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Esc Hero #1: ‘Don’t ever aspire to be average’

A quick note:

We have been extremely excited to hear from Justin Miles, and his partner in adventure – John Wilton-Davies, over the past few days.  They represent everything that Esc stands for!

The adventure they are attempting is monumental – the first journey to the South Pole and back unsupported. Their causes are admirable (British Heart Foundation and educating young people).  And Justin’s story is incredible.  Well done them and best of luck for the trip.

Watch this space for some Last Great Challenge inspiration at one of our first Esc Talks…

Esc Hero #1: Justin Miles

Justin“This project started as a dream from a hopital bed a little over ten years ago. On March 2nd 1999 I had a glittering career in the fitness industry, by the end of the day on March 3rd 1999 my career and life were in tatters.

“A near fatal car accident left me with brain injuries resulting in having to learn to function again; from walking, to talking, to feeding myself, everthing had to be re-learned. Medical teams estimated my physical recovery to take anywhere from three to five years, but nine months after the accident I ran a marathon.

“As I recovered, in between bouts of ‘exercise’ I developed a life plan. The plan was more than a little vague, but lasted for ten years at the end of which I’d drop everything and pursue every boy’s dream of becoming a real life adventurer, tackling nature’s harshest environments and helping others by raising money for charity etc.

“The tenth anniversary was up this year, so I was faced with a decision: did I continue with my path in asset finance, or did I go hell for leather in pursuit of my dream? There wasn’t really a choice to make; I knew what I wanted to do, so I started the journey.

antarctica“Nobody has ever walked from the Antarctic coast to the south pole and back before, so I’m doing it with friend and fellow adventurer John Wilton-Davies. What’s more, to make the trip more interesting, we’re tackling the 2,200km on foot and with no support or re-supply. Once we’ve finished, the trek will also be the longest unsupported polar trek in history.

“Apart from the many hours of gruelling training that we’re putting in every week, the hardest part of the expedition is now. Raising sponsorship in any climate is tough, but right now it seems harder than the trek itself. Between that and trying to get the marketing/PR/media wagon rolling we’re working for around 16 hours a day.

“What would I say to anyone who has a dream? Turn the dream into an objective, build goals that point towards achieving it, build your confidence through small successes and most of all stay positive, and maintain focus and determination – there is always a way! In other words, just get off yer arse and make it happen!”

  • Rob Symington

    “March 2009 saw the 10th anniversary of the accident and it was time for a decision. Did he settle back for a life as ‘Mr Average’, or did he go hell for leather in pursuit of his dreams? Before he died, Justin’s grandfather had said to him “Don’t ever aspire to be average” so, with his mind made up, he set about planning a major Antarctic expedition.”

    http://www.lastgreatchallenge.com/about-justin-miles/