Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Who inspires you?

I don't think in my teenage and early adult years I was inspired by anybody. I spent most of my time trying to hide from life behind a curtain of recreational drugs and alcohol - I wasn't looking for anyone to show me the way.

It's only really since I got into climbing that I've started to see sober life as something to enjoy instead of something to endure between highs, and it's made me look around for that direction. Recently in that hunt, I'm mostly inspired by guys like Nick Bullock, Christopher McCandless, and an old family friend (sadly no longer with us) called Steven.

Steven's parents were friends with mine, and his older sister best mates with my younger one. He was a socially awkward kid, (as was I) and I never really got to know him till he came to work with us years later, but his story is something a bit out of the ordinary.

At 16 he pocketed his passport, emptied his bank account, and disappeared. Several months passed before he called home "Hi mum, sorry I didn't call sooner - I wasn't able to get to a phone, I've been living in the jungle."

When he ran out of money he came home and got a job. Not a stepping stone on a career path, just a job. While the rest of us were wasting our wages on drink, drugs and cars, he put his into his bank account, until he had enough to go away again.

The rest of his life was spent saving and travelling until one night, in a hotel in Mexico, an undiagnosed heart condition got him in his sleep.

Steven lived his life on his terms, nobody else's, and that truly is inspirational.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine

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