It's not always been an easy climb
It's been a long but exciting journey to get to this point. As I enter (with some disbelief) my 40's, I'm more hungry than ever to make a difference. I've always pushed myself and my goals have always been challenging, it's just the way i'm wired.
Starting The Atlantic Grappler Campaign is by far my biggest test yet!
My kids always laugh at my jokes???
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
Former Royal Marines Commando
Where it all began
The day I stepped foot off the train at Lympstone Commando to begin Royal Marines training was the start. The start of a journey into finding my physical and mental limits, then overcoming them. This journey took me from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq and far further. It whetted my appetite for demanding training, for setting challenging goals and striving to constantly improve as a human being.
I first discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2003 whilst still in the Marines. Back then it wasn't a well known martial art never mind a sport, today it's one of the fasted growing in the world. Jiu-Jitsu replaced many things I felt I'd lost upon leaving the military; tough training, a seemingly impossible goal of attaining my black belt and camaraderie. A brotherhood. It took me 8 years of committed training and competing before I was awarded my black belt, an achievement I hold as dear as the day I received my Green Beret.
In the last few years I've still been training hard but focuses have shifted. No longer a Jiu-Jitsu student (although you never stop learning) I was now helping a friend build his Jiu-Jitsu school by teaching classes and supporting his students. Sure, I still pushed myself hard in training, ventured often into the mountains and even placed first out of 2000 in a 3 day hike through Denmark.....but there was no goal in sight. I needed something big to focus on.
This something would need to combine everything I'd learned about determination and courage. It had to be seemingly impossible to achieve, force me to learn new skills and most importantly, be a project that our children could witness me complete from start to finish. I wanted to inspire them. I wanted them to be proud of their dad and I wanted to pay back others who had helped us all when we needed help the most.
I know.......I'll row across an ocean!
The Atlantic Grappler was born and our new (and probably final) journey began.