Saturday, 10 July 2010

The Himalayan Dream - Genesis of the Commonwealth Challenge Part 5 the Conclusion

Finally I have got round to finishing the story that put me on the road to starting the Commonwealth Challenge. I had left Pinny in Kathmandu over a week previous to this moment and was nearing the end of a 100km solo trek in the Himalayas.

There I was stuck in a moment of beauty. To the west the sun was sinking. It burned red, setting the Lingtang mountain range ablaze turning the shimmering jagged white peaks into glowing orange embers of rugged light. Behind me lay the 4610m Himalayan pass with scenery stolen straight out of a lord of the rings film, that I had negotiated only hours before hand. Below the route to the bus journey back to Kathmandu. Effectively the end of this journey.

I had it all to myself. Be it a trick of the topography or maybe fate. But I was having a selfish moment with the planet and this 360 degree panorama of wonder was for my eyes only. From all the billions of people that share the planet with me none were here for this. It was overwhelming and inspiring. It was the last few days of my 'Half Ass the Himalayas' expedition. But this moment would be the spark for me taking on the Commonwealth Challenge. This was the moment that I call the Himalayan Dream.

It wasn't that I was overcome by a moment of hippy madness but more so that this was the first time during the expedition that I stopped to reflect on the experience. I had worked hard to get to this location and I intended to enjoy the moment and take it all in. This gave me time to reflect on the experiences of the last few weeks. From heartbreak to the Himalayas, a night in jail to a night in the jungle, from the wonder of the Taj Mahal to the majesty of the Kathmandu valley. All these were amazing experiences that were all unplanned and unexpected.

It was these experiences that demonstrated to myself of what I was capable of doing with very little preparation. It made me wonder what would be possible if I really tried. It also made me realise that this was something that I really enjoyed and I knew it was going to something I would do again. Then and there I decided to take on something huge.

Unfortunately I can't respond with a blasé approach that I decided to do this for a bet, a race or cause of some crazy plan concocted after a few beers. Nope the sun was setting somewhere beautiful and I made the decision to take on the challenge of visiting the commonwealth nations coming to Glasgow for the 2014 games.

Why you might ask? Well the Glasgow 2014 games has been a big part of my working life with Glasgow life (the name has changed from culture and sport!). Basically I wanted to do something for the commonwealth games. I wanted to find out more about the commonwealth nations. I wanted to tell them about Glasgow. I wanted to take on a challenge and of course I wanted to take on another adventure.

As the sun began to sink further I resumed my trek downhill. It was time to start planning the next challenge.

On the 23rd of July all this planning will be tested when I begin the 20,000 mile world cycle. I hope to see some of you there for five miles and many more along the way!

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