Yesterday I arrived at the home of a very generous and kind man. A chap called Rodrigo. Rodrigo is a Warmshowers host and if you check out his reviews a much loved one – completely justified! Rodrigo went an extra mile for me and on top of giving me a roof over my head and an amazing breakfast he also acted as my Mexican post office.
As much as I love that this trip is a solo attempt there is no escaping that you need help from friends, family, strangers and the generosity of companies. When I arrived at Rodrigo’s house I was also collecting two packages. These packages were from two of the world’s biggest brands – Microsoft/Nokia and Nike. And what makes it even more special is their brand straplines are #makeithappen (Nokia/Microsoft) and #justdoit (Nike). There could not be two companies with more fitting words to help out a lone runner!
The questions I get most on the road are “how many pairs of running shoes are you going to get through” and “do you have a shoe sponsors”. The answers are probably 18 and no. But today I received 3 pairs of sparkling new Nike running shoes. What makes it even more special is that it was a friend back in London who made it happen and completely unknown to me. While I was running south through the Americas my friend Susannah Toynbee was contacting everyone she could uncover at Nike trying to get me a pair of shoes. Undeterred by the understandable “sorry we can’t help” responses, she continued on regardless and finally found someone at Nike UK who would provide me with some kit. At first I thought it would be a pair of shoes but when the parcel arrived at Susannah’s office in London it had everything I could possible need to keep me going till at least Panama City. This included 3 pairs of running shoes, a TomTom running watch and awesome clothing. Susannah and her colleague then organised for the package to be delivered to a house in the middle of Mexico and somehow managed to time it perfectly for my arrival! I can’t describe how thankful I am to Susannah and Nike for making this all happen.
What makes me smile is that Nike were the company that put their name to Forrest Gump back in 1994. Now they are helping me 21 years later… Let’s hope I am as successful!!!
The introduction to Microsoft/Nokia was also through a friend and I am again eternally grateful. I wanted to photographically document this trip as best as possible while keeping weight and space to a minimum. Rather that pack a whole bunch of separate equipment they provided me with a Nokia Lumia 1020 which includes a camera with a whopping 41 megapixel camera. It’s fun meeting people with huge cameras and showing them my compact camera that packs a bigger punch! I just received a new one to replace the old one that had been put through the wars somewhat including a 2 day spell with a stranger after it fell out of my pocket on to a road in Mulege, Baja California – It still worked when I got it back. That is pretty impressive for a phone!!
Thank you to everyone who believes in me and helps make this expedition a reality.
*** I would like to make it absolutely clear that I am not sponsored by Nike, Microsoft or Nokia. They have just been very kind and supplied some equipment.***