On July 29th 2017, I successfully completed the “3 Peaks Challenge” for Naomi’s House and Jacksplace Charity.
“The 3 Peaks Challenge” dares you to climb, the 3 highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours, these include:
- Ben Nevis 1,344m, the highest mountain in Scotland.
- Scafell Pike 978m, the highest mountain in England.
- Snowdon 1,085m, the highest mountain in Wales.
Looking back at what I’ve achieved, I realise that I was extremely underprepared for this, which only made the challenge even more difficult. I have the sore knees and back pain to prove that.
So what did I learn?
Preparation is essential
For every important experience I’ve faced in life I was told that preparation was key, and this was no different. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, the mantra stuck in my mind when I decided to commit myself to this challenge. So, I did what I thought was best. I went to the gym each and every morning and discussed with those who had already completed the challenge, where their success and willpower had come from. This, I assumed would enable me to be both physically and mentally prepared.
BOY WAS I WRONG! What I had done was create the illusion that I had prepped enough, simply because I was looking up to someone who had completed this challenge. So I “talked the talk” without even having “walked the walk”. This became clear whilst I was completing the first descent down Nevis (that’s how us, the cool kids, call it!). The truth hit me like a ton of bricks, as fatigue started kicking in, leading me to slip which ultimately took its tolls on my knees. That for me was the wakeup call!
Looking back now and reflecting upon my every action and conversation, I realise that I shouldn’t have watched more videos or read more blogs about this but question the people who completed this challenge more. I should have asked about the difficulties they faced and how they had overcome them. Most importantly I should have queried their most valuable learnings from their own challenge and asked the question with usually the most useful answer, “In hindsight, what would you have done differently?” This, in my opinion, would have been the answer that would’ve been imperative to my approach to the challenge and would have drastically changed the way I trained both my body and my mind for the challenge ahead.
That is one thing that I will apply in my career moving on: “Always.question.everything!” That is the only way I will be prepared for being the best Digital consultant out there because I will understand every possible scenario because I had already played that in my mind. Plan A failed? No worries, Alex. T’s plans go all the way to Z.
Knowing all of this now I am motivated to push myself even further and have even higher (see what I did here ;) ) professional and personal goals.
BUT what did it teach me about life?
This challenge and the lesson around preparation is a world example with very real and very painful ramifications for not taking the importance about preparation seriously. Whatever it may be, work or personal life, “You only get what you give!”—The New Radicals. This has led me to reflect on other instances where I may not have achieved a goal or reached the heights expected of me. My automated response, blame it on something or someone else, when in fact it’s more than likely that it was a lack of preparation on my part
So what will I do differently?
Instead of doing what I did for this challenge, talking the talk, the next time I shall be walking the walk by preparing for every scenario I can imagine.
The positive lesson I’ve taken from this experience is that it’s always more motivating to complete a challenge when you have a higher purpose. It’s true that is was up to me to determine and motivate myself to do this and raise money for a very worthwhile charity. I owed it to myself to move forward and finish the 3 Peaks Challenge and gain this knowledge. But more importantly than my own self-was what I owed to the children and their families from the Naomi’s House Foundation to whom I made this commitment too. These families who rely on Naomi’s house and Jack’s Place to support them in their fight. These families that I am asking you to consider when donating for this cause.
Thinking about them and how to support them in their struggle convinced me to challenge myself to complete Gran Paradiso. Hopefully, that way I can raise even more money for this very worthy cause. So what I am asking you is to help me, help them! Donate here: link
If you’re curious to see more about the meaning of 3Peaks Challenge and Naomi’s House and Jack’s Place, here is a short video illustrating the incredible work this unbelievable charity do the people they help