The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My study

It's 5:34. I really shouldn't be up this early. Outside the wind whistles down the street, rain patters on the window and a moody orange glow from the street lamps haunts my study. My study where I planned BoardFree's UK and Australia, my study where I once received new faces who were interested in joining me on the expedition. Simon, Kate, Holly, Laura, Dim, Pete and even some others who didn't make it. My study from where I'm writing a book about the period between March '05 and now. My study in Swansea. I'm home.

But home is different now. Instead of preparations for a brave, unknown endeavour, I now face a new future with the long road of achievement behind me. BFUK, done. BFOZ, done. So now what?

Good question. It was asked hundreds of times in Australia but I always remained upbeat. The first two BoardFree projects were life-consuming. For 22 months I thought of little else (apologies to everything and everyone that encountered my solid, wide-eyed stare) and it truly becme a way of life. Now, back in my study where everything was done to ensure that both the UK and Australian journeys succeeded, I sit here happy that everything that could have been done was done. And now it's time for more.

There has been little sitting around since reaching Brisbane. New ideas started to form, new opportunities presented themselves. Plenty of interest in the book - from prospective readers and publishers alike - makes me confident that I'll have a deadline to work to very soon. Soul food has been brought to me on golden platters recently, I feel very privileged to even have a story so full of adventure and good intention and pain and character to tell. It's a warming thought. So many things could have ended BoardFree prematurely. None did.

Media interest in BoardFree continues. Women's magazines have written, the major papers and smaller publications continue to get in touch. The TV is coming out to film my reunion with my parents in Oxfordshire on Sunday, and I'm a guest on a national daytime show this Friday, it's presented by a couple named Richard and Judy, and it's watched by millions. Two years ago I was sat in my study, depressed to the nines, face like a raincloud, life filled with little more than working routine and computer games. Then a longboard arrived in the post and now look!

I'm working with Peter and Hagen from rollsrolls in Germany to promote the longboard around the world. I fly to Leipzig in early March to press the 'Go' button on the new, improved rollsrolls. It is a board that thrills. I mentioned soul food earlier, if there was ever a longboard to fill your belly it is the rolls. I will try my best to give everyone in the world a go over the coming years.

And then, to top off the list of schedule-fillers and merely confirm the reasons for my not resting since Brisbane, there's the speaking tour. It begins on March 10th in London at the TNT Travel Show and will continue for over a year, taking me around the UK, back to Australia and perhaps further afield. The aims of the talks are to motivate, inspire and increase donations - they will begin in earnest as soon as the book and DVD are ready to accompany me on my travels. What use is a story if there is nobody to tell it to? Sometimes, audiences can be created.

Finally, another answer to a regular question. Will there be any more journeys? Yes there will. I'm biding my time because of other commitments at present, but I'm planning another world record attempt before 2007 is through. What that is, you'll just have to hold on for a bit to find out.

So, 5:56 now. I'm not up because I like it. I'm up because of jet lag. After flying in Saturday morning to be greeted by a cheering group of familiar people wearing t-shirts bearing the words 'They said he could't skateboard across Australia, but he's only bloody gone and done it,' I've been wandering around like a zombie. Fighting sleep in the middle of the day, waking early, feeling sick, losing appetite. And you know what I think about most when I'm in the middle of this state of bodily disfunction? 'Man, I'm going back to Australia later this year, and I'm going to have to get over the dreaded lag all over again!'


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