At the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, I won the 79th medal for Britain: a gold. There is a bit of a story behind how things developed from there, but I came up with an idea for a project called Quest 79. I would visit seven continents and do nine rides – one on each continent, plus two Paralympic Games.
While raising £79K for the Spinal Injuries Association, I want to encourage as many individuals, families and groups as possible to take on their own Quest 79 challenge, by taking a step out of their comfort zone. As I have learned through my own experiences, when we commit to something that stretches our mind or body in new ways – and we consistently work at it – it often begins a life-expanding process and allows us to see all sorts of new possibilities.
Once upon a time, pushing my wheelchair 79 metres was a big challenge, let alone crossing seven continents. It seems almost unbelievable to think back to when I was lying in a hospital bed, broken and bruised, paralysed from the chest down, with nothing but a view of dull ceiling tiles and the prospect of life in a wheelchair, that I have been able to ski across icecaps, kayak oceans, cycle across continents, and experience the life of adventure and exploration that I have. This has inspired me to encourage others to do something that seems a bit of a challenge to achieve. We all have our own mountain to climb, but no matter how big or small our ambition, we are destined to discover something inside ourselves that is precious. I call this our ‘Inner Gold’.
To date, I have cycled six of the seven continents: Antarctica and creating the ‘Pole of Possibility’ remains. Each of the journeys has given me far more than the wonderful experience of travelling to new landscapes and cultures. Each adventure has gifted me with powerful positive emotions: I have felt compelled to write my ‘Inner Gold’ blog series to share some insights on these, as I believe they are helpful emotions that we can all nurture in everyday life.
Why not take on your own Quest 79?
Your Invitation to join the Quest 79 or POP challenge