Whilst attending the Top Of The Gorge Outdoor Festival along with other Ordnance Survey Champions, myself and a couple of other were approached by a local National Trust Volunteer who made a statement that shocked us all. She said
“The Champions all appear to be ‘professional’ adventurers”
She was very clearly under the illusion that we were all full-time adventurers and got paid to do what we do!
This came as something of a revelation to me and my colleagues as I am a full-time Sales Consultant, one a full-time Mum, Wife, home keeper and worker whilst the last one a full-time Army Officer.
When we challenged this assumption it transpired that it was based on the following ‘facts’. We gave talks at festivals, we enthused about our particular outdoor activity and we blogged about our adventures. But what became evident, after further questioning, was that this was the impression we all gave via our social media accounts!
Now I for one was relieved – not about the professional imagine I gave – but that anyone actually took note of my Twitter or Instagram accounts!
It took some persuading to convince this lady that we were not full-time adventurers, or even got paid to do what we love. But eventually she seemed happy that
WE ARE NORMAL
Ironically this is the message I try to get across every time I go out walking. There is nothing special about what I do – I put one foot in front of the other and perambulate in a forward motion. Sometimes comfortably but more often than not, in some form of pain.
Even when I was younger and more able, I enjoyed caving , potholing , climbing, running, cycling – but I always did it for fun. From the time I left college I have always worked and that it how I have funded my little adventurers.
Some people think that because I am an Ordnance Survey Champion I am different. No I am not – I am normal. I suffer all the trials and tribulations of everyday life in the same way as everybody else. I suffer pain, anxiety, anguish and joy. I have good days and bad days.
So, as this lady said to me – if you are normal why are you a ‘Champion’? And the answer to that is simple –
I get out there and spread that word through social media and personal contact I help get that message across to the widest possible audience. What is that word? what is that message? – simple
If, through my actions, blogs and tweets, I can get more people outside enjoying the fresh air and exercising then I have achieved my task. I can proudly wear that OS #GetOutside Champion shirt on my back. But at the end of the day I can rest on my laurels (excuse the pun) because