(image courtesy of Tim Moss)
Do you love adventure like I do? How about skiing to the South Pole? Tim Moss fancies a go at it, but unlike most people who just dream about it, he is actually going. In January he will be accompanied on his 'Inspired by London 2012 South Pole Adventure' by an Olympian (Derek Redmond), a Paralympian (Marc Woods), and a Special Olympics athlete (Declan Kerry), as they ski to the bottom of the earth to wave the British flag in the name of participation, inclusivity and accessibility, and marking the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott reaching the Pole.
At university Tim decided on a whim to organise a mountaineering expedition to Kyrgyzstan, a country he'd never heard of. In his words, "It all went horribly wrong, I had a wonderful time and have been trying to have as many adventures as humanly possible ever since."
He now runs adventure consulting business The Next Challenge, helping others to live their adventures. Tim is a guy who really does what he loves.
(image courtesy of David Tett)
1) What does 'adventure' mean to you? Adventure, to me, simply means trying something that's a bit different. Something you haven't done before, that maybe pushes or scares you a little bit and probably teaches you something about yourself. I don't subscribe to the idea that adventure is synonymous with 'extreme' but rather think that it's available to anyone and that everyone could benefit from a little more of it in their lives,
2) What is the single most important thing for succeeding at the kind of challenges you take on? The single most important thing for succeeding at a challenge is starting. Start and the rest will follow.
3) Which has been your favourite so far? Why? My favourite of recent times has been hitch-hiking around the UK on a budget of £100 (approx US$150). I caught myself thinking that I was too poor to go on an expedition when I got a cheque for Christmas that I cashed in for an adventure. I spent a lot of time freezing cold at the side of the road with my thumb out and sleeping in some pretty rough areas, but I also met some wonderfully generous people, made it as far as Dublin for a Guinness, swam in the sea off the Welsh coast and made it back with £30 change!
(image courtesy of David Tett)
4) And the toughest? What did you learn? In Kyrgyzstan we found ourselves at the end of 5-day trek along a glacier, walking through snow in the dark with no food and the only sign of the base camp that was supposed to feed and shelter us, was a pile of ruined huts. We also slept bolt-upright on the tiny ledge of a 45-degree snow slope and two of us dangled from a rope attached only to our team-mate's waist on a vertical ice wall.
These were all self-inflicted problems from our total inexperience but they taught me that "It doesn't have to be fun to be fun" (Mark Twight) and, more importantly, it showed me that I was capable of a LOT more than I might previously have thought. I'm absolutely not special in any way but from being put into the great variety of situations that you find on an expedition, I drastically improved my self-belief.
5) What advice would you give to someone who would love to do something like this, but is telling themselves 'you don't have the time, money, connections, freedom from responsibilities etc etc' I've tried to demonstrate through my own adventures that time, money and connections are not necessary - my £100 Adventure, Running the Tube challenge and London to Isle-ofWight triathlon all required very little of each.
If you really want to try something then there will be a way. It doesn't have to be cycling around the world or climbing Everest but you always fit a little bit of adventure in. (And if it's really contacts that you're struggling with, maybe I can help?)
6) In your eyes, what is the ultimate challenge?
The ultimate challenge is the one that leaves you happy, sated and desperately wanting more.
Tim's South Pole challenge has been entered into British Airways' 'Great Briton' awards, and if he wins, the airline will provide free flights for the team's expedition. You can help him on his way by voting for him here and follow his adventures here
See here for other inspiring interviews with people doing what they love