lockdown? Well, interesting times, here we go again. Um, I said, I just have before, I think the first time round in lockdown was sunny and sunny and warm, and people really appreciated nature. But to get a bit of background on the charity, um, you know, might’ve, you know, actually might’ve, uh, the mountains is, is basically trying to combine the outdoors and hillwalking with coaching, you know, so again, it, you know, we, uh, combine hillwalking and coaching, uh, mindfulness and counseling and inspirational speakers into a safe, and, you know, it’s a safe, confidential space for people to walk and talk.

And not to try and fix, but just to [00:25:00] build the resilience and the self-help skills that they need. And we were doing walks and rambles residentials, obviously until the summer, we have to cancel all those because of all the rules. So we really kind of scratch our heads together as to how we could. So help people when so many people have just lost hope that just needs that support.

Um, so we adapted our programs in the end of last year to work with small group sizes, just doing a one day rambled, rather like a, a weekend event. And that works amazingly well, you know, really was able to reach six new areas and a lot of people. But then second, obviously then the second lockdown came again and we had to cancel our events and we had 40.

40 programs planned for this year. We’ve got to have to cancel the first few and the hope, and we can get back to them as soon as possible. But what we’ve been doing as a charity in the meantime is a lot of virtual things. So we have like a, a virtual gathering space where people can come and be a part of an online group guided [00:26:00] by a coach just to share that story rules and joys and just get some mindfulness.

And I’ve just started our base camp sessions as well. So we’re in spot, you know, interviewing inspiring. Yeah, outdoors people and adventurers and athletes just to share what they’ve learned from their adventures. And, uh, combining that with some outdoor skills from our team. So we’re having inspiring and educated people just to keep them connected whilst we can’t get together in our normal events.

And as always, you know, we have bursaries so people can. Can you access our work for free if they’re having hardship or financial circumstances? Um, so that’s taken of a lot of my energy, uh, and the charity, but got a great team behind it. And, um, my free peaks raised 11,000 pounds for Nazi forest. So hopefully can sustain.

A lot of our work for your ad. Um, and then personally, um, speaking, uh, has obviously all gone virtual. I not spoken to a live audience since March last year, and that’s going to probably last a bit [00:27:00] longer. Um, so enjoying the challenge of speaking to companies virtually, and just grateful to have that, I guess, from an adventure point of view, um, it took me a long time to get back to normal.

After three peaks turns out it’s not a good idea, running 50 miles on the tarmac. Um, so just ease himself back into running and, uh, keep me sane during lockdown. And, uh, we’ve just started a new virtual challenge called the lockdown lap. Cause I think people have lost races. They’ve lost goals. So football, what can we do to keep people motivated?

So to get the benefits of being outside, even when it’s dark and wet and cold. Um, so this lockdown lap was an idea that people can virtually log their miles and look, and try and get around the coast of the UK, which is 11,000 miles. We did that in two weeks with sort of 200 people. So we’re now go around the world.

Um, and then personally, you know, I’m just building up my mileage again for the next challenge in the summer. Amazing. Well, I have to say I’m a big fan and [00:28:00] absolutely love what you do. I think it’s absolutely amazing and truly inspiring. No worries. Well, there’s a part of the show where we ask the same five questions to each guest each week with the first being on your trips.

What’s the one item or gadget that you always take on your trips or expeditions? It depends, you know, it can be a local run in the Hills, or it could be a yarn expedition to the Himalayas, but, uh, it’s probably sounds very obvious, but I’d always have my phone because I love music and. It really is the soundtrack to my life.

I’ve always got music playing when I’m running, when I’m in the Hills, having music can just take me to a different place and help me to think and inspire me and motivate me, give me the energy. So as long as I’ve got access to music on my phone or a player, then that’s, that could be my reset Anthony to just escape.

Okay. Very nice. Uh, what is your favorite adventure or travel book? [00:29:00] Um, Well, I mean, I was very lucky, bad girls did endorse my first book, ice fall. So I was searching about that, but his book, mud, sweat and tears came to me a really important part of the journey because it was when I, when I mentioned the fall, when I was in a really low trough, I was injured.

I was depressed. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t welcome. Yeah. And I was told I may not be trained properly again. Let alone train for Everest. Um, I’m a friend rich recommended that book and I’m so grateful because, uh, it’s all about the story about that grills breaking his back just 18 months for a climbed Everest at 23.

I’m not book gave me the hope that I needed just to see the light to keep moving. And, uh, and it’s also a great book, really engaging. So you say you were offered a year. Was that. What was that after that was, that was new. Yeah. So that was just after my blond and [00:30:00] for Everest. So Everest was 2014. This was the end of 2012.

So I lost it. I thought you said you were injured. I was injured for nearly a year, um, before Everest. So, you know, I, I, I couldn’t do any ruining anyway for quite a while. Um, so that was, yeah, that was a big setback. And whilst hard is every school in mine. What’s that what shin splints or broken ankle or interestingly, it, it was like shin splints, but, um, it was actually, uh, you know, it was a growth spurt.

So I had this undiagnosed shin pain, every scan and tests in the book that you can have. And it was basically a gross book causing inflammation. Um, but yeah, it, it taught me a lot and it was a really tough time because I couldn’t escape that. Um, and I’ve had various, you know, various injuries since like most athletes.

Just a lot more Catalytics Oh wait, why are adventures important to you? I think [00:31:00] challenges make w make life worthwhile. I think staying in our comfort zones during the same old cause kills our potential, you know, quite literally, if we’d stayed at base camp on Everest, it probably would have killed us.

