One of my friends has recently announced that he is going to row across the Atlantic solo, for charity. I should tell you right here that I get seasick if I look at a boat, and more than a few minutes on a rowing machine in the gym will see me flopped on the floor like a rag doll. Which means I look at Martyn’s challenge as something like Dante’s journey through hell. Martyn is no stranger to adventure, though - in 2017 he hiked solo from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail enduring the worst snow conditions in 30 years, raging river crossings, and wild fires, never mind the huge physical discomfort to average 20+ miles per day and complete the 2,667 miles in exactly 5 months!

If you’ve ever wondered why someone does these type of challenges, Martyn has a fascinating answer. For him, he says, it comes down to three reasons: one is to raise money and awareness for charities - in particular, those related to mental health. He is candid enough to state that he has suffered from severe depression at times in his life, and wants to repay the acts of kindness from those that helped him, and encourage others to seek help by raising money for charities close to his heart. The second is because he has a competitive spirit! Finally, Martyn will be 62 when he rows across the Atlantic, and he wants to show that age is no barrier, and that young or old can achieve the impossible, despite hardships and setbacks.

I can’t help but think that there will be a wealth of stories emerging from this challenge. For those of us that sit behind a keyboard and imagine people and worlds, there are others that go out and live them, and perhaps a little inspiration rubs off in each direction. Please take two minutes, and help however you can by either donating to Martyn’s charity or by sponsoring Martyn. If you’d like to learn more about the challenge, you can visit Martyn’s website.