Fighting Failure – Update #5

(PART1 – The Struggle)

9th June 2019 

Leaving Amsterdam was even harder than leaving home.

I hope that statement doesn’t upset any family and friends! 

The only way I can describe it is… going through an entire month of feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable and intensely grateful after meeting such awesome people… made it difficult to say goodbye to Peggy, Amsterdam and the coziness of her flat.

Something happens when you leap from a plane and fly with someone… a spark ignites and you connect through the purest form of respect, admiration and a mutual understanding of why we do it! 

I really made myself at home. I’d been living there, cooking healthy dinners and relaxing in the evening. It was the perfect break from the manic month I’d had. I’d burnt myself out and was dangerously comfortable. It wasn’t until the day before I was set to leave, that I realised I’d become far TOO comfortable. I left Amsterdam with a concerning lack of motivation.

My enthusiasm, confidence and determination had plunged into the middle of the earth. 

Filming had become a chore, I felt like I was dragging a huge sack of spuds along the floor behind me and I kept making mistakes en-route. It was hot, humid and stressful. By the afternoon I was completely mentally, and physically, DRAINED.

The only thing keeping me going were the pretty little villages and a glimmer of happiness that it wasn’t raining… yet…

I heard that Skydive Teuge was en-route East from Amsterdam. Considering I’d only managed ONE jump in Schaffen, I decided to try and make up the numbers! I did a bunch of jumps with Joyce and had a great time meeting the crew at the dropzone.

While in Teuge, I was lucky enough to see noctilucent (night-shining) clouds. They’re mesmerising sunlit wisps of cloud on the edge of earth’s atmosphere and can only be seen after sunset.

I was awake, gawping and grinning at the sky till 2am.

When I got to Enschede, I met Jorik and his flatmate Emiel. They’re both highly intelligent tech-wizards. Jorik’s expertise in technical engineering meant he could seemingly fix and solve any problem! Emiel is a computer and LED lighting expert!

I stayed for two nights, visited their university faculty to see where the magic happens and Jorik made me a really cool keyring out of a piece of leather!

From Enschede I crossed the border into Germany, through a narrow trail between Losser and Bad Benthiem. 

I still felt exhausted. 

In the past, I’ve always gained a massive boost of motivation and confidence after doing the sports I love… but for some reason, I felt as though jumping in Teuge had really slapped the energy out of me!

I was desperately trying to find my flow again. I cycled 40km and got as far as Rheine. I had to stop. I was in a whirlpool of self-deprication and I needed to find a place to rest and get my head straight.

I managed to put what was going on into perspective and explained all in the video below…

After a couple of nights, I picked myself up and carried on.

Not long into the journey between Rheine and Osnabruck, my senses were cranked up abruptly by a raging thunderstorm that caught up with me. I searched for shelter and as I looked across a field to my right, a bright flash of lightning hit the ground, just a couple of hundred feet away from me! The noise rumbled inside my chest. For a moment, the sensation felt as if my blood was surging through my body ten times faster than it should be! Wide-eyed and heart pounding… I tucked myself under someones porch in their front garden.

I hid under a bridge and let the storm pass.

To be continued…

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