Um, I think for me, it just makes life rich worthwhile. We see things in a different light. You realize what’s important. Well, this could go on Reddit. That’s very true. Um, what about your favorite? Quate have got lots and lots of them. Um, you can, well, I mean, I can’t claim any my own cause I pinch them off, off the internet, but, um, one of the most important ones to me, I think was.

Came to me from one of my, one of my inspirations, uh, Becky bell bellwether you, she some conduct rest when she was 20. And, uh, you know, a few years before me and she passed on a quote, which is the greatest suffering, brings the greatest successes and actually wrote it on my wall and big [00:32:00] pen in front of my bed.

So every, every day I saw I woke up and saw it. And that was like, my motivation for Everest is actually realizing this was worthwhile. Um, And then if I could put, if I could throw in a second one, probably probably, it always seems impossible till it’s done by Nelson Mandela. And that was so true. You know, sometimes it feels so impossible, but, and then before you know, it you’re there.

Um, yeah, I could go on and on really. No, they’re they’re good quotes. Very good. Indeed. Uh, people listening are always keen to travel and go on the sort of grand adventures. What’s the one thing you would recommend for people wanting to go on an adventure like you? Well, interestingly, today I got another post about, um, flying to Europe this summer, which is a bit optimistic considering the current lockdown and what we’ve got to keep thinking forward some way, um, because I’m sure all of us are missing travel.

I mean, obviously my ventures have been in the Himalayas in the pool, which are quite far-flung, they’re quite big. And I’m, I’m so [00:33:00] lucky to, to, uh, I’ve been over that. Um, I think sometimes if the guy, I also think it can be quite daunting. I think you just got to sometimes take the small steps, you know, not necessarily throw yourself into it.

Yeah. So for the shorts, I know them as well. It might not be bad advice just to stay in the UK, go to a completely different part of the UK or your home country, uh, wherever that could be. And. I think you really get an appreciation for, for what we have here as well. And some places the UK just blew me away.

But I think if that doesn’t appeal, you know, if they do want to go on a big grand adventure, then obviously it all the fundraising and everything, there’s a lot of things to commit, but I think you’ve just got to set the date until you set a date, put something in the calendar life gets in the way. Um, and it doesn’t become a most.

It comes at once. So I think realistically, you know, be, be realistic, you know, put then set a date, um, scare yourself a little bit. And just, there’s a little bit of fear there in terms of [00:34:00] getting out your comfort zone. Cause that’s the most rewarding thing. Yeah. I think one of my favorite quotes was if it’s scares you and excites you at the same time, then it’s probably worth doing.

Yeah. And if it doesn’t scare you, it’s not enough. Um, but yeah, I think, uh, it might be more realistic. The short-term to do something in the UK. That’s not a bad thing. No, I th I think, uh, international travel is probably very much out the window for the next six months, unfortunately. Yeah. I mean, looking forward to that, but in the meantime, we’re just very grateful to be in the lakes and have mountains.

There are not, they just put things back in perspective. Yeah. I’m very jealous of where you are at the moment. Um, the legs there’s pro. The lakes are probably one of the most spectacular places in the UK. So although I’m very grateful to be down here, uh, I have to say the lakes is just stunning. So I’m slightly envious of you up there.

I mean, I think, um, I, I [00:35:00] moved here for that reason. Just the Hills gives me hope and being able to run in the Hills while I’m not working. Um, just to have that life balance to me is kind of what I need. I needed mentally as well as to really reset myself. And it’s been kind of a therapy as well. Um, After after Everest, I came up here for awhile and just, um, spending time in the lakes really helped me to overcome that.

And just every day, you know, I, it, it never gets boring even after the Himalayas. It’s, uh, it’s magical. Yeah. Well, what are you doing now? And how can people follow you and your adventures for the future? Um, at the moment, like everybody else I’m working at home. Um, so. There’s still some plans for the summer, you know, just keeping those in mind.

Uh, another, another attempt, uh, fastest known time. Um, and then until then, um, the best way to follow me on social media, uh, among all the main channels, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, if anybody has any questions or wants to ask any advice, my [00:36:00] inbox is always open, um, visit my website, outstanding thought.com.

And then when I come up with some, some more challenges or virtual things, uh, great to have people involved. Uh, so I’m sure everyone’s wondering what, what adventures lay ahead. What’s next? Um, nothing confirmed. I’ve got a few ideas in the pipeline and, and after the three peaks, um, my body wasn’t having anything for awhile and that’s, that’s perfectly fine, but I think I’ve got a, I’ve got a running based record attempt, which is going to be something very different to what I’ve done before.

Quite sort of short and sharp. Um, I’m looking into that at the moment. I think it would be in the UK for, for the next, you know, at least in the next two years. But, uh, this one will hopefully be this summer. Um, um, I’m definitely back in challenge mode now and looking for the next target, but, uh, I’ve never doubted myself as much as the free peaks.

So when after it really pushed the boat now, and I’m looking forward to that. Absolutely amazing. Well, Alex, I can’t thank you enough for coming on the show [00:37:00] today. You have a truly remarkable story to tell. And really inspiring to many. And, um, I just want to say thank you. Yeah. And I suppose John, and it’s great to have the chance to now to share the journey, you know, hopefully give some peoples, you know, a bit of inspiration as well.

So thank you for having me. Well, that is it for today. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you got something out of it. And if you did hit that like button and subscribe, if you haven’t already. And I will see you in the next video. Okay.

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