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Training for my biggest challenge yet

Training for my biggest challenge yet

My training for the Patagonia Expedition Race has well and truly begun. See featured photo of me having a mare as I climb up a stream. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. I am terrified. This is the only challenge that I've taken on where I haven't been 100% sure that I am going to make it. That's exactly what draws me to it.

The race is for athletes; seasoned adventure racers. I am not a racer nor an athlete. I purely enjoy putting myself into situations where I have to live in the present and adapt to environments. I thrive on surprising myself with what I can achieve.

In the last few months, I've had to put a whole new team together due to my previous team pulling out on me. I was left stranded and had an ongoing battle in my brain for weeks on end, on whether I should continue the race, as I struggled to find a new team.

I don't know why I didn't pack it in when my original team left me. They didn't think they had it in them to take part in the race so why on earth do I think I do? Naivety? Stupidity? Delusion?

I had half an hour of panic after finding out I was alone and had to build a team again. I snapped myself out of it and something stronger than me took over. I was on the phone, emails, social media, every kind of contacting format I could come up with to find new team members, I was on it.

Within a few hours I had my first team member, Tom. Tom and I had met once, over a year ago. We had been introduced to one another because we both enjoyed adventures. Tom said yes immediately.

The next team member came at a chance meeting. After arriving in Bastia, Corsica I met Marty. (Before beginning the GR20.) I needed to hitch a ride 2 hours south to the start point of the trek so scouted for outdoor looking people at the airport.

I saw a man who held himself in a military way. I darted for him. He wasn't there for a beach holiday, I could tell he was there to trek. He turned out to be a group leader and happily gave me a lift. During the 2 hour journey, I very easily got him on board the team! Marty is an ex marine and perfectly skilled for the team.

Our last team member, Tim, came at another chance meeting. Neil Laughton invited me to attend the The British Chapter of the Explorer's Club. I mingled with like minded people and when Shane Winser (Head of expeditions at the Royal Geographical Society) introduced me to Tim, I almost immediately popped the expedition question. (Granted I'd had a glass of wine to provide such confidence.) With my surprise, Tim said yes. Tim's background is global adventure photography and he's in the marine reserves. Done. I had a new team!

Tim and I met at the Explorer's Club in London
Tim and I met at the Explorer's Club in London

Ever since we formed our new team, we've been hitting the training weekends hard. With only 4 months to go, the race is the centre of our world. It has to be.

As a team we've been yomping and climbing in Wales. Last weekend we were soaked to the core by torrential rain and wind as we navigated our way through Dartmoor (realising we need new, better waterproofs!) We climbed and abseiled alongside some marines in training and spent our nights (when we weren't night navigating) snuggled together in a floor-less tent.

The team balances one another perfectly and there's a real sense of family. I can't wait to continue getting to know everyone.

My individual training has been created by Professor Greg Whyte and it gets me training twice a day.  I am given my nutrition plan tomorrow and as I write that, I question why I haven't got a cheese plate and cold, fatty meats in for my last day of food freedom...?

I am concerned I will be the less physically able out of my strong team but with the external help I am confident I can get there. I'm pretty certain that there will come to a point in the race where we will all be the same and our strength of character and mental power will be what pulls us through.

About Lucy

About Lucy

So you've found yourself on my 'blog'. I never thought I'd set up a blog but after having written a few entries now, I am rather enjoying the release aspect of it. Take a look top right at the menu and widgets for the blog entires.

I am 22 going on 23 come July this year (2015). I grew up in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk as an only child. I found myself climbing and exploring the countryside as the best way to spend time. This has been amplified into what I essentially do now.. I am, I guess, an adventurer in training..

I don't like that word adventurer, it's rather 'showy offy' and a self given title for many. I don't think I am qualified to call myself it just yet but I use it with lack of a better word. Over the last few years I've found myself consistently going on more and more extreme and adventurous expeditions and referred to as the adventurer by friends and family who I guess are just being supportive or using it as an excuse for my dangerous and odd habits.

I trained at university to go into film and television production, which I do in the weekday. I want to incorporate my love of adventure into film as there's so much to show and inspire once both feet are out of that door and a 'can do' attitude is put in place.

Past expeditions, to name a few, have taken me to the Arctic (several times), the Haute route, Bolivian high peaks, the Hardangervidda, Finnsmarkvidda, the Amazon rainforest, Nepal, NZ, OZ, Vietnam and many hundreds of miles trekked across Spain - alone. 

My next big trip will take me to an exclusive (and extremely hard) expedition race in Patagonia.

These trips have provided me with stories and lessons learnt that I intend to use this blog to share. I will use it as a way of reminding myself of where my roots really are.

Some of my adventure films can be found on my Vimeo page HERE