“I believe there is some kind of adventurer in all of us. My dream is to share expeditions that push the boundaries of physical and mental capabilities with the world. Questioning what is possible is the key to success in every walk of life.”
- Mark Beaumont
I have this silly delusion that Mark Beaumont reads my blog. What better things has he to do? Set the world record for cycling around the world? Bike 15,000 miles from North America to South? Row across the Arctic? Surely he has time to indulge in reading the writings of an Ohio mom who has nothing particular to say.
I confess that until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of Mark Beaumont, and I certainly didn't know he ever held the World Record For Cycling the World! Then one day at the library while I was looking for books about triathlons, I came across his book, The Man Who Cycled the World. As something of a world traveler myself (well, I've been in 6 countries on 3 continents), I was a little intrigued. Cycle the world? Really? Here I’d been feeling pretty impressed with myself for biking 20k in one go this summer!
Reading the book, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mr. Beaumont hails from Dundee, Scotland, a place I happen to have visited Once Upon A Time. It made the book even better because I might get to use my Scottish Burr silent reading voice. Sadly, it turned out that the my silent reading voice goes much quicker in an American accent, so there we are.
The book really got to me on a number of levels. It took me to parts of the world I’ve been, but showed them to me through a very different set of eyes; and it took me to parts of the world I may never visit. More importantly, it took me into the spirit of an adventurer, a competitor; someone similar to me, but infinitely braver. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit the delete key in writing this – I’m having an awful time verbalizing the feelings I took away from The Man Who Cycled the World.
It was about more than the adventure, more than being a global citizen. I learned how he challenged himself; how he battled fatigue, food poisoning, monotony & loneliness; and how with a goal, a plan, a support team, and some occasions of good fortune, anything really is possible. There we go with the delete key again. This is woefully inadequate.
Suffice it to say, Beaumont's book was for me not only an eye opener, but a soul opener.
Unfortunately the BBC documentary isn’t here yet, and I can’t find Beaumont’s second book, The Man Who Cycled the Americas in my library system. Fortunately, I can follow his expeditions via his website and all the other internet doohickeys.
And in case you’re actually reading this while you’re rowing the arctic just now, Mr. Beaumont, I want you to know that you’ve changed my worldview and what I believe is possible and what I'm capable of. My birthday isn’t far off; if I happen to receive a copy of one of your books, any chance you’ll cycle to Ohio and sign it for me?