As the main inspiration for starting the [21:21] project, my brother has been there since the start, both during the planning stages and also up at Whitley Bay, for the first challenge of 21. Since that frightfully cold swim in the North Sea, I have pushed myself physically more than I have ever done in my life. I think it’s safe to say that Nick has done the same too. In fact, Nick has pushed himself physically, mentally and emotionally more than most of us will ever do in our entire life time. His State of Mind is one that will be matched by few, but be revered by most.
His courage, determination, unselfishness & cheerfulness in the face of adversity are not things he has learned from a book, but from 32 weeks of the toughest training in the world, and from service to his Queen & Country, in some of the most inhospitable lands the world has to offer.
Respect is not something that you demand, nor is it something that can be bought. Respect is earned. I have to admit that I’m normally quite biased towards Nick – well he is my brother after all. But this is guy who has 110% earned my respect and admiration. Therefore, when he gave a shout out about the challenge project, I wanted to share with everyone. It’s things like this that get me out of bed pre-6am to train for the challenges, and keep me going during the challenges, at points when I think I can’t go on – knowing that I have support from others, from family & friends, from those that believe in the same cause as me.
Here is what he wrote on Facebook today:
The co-founders of Help for Heroes have written to my brother to tell him how amazing his fundraising is going. Get a look at what he’s doing for all the legends who have served our country! PLEASE DONATE!! Any amount will help in such a way that you could never imagine!!
It is so easy to just not bother, but you won’t miss £5 and it’s so easy to donate. Please help my brother help such an amazing charity, to help all the legends that put their lives on the line, every second of every day to fight for our country.
My brother has paid for everything himself; flights to other countries, entry fees, kit & equipment – the lot. Far from cheap, but it will all be worth it if he smashes the £10,000 he has set himself to raise!
He hit the nail on the head really. The legends that go through the most arduous training any military has to offer, to be deployed to places that as much as we read about, or watch on TV, will never comprehend, who give up so much to serve their country – they deserve our support. We only hear about the fatalities on the front line – we don’t hear about the countless Marines, Soldiers, Airmen & Sailors that come home wounded with life changing injuries.
These guys deserve & need our support.
I’ve heard first hand from Nick the boost in morale that contact from home can have while on the front line. Getting letters & shoe boxes filled with goodies help in the immediate, but knowing that your country has your back should the shit hit the fan, is the kind of thing that gets you through nights on patrol, days in trenches, and taking each step with the utmost care, in case you take that step that could change your life forever.
So you know what, forget about the fact I’m running marathons, completing ultra distance events & climbing active volcanoes amongst others things, as an act of solidarity to support my brother, the lads of RM 45 Commando and the rest of our troops. Forget the ripped ligaments, fractured leg and more blisters & chaffing than I ever care to think about. Forget about the hundreds of pounds I’ve spent to complete these challenges and countless time I’ve given up to train for them. Forget about me. Because you know what, it’s really not about me. It’s not even about Nick. He came home safe.
It’s about the guys that aren’t as lucky. To quote Help for Heroes:
“It’s about the ‘blokes’, our men and women of the Armed Forces. It’s about Derek, a rugby player who has lost both his legs, it’s about Carl whose jaw is wired up so he has been drinking through a straw. It’s about Richard who was handed a mobile phone as he lay on the stretcher so he could say goodbye to his wife. It’s about Ben, it’s about Steven and Andy and Mark, it’s about them all. They are just blokes but they are our blokes; they are our heroes. We want to help our heroes.”
So forgot about the blood, sweat & tears that I’ve endured over the last 14 months, because that it nothing in comparison. Think about the men & women of our Armed Forces. In fact, don’t just think about them, do your bit. Put your hand in your pocket and let’s show them we mean business. Lets show them we’re behind them 110%.
Support our troops & donate here.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge