Earlier this year we set out to find two new amatuer athletes to sponsor for a 12 month period as we want to help support local athletes on their journey. We currently have a team of four incredible and successful professional athletes – Kare Adenegan (T34 Wheelchair Racer, medalist at Rio 2016 and most recently at London World Para Athletics), Phil Harris (British No.1 men’s figure skater), Harry Mattick (Team GB men’s figure skater) and George Semple (current World Champion Irish Dancer).
However, we wanted to find not necessarily a future world or olympic champion but someone who is inspirational, motivated and is a great role model to other ordinary folk! Then we met Gurinder!!! I can best describe Gurinder as a massive wave of energy, motivation and get up and go. Always cheerful, curious, gregarious and chatty but can focus and be serious in an instant.
I hope he won’t mind me describing him as not being a natural athlete, but someone who works incredibly hard on his fitness and puts so much energy and focus on learning what he needs to do and what support he needs. A true inspiration to anyone who thinks they can’t do what they dream of. Let me hand over to the man himself….
Gurinder Singh Search for a Star Introduction
The Journey Begins
My story is just like any other persons story. I was a everyday person living a everyday lifestyle, searching for something more.
Back around 2006 I was at a local academic gym, throwing around weights and badly injuring myself. I always believed in health and fitness, but I was going about it all the wrong way. Then I came across Joel (who later helped found Elite Therapy). From speaking to him I gained a greater insight into a fitness based journey. I learned there’s more to health and fitness, than getting bigger and lifting heavy weights. Soon after this I began reading more into lifestyles, psychology, world travel, the human condition and self exploration. This helped me appreciate there’s a lot more ‘out there’ and I wanted to know more.
As the years passed I tried different arts and disciplines. I spent a fortune traveling the world and learning about different subjects. But the money was not important, it was the end goal which I was searching for. A Economics friend of mine once said to me “you either choose money or time in life”. I read into this as “you either accept the world made for you or look for another (and do something about it)”.
I continued to learn and explore. I visited seminars, travelled the world, tried various sports, spoke to various masters and craftsman to find that missing purpose. Yes I lost money, fell flat on my face many times, but I was learning and more importantly finding out what was not right for me.
Its now 2014. I’m moving around the UK and after a few months traveling and working in Latin America, I find myself yearning to go back to this beautiful land. A world of magic, laughter, energy and dance. Its the one place I felt truly free and at peace.
But in the UK, I was not taken in by the travel brochures and the modern tourist traps which most travel companies will try to sell. I then took a risk. I learned Its important to take risks, otherwise I would never grow and learn. I took massive pay cuts and worked various jobs which had no long term security. Some of the jobs were based in the outdoor sector and I learned more about the out door lifestyle and long term travel in different countries. I began meeting more inspirational people such as the military, explorers and media companies who travel the world. Everyday my desire to travel and explore Latin America grew and grew. Ok, so I found a purpose, but something was missing, what was I going to do there?
I decided I wanted to go for over a year, possibly 2 or more years. And if I was to do this, then I needed to devote every spare second of the day to this dream. Because to be honest that’s all it was at this point, a dream in my head. And it remained a dream until 2016.
By 2016 I had learned some outdoor survival and trekking skills. I was slightly more immune to living and roughing it in the out doors (although I have a long way to go). Again I was left with the question ‘what was I going to do in Latin America’. After reading into the subject and my own thoughts I again took another risk! I said to myself I was going to cycle the Americas (Karl Bushby’s Book: Giant Steps did it for me. It is a book about a ex-military personal who walks the planet for many years. A truly amazing book. He’s been walking almost non-stop since 1998).
I said to myself this guy is trained and amazing and others like him are very skilful, but they are human. Just like me, human, flesh and blood. So what makes these people different, their ability to live extreme lifestyles, what gives them the edge? Since then the outdoor skills was placed on the back burner, and I devoted more attention to my physical and mental training. I believed now that I must make myself more resilient, mentally tough, emotionally flexible and physically strong so that I am able to adapt to all of life’s circumstances. Only then could I accomplish such a challenge. I continued to find more inspirational people and organisations (and less taken in by commercial companies). This was a amazing experience. Because finding these resources on a shoestring budget gave me determination and helped me focus. Obviously Elite Therapy was one of the main organisations that supported me! From this point I started creating a team of people and thoughts around myself. I found this is important because most days will not go as planned and I need all the support I can get for my dream to become reality.
Its now March 2017. I have little work for the next few months and even less money. But I use this to my advantage. This gives me the one thing you cant buy… time! By now I have completed two 160 mile mini cycle tours (West midlands to London). I begin to plan my first major Cycle Tour… 550+ miles through West Europe. Blog 2 to follow: Western Europe by Bike.
Photo above: Gurinder? Is that you…?