Welcome to #AdventureSeries No.5 with Andrew Whitehouse
Introducing Andrew Whitehouse otherwise known as Alphawhisky71, an avid adventurer, traveller and former commando with a thirst for the outdoors. Amongst many things, Andrew is a volunteer for a local search and rescue team. He is dedicated to using his passion for adventure to fundraise for good causes and is gets involved in epic adventures to keep his spirits soaring.
Photos from top left: The DMHF Freedom trail team (Alphawhisky71, Kier group, KMF metal, and TheRealBerghouse) who collectively raised over £40,000 for charity, An epic journey across northern Sweden, Challenge – no mans fort in Solent, Trekking in Nepal, Shooting the weirs at the Annual River dove paddle, triumphant having successfully completed the Dart 10K open water event for the second time
What does adventure mean to you?
An adventure for me is anything which gets you off the hamster wheel of life breaking the daily monotony we all experience. Step outside your front door and set your compass for the opposite direction. Try something regularly in an unfamiliar environment. Something simple like spending the evening under the stars in your bivvy bag with a tasty beverage in hand, or an open water swim in your local lake. Enjoy simple experiences such as seeing the sunrise or sunset, listen to the dawn chorus rouse you from a restful sleep under the stars. These do not have to be grand or expensive adventures, just make it happen.
What have you learned from having an adventurous lifestyle?
For me travelling on foot is the only way to truly explore and appreciate different places, people and cultures. In addition, I have forged some great friendships whilst walking alongside people who were initially strangers to me.
How has life changed because you make time for adventures/ activities that you love?
It has got me out of some dark times in the past for sure. The outdoors is a therapy that we all should embrace, it’s a natural tonic. I feel more relaxed after being involved in adventures and it fuels my desire for making more. Just sitting at home planning your next one creates that positive anticipation, something to look forward to, an inspiration to go and get those dates in the diary!
How do you motivate yourself to keep an adventurous approach to life when you need to push yourself over the hump?
I find that having a challenge or two in your diary is an excellent motivator when the dark nights and mornings have you firmly planted under the duvet or on the sofa! Using technology such as Strava to track your activity and benchmark performance, also having a training partner is a huge help. This serves as a real incentive not to skip that early morning session or bail and let yourself down.
What helps you to adopt a positive mindset?
Be grateful for what you have in life, your family and friends. There are always others in need or less fortunate out there. Let go gracefully and accept things that just are not meant to be in your life. Spread some positivity to those around you. If you are living in the past, you may be depressed. Looking too far in the future causes anxiety. Be in this moment now and enjoy it! I get more out of giving and sharing my experience and knowledge with people these days than anything else.
It’s priceless and I recommend that you try it too!
What piece of advice were you given that you took to heart and used with good effect?
Do not be afraid of failure! The fear of failure stops many of us from attempting challenging events or expeditions. If you don’t succeed, learn from the experience and put it to good use next time. Sometimes the elements are against us! Accept defeat graciously… it’s not all about the summits. Many a time I’ve been beaten back by the conditions only to experience something else special on an alternative unplanned route.
What piece of advice would you share from your experience?
It sounds like a cliché however, anything really is possible if you want it badly enough. Your brain is the biggest muscle in your body – coach it to your advantage. The mind will tell you to give in long before the body will! My Commando training taught me that and I reflect on it often when the going gets tough.
Who inspires you to keep adventure as part of your life?
I have a huge admiration for the early polar explorers Scott and Shackleton. I get inspiration from that early age of exploration, where people stepped into the unknown at the ends of the earth with poor kit and equipment all in the spirit of adventure. Today. friends and family inspire me with their encouragement. I always try to fundraise for deserving charities when I pursue my adventures.
With all my heart I would like to thank Andrew for sharing his passion for adventure, inspiring us all us all to try new things, and reminding us that we can all make a difference to ourselves and others. Keep adventuring Alphawhisky71 and enjoying your life’s adventure.
Look out for #AdventureSeries No.6 – launching 1/12/17
Check back on 1/12/17 to read all about my mystery guest and the challenges that she has faced in the pursuit of her life’s adventure!