Squash Falconer — How Adventure Had An Impact On My Life
This is the fourth of a whole series of interviews with all sorts of different people to show what effect adventure can have on your life. Initially, I will start with well established Adventurers and then we will branch out into people from all walks of life.
The aim is to show how even the smallest amount of adventure can impact your life no matter who you are or where you come from.
If you’d like to take part and have a good story with pictures, please contact me via www.mattprior.co.uk
Next up is someone who has my favourite name in the world! — Miss Squash Falconer!
Squash Falconer is a record-breaking adventurer, mountaineer, speaker and presenter. Combining her love of different sports, Squash was the first British woman to climb and paraglide from the summit of Mont Blanc. She has also summited Mount Everest and holds claim to be the worlds highest ever bum-boarder, a title she gained on Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain in the world. She also holds the distance record for her 3000 mile journey on an ElliptiGo!
Passionate about sharing her adventures Squash has photographed many of her trips herself (sponsored by GoPro) and more recently worked with larger crews on more significant projects — watch this space! With a unique and quirky outlook on life she firmly believes that with the right attitude every one of us can achieve incredible things.
Please could you give us a quick run down on your life before adventure played a part.
There has always been adventure! I grew up on a farm and was typically outdoors, up a tree, in the barn or making mischief somewhere. I remember always being so busy. I’d usually come home from school, rush straight upstairs to get my school uniform off and I would be in my overalls and wellies as fast as possible!
“It has been a very organic process which has evolved into where we are now”
How and why did you get involved in all of this?
It has been a very organic process which has evolved into where we are now. Growing up on a farm and having people around me throughout that influenced and affected me in a very positive way and played a very significant part in my life. I was shown a good work ethic, encouraged to follow my passions and encouraged to do things that I loved and that made me happy. I was supported in my ideas and given the confidence to go for things. It’s only when I started to get out into the world that I realised how lucky I was that I had that. That’s why when I do presentations, especially school talks, I hope to give people the confidence to think about what it is they really want and then actually do something about it.
How has adventure impacted your life?
Massively. It is my life.
“I was shown a good work ethic, encouraged to follow my passions and encouraged to do things that I loved and that made me happy.”
What benefits has it brought specifically?
So many benefits! Travel, people, experiences, life lessons, feelings, laughter… This list could get very long!
My favourite though is people. I’ve met so many fantastic people and shared wonderful experiences with them. I have had the chance and privilege to work with and alongside some amazing individuals.
Adventure can sometimes be a scary and intimidating thing. Take a big expedition, like climbing a mountain… and flying off it! Being outside of my comfort zone and pushing my limits always brings good stuff.
“So many benefits! Travel, people, experiences, life lessons, feelings, laughter… This list could get very long!”
“Being outside of my comfort zone and pushing my limits always brings good stuff.”
I learn a lot about myself on expeditions; what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, how to deal with situations (sometimes life threatening), how to communicate, what I like and what I don’t like. I also love how it feels, the highs and lows — literally and metaphorically. I love being away from home comforts as it give me a greater appreciation of them when I get them back. Having the time and space to think on adventures is really special. I love to soak up that feeling of being completely alive.
Adventures can be anything, they don’t have to be a big challenge, or expensive, or take you to far flung places, or frighten you, they can be short, simple and just fun. I think Adventure is a state of mind. With the right mindset and often the right person, anything, anywhere is an adventure.
Why would you suggest others should get involved?
Because it’s fun and adventures make you feel stuff. You get to meet people and have experiences (hopefully good ones).
“I learn a lot about myself on expeditions; what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, how to deal with situations (sometimes life threatening), how to communicate, what I like and what I don’t like. I also love how it feels, the highs and lows — literally and metaphorically.”
Do you think anyone could do what you do?
It depends how you define what I do!
What I or other people do will always be unique to me or them because it’s who I/they are and about the connections I/they have made. I think everyone can follow their dreams and find a way to achieve the things they want to achieve, or at least try.
“I think everyone can follow their dreams and find a way to achieve the things they want to achieve, or at least try.”
What would you say are the main excuses for not doing this sort of stuff and how would you suggest people overcome them?
I think these are sometimes valid reasons as well as excuses;
Not enough time.
Not enough money.
Not knowing where to start or how to start.
Knowing you want to do something, but not quite sure what it is.
Talk about it. Talking for me has always been a good start point. Talk to people, ask questions, put it out there, commit, take action and be bold. Do something!
This is one of my favourite quotes -
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
“Talk to people, ask questions, put it out there, commit, take action and be bold! Do something!”
What’s up next?
I’m about to get on my motorbike and head over to see one of my best friends and her children. I have the whole day with them, it’ll be a mini adventure and I can’t wait to see them!
And, not really next but I’ve literally just come back from my favourite kind of ‘work’ trip — work and pleasure rolled into one. I followed the X-Alps (An epic adventure race!) with Powertraveller. I have been an ambassador for them ever since they provided me with all my off grid charging needs on Everest! They are an official partner of the event and so someone had to go along to follow the action, that someone, was me!
“Adventure is a state of mind”
A great interview with Squash who shows us how adventure can literally become a way of life if you really want it too!
To get in touch with Squash or follow her exploits online: http://www.squashfalconer.com/
“With the right attitude every one of us can achieve incredible things”