Mad, Bad and Dangerous

December 15, 2023 in Courage, Goal Setting, Mindset

Recently, I saw Sir Ranulph Fiennes talking through his extraordinary life story on stage. 

If you’re not familiar with this character who is now 79 years of age, Ranulph Fiennes is a British explorer renowned for his extraordinary feats of endurance and adventure, and has earned the well-deserved title of "The Iron Man." 

Fiennes' expeditions have taken him to the most remote and hostile corners of the globe (if a globe can have corners), where he has consistently pushed his physical and mental limits to the extreme. 

He told various stories of his expeditions such as the one in 1979, where he embarked on the Transglobe Expedition, an unprecedented journey that circumnavigated the world via its polar axis.

In a very funny moment, he told us how he and his travel companion were battling extreme cold, and their fingers and toes started going black and they had to cut bits off with little hacksaws. 

Now that doesn’t sound like a funny story until he went on to say, “At this point, my companion started whingeing…” which he obviously found more annoying than battling the pain of sub-zero temperatures. 

In 2009, at the age of 65, he scaled Mount Everest, becoming the oldest Briton to conquer the world's highest peak. 

I mean - Holy Crap! 

I’m not scared of a challenge, but it’s hard to imagine doing Everest for the first time in 10 years from now. 

The man is a machine!

He has also completed seven marathons on seven continents. It was great hearing his story of how he was talked into doing this by his friend who worked for the NHS at the time, Micheal Stroud. 

Stroud told him he could only get seven days of holiday from work, and that he wanted to do something great in his time off, so he suggested they run 7 marathons over 7 continents in 7 days. 

Feinnes told him he wasn’t a marathon runner so he wouldn’t be able to do it with him, to which Stroud said something along the lines of, “Don’t be silly - anyone can run a marathon!”, and so they did. 

This was notwithstanding the fact that Feinnes had suffered a heart attack four months earlier. 

I listened in awe of the mindset he had. 

In an interview at the finish line, Fienes said, “It's the best thing possible. It was good fun. We thought it would be and it was."

And that is the essence of what a good attitude is: “We thought it would be and it was”. 

Our thoughts direct everything - if they had thought it would be awful they would never have attempted it. 

How many adventures have you talked yourself out of because you approach them with the wrong attitude?

Sir Ranulph is an absolute legend in every sense of the word. He is a fascinating and extraordinary human being, and also hilarious. He most definitely gets an open invitation to all my fantasy dinner parties. 

If you get a chance to see him on his tour “Mad, Bad and Dangerous”, then do it. 

The author 

Vicki LaBouchardiere