I’m sorry I can’t be there tonight to wish you all the best on your fundraising travels. I’m currently bobbing around in the North Sea. If I was there however, I was planning to pull you over to one side to say a few words in a calm North American accent. It would probably
have gone a little something like this:-
Matthew Wallace. Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one piece of advice for your upcoming expedition, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists, whereas my advice is based on my short inexperienced life.
I shall dispense this crappy advice now.
Enjoy the experience. You may not enjoy it from time to time, but know that in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and you will recall, in a way you may not grasp right now, how amazing your idea is and how fabulous the journey will be.
Don’t worry about the next day, or worry only if you have not got a
bed to sleep in, even then your sleeping bag will be more comfortable.
Take every day as it comes. The real troubles on your journey are apt
to be things your friends and family can help you with. We are only a
phone call away, depending on reception and battery life.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Sing. It will pass the time, however, some people may think you’re mental.
Some times you will be ahead of schedule, sometimes behind, but
remember it is not a race, go at your own speed.
Keep things you find, everything has a story. Your back pack should be
twice as heavy when you finish than when you set off.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, especially on the down hill legs (wehey, legs, get it!!?).
Maybe you’ll get blisters, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll fall over, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll shit in the woods. Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken when you cross the finishing line. But whatever you do, remember why you’re doing it. It will help you get up and put one foot in front of the other every day.
Enjoy your body, use it in every way you can. Telling chicks you meet
about your amazing adventure might get you lucky!
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not follow Bear Grylls survival, it will only make you feel sick.
Sleep in the highlands once, but leave before it makes you hard, or kills you. Sleep in a 5 star hotel once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept some unavoidable truths. The terrain will rise, you will have to go the long way round and there will be pain. But know that we are with you no matter how lonely the road may feel.
Don’t mess with your hair, or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85 (hang on, scrap that, that one’s for me!).
Be careful who’s advice you buy, (Bear Grylls, £0.99 I believe?). Be patient with those who give it freely.
REST. Do so safe in the knowledge that you are changing lives for the
better. Not just your friends and family, but also for those people who need a rest from their own battles every once in a while. They will benefit from this in a way you may not yet understand!
Maybe this advice has helped, maybe it hasn’t.
But trust me on the sunscreen!