Have you ever heard the saying that 'when one door closes, another one opens’?
You may be like me; while I’d heard this phrase many times, I’d yet to experience it myself. Well, at least until yesterday, when the metaphorical opening door slammed me right in the face: I came across this competition to win a potentially life-changing place aboard the famous Clipper Races!
What door has closed for me?
In just over two weeks, at the end of February, I will be taking redundancy from work. In the current economic climate, it would be easy to see this as a negative development (to say the least!). However, instead, I am determined to work hard to turn it into a golden opportunity. An opportunity to escape the corporate rat race, to develop who I am through a series of challenging adventures and to come back with a different perspective on life
So, how did I know another door had opened?
This was a bit easier- competing in the Clipper Races has been a dream of mine for the last four years. Why?
The Clipper Races have always stood out to me as a chance to pursue my lifelong passions for adventure, challenges and meeting new people. Furthermore, I love interacting with social media and would love to share the experience with a wider audience, given the chance. However, the normal cost of the trip makes it a very difficult financial decision for someone without employment. Therefore, the competition is the perfect chance!
So maybe when one door closes, another really does open. Fingers crossed that I’ve found the right door.
Which leg of the race are you applying for?
Leg 5 – December to February 2014
How would you describe your personality?
Good sense of humour (GSOH), competitive, adventure loving male, looking for like-minded team members for fun times and serious commitment whilst sailing across oceans?
In all seriousness, I hope my friends would describe me as a fun person to be around, someone who is reliable and highly motivated. I am an ambitious self-starter who can lead as well as work collaboratively within a team.
Tell us about your greatest personal achievement to date and what you learnt from it
A 1000 mile cycle the length of Britain certainly taught me a few things!
While I had known that physical endurance would be required to cycle up to 100 miles day after day whilst carrying my own equipment, I had underestimated how important mental strength and tenacity would be (especially whilst exhausted).
After my companion suffered a knee injury 400 miles in to the trip, half way up a mountain in a remote area, in the driving rain, spirits were low. We had options. We could have turned back, freewheeled to the last village and rested but fallen behind schedule. Or we could find a way to press on to the next location. After ascertaining the injury was not going to get worse, I helped lift my companion’s morale through encouragement (and taking some of the weight from his pannier!) and we made it to the next town both exhausted.
We suffered similar challenges and setbacks throughout the trip, but each time, day after day, we drew on our mental strength and each other’s support to push through the discomfort so that we could complete the cycle in the time allocated. Developing this mental attitude to push through difficulties was the biggest lesson from the cycle, and one that I now draw upon in all aspects of life.
If you win a race place, what can your crew mates expect from you?
They could expect to rely on me.
To rely on me to consistently work hard, to rely on me to be keep in good spirits when the going gets tough, to support others in their tasks, to try my best day in, day out.
I’m also good at making tea and coffees while at sea…
In 3 words tell us what qualities you have that make you the right candidate for this project?