You’ve worked hard for months leading up to that moment and it was everything you thought it would be; the triumph, the enjoyment, the excitement, and even the fear. But, as quickly as they came together they are gone again. A massive void opens up and you feel unsettled, alone, and lost. Welcome to the comedown after a big climb.

The blues after a achieving something at your limit and unwinding after events is difficult and something that I have struggled with on a number of occasions. Even when I know it is going to happen, I can’t avoid that crash and feeling of being adrift.

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Something has been niggling away at me recently. I keep reading everywhere that we all must Chase your dreams and Don’t give up, you’ll get there, along with other similar clichés, and I don’t think this is right. I feel that treating your aims and aspirations as something you have to ‘chase’ or so hard to achieve you will got through hell together is just plain wrong.

I consider myself very lucky right now. I am living what most people would say is the dream – I recently packed up living and working in London and moved to Chamonix to pursue a more positive work-life balance with my wife. I’m happy. Really happy, but the day we arrived was not day 1 of living the dream, that started long before we even decided to finally move here.

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With a feeling of pride, I told whoever was listening ‘Well, there is so much variety to climb in Chamonix, my aim is not to climb the same route twice’. Prior to getting into Chamonix, people mostly reacted in the same way: ‘Oh, yes, well that makes sense’. When I said this to someone here, I got a very different reaction: ‘Oh, really? Why would you limit yourself like that?’.

I was a little taken aback. Maybe I had more to learn about alpine climbing than I thought. It reminded me of wanting to always do new things with my career and an older, more experienced entrepreneur smiling and advising me to not rush on too quickly.

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Standing at the belay, I see ice coming down from the party above. Sophie finishes tying into the belay and looks at me. She can see what is going on behind my eyes.

I’m psyching myself out. We know it but what do I do?

“You can do this”, Sophie says, “just remember, take it one step at a time”. I nod in consent, take a deep breath and step out onto the 85 degree ice of the crux pitch on the Chèré Couloir, a classic alpine ice climb just under Mont Blanc.

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I nervously turned to Sophie, my finger hovering over the mouse button, ‘Am I doing this?’. The look in her eye and smile on her face confirms this is the right decision. I click the ‘Confirm’ button and I’m done. I’m on my way to becoming a StrongFirst kettlebell instructor. The first step has been taken, here is step two – telling you all and committing to trying my hardest, training hard, and loving every minute of it.

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All three of us are breathing hard, sweating profusely, and sneaking glances at the clock counting down the seconds. We’re halfway through the third and final set of a new kettlebell training session and we’re all feeling the effort and exertion. Looking up at the stunning blue skies over the mammoth Aiguille du Midi, our objective for tomorrow, encourages me to dig a little deeper, push a little harder, and not give up.

This is my third attempt at creating a kettlebell class and I think this is a keeper.

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I have sometimes found myself stuck with an opinion that I don’t fully believe any more. A position I’ve taken that I no longer agree with, or wanting to try something that I previously swore I’d never do. I want to change my mind but I’m scared: scared to tell people, scared to embarrass myself, and scared to be wrong.

Recently, I came across a blog article by Derek Sivers in which he talks about how he now loves things he previously hated, he now will only say ‘I hate that today‘ knowing that he might change his mind in the future. I can completely sympathise and I’ve come to the conclusion:

It’s ok, don’t be afraid to change your mind

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What I have been eating over the last 6 months has helped transform me, here are 11 of my favourite paleo meals. Well, paleo-ish, anyway.

Paleo has been a whole lifestyle transformation that has given me more energy, shifted unwanted body fat, and built lean muscle. Since getting into it over the last 6 months I have been wowed and inspired by the creativity of people out there and feel it fair to share.

Previously I had never found a diet that worked because that was what they were diets. A diet, you have to stick to. A diet isn’t how you normally eat, a diet is finite.

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On the 25th May 2013, I married Sophie, aka Challenge Sophie, in a beautiful ceremony on the Seine, up in Normandy. After a wonderful couple of days, we set off on our honeymoon – two months in the outdoors Mecca, Chamonix. In a not so typical turn, we were going to be starting our honeymoon with a week at the Chamonix Mountain Festival, a brand new outdoor meetup for climbers and mountaineers.

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At the end of May, Sophie and I are moving to Chamonix, France, a small village at the base of Mont Blanc. Chamonix is home to some of the world’s most incredible athletes, adventurers, and explorers, and soon to be our home.

From trail running and downhill mountain biking, to rock climbing and ice climbing, to paragliding and even BASE-jumping, Chamonix is a Mecca of the outdoors and where Sophie and I have dreamed of living for many years.

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On 26th April Challenge Sophie, Alex Ledger, and I set off on our first Ultra marathon, to run London to Brighton through the stunning English trails of the Wandle River, the North Downs Way, Sussex Trail, and finally the South Downs Way. We ran 62 miles over 16 hours, on an incredible adventure that showed us some of the beautiful English countryside, pushed our minds to the limits and tested our bodies beyond what any of us we had tried before.

You can view the first 89km here (before my watch died)

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It has been 63 years since the Peak District was opened as Britain’s first National Park. Spanning an area of 550 square miles and 6 counties, it is home to some of the most beautiful countryside our shores have on offer.

I have spent countless weekends out in the hills of the Peak; days climbing on Stanage Edge, winter walking on Kinder Scout, camping with friends, and more. Here is a selection of my 5 favourite activities in the Peak District.

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I’ve changed. I can see it in the mirror but, most importantly, I feel it inside – in my general well being, my state of mind, and my drive and motivation. It hasn’t come easy, there has been a huge amount of sacrifice, and I’ve worked very hard to re-educate my body and re-align my requirements. The results? I’ve lost 2 stone, countless inches, sleeping incredibly, and, to top it all off, I’ve the beginnings of abs.

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Since finally getting off my backside, out of the pub and tying on a pair of running shoes several years ago, I have changed. A lot. From not being able to run a few miles to running marathons. From never having tied onto a climbing rope to leading steep ice climbs at high altitude. And from working for the man to starting two new businesses and venturing out into the incredible world of technology and startups.

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