Wednesday, 7 October 2009

So... was it worth it?

Ironically, this pic will probably be the most enduring of my memories of Challenge Barcelona. Jane took it in our hotel room, an hour or so after I finished - it was pretty much the moment when I started to be able to see the funny side of how I was feeling. My body temperature was rocketing all over the shop, and after a couple of random hot sweats I'd suddenly started feeling utterly freezing. So instead of going down to the course to pick up my kit, I wrapped myself in both the blankets from our bed and waited to feel normal again. This picture was taken when that beautiful moment finally came about.

Funny in retrospect, but presumably there was some fairly fundamental anger on the part of my body at what I'd put it through. So was it worth it? Was it worth not just this physical condition, but also all the time in training, the weekends sacrificed, and so on?

The answer has to be yes.

I can't pretend that I've made a massive difference to the psychology of all sportsmen, and in one hit lit the fire of a new generation of eco-athletes... but I have found better ways to align my values with my sport for myself; I have had conversations that I wouldn't have had otherwise, and found companies and individuals that are doing amazing things in pursuit of a similar goal; and I have developed ideas for what comes next that could continue this work. So something has been started.

I also can't claim to have inspired whole cohorts of city dwellers to find more space for nature in their day-to-day lives. But again, perhaps you don't always see the impact of what you're doing immediately. And what I have definitely done is raised almost a third of what the Wilderness Foundation need to formalise the TurnAround Project in 2010.

And of course I've done something I'll always be proud of. So that can't be bad.

Finally, we've still got the carbon footprint calculations to finalise, so hopefully one or two last interesting titbits to come from there before this blog signs off for good!

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