This month I’ll be climbing up a mountain. Four times in four days.
I’ll be putting my body through this in the name of charity; I’m doing the ‘Four Routes in Four Days’ challenge, climbing Mount Snowden four times, using four different routes, across four consecutive days to raise money for the Lily Foundation.
The Lily Foundation helps to fund research into mitochondrial disease, a currently incurable condition which affects cells’ ability to convert fuel into energy and leads to a whole range of physical and mental ailments, and in many cases, death. I’m taking on this challenge with a group of others, including Les Strong, Tony Gale and Jonathon Pearce, the charity’s chairman and uncle of Lily, their namesake.
I’m also doing this because I’m lucky that I can.
When I was 19 I had a serious car accident. I lost control of my car and it rolled, and then burst into flames leaving me with a broken neck, a broken back and a hangman’s fracture. I’d only just managed to work my way clear of the car when it exploded.
Above: My car after the accident
During my long recuperation I was told that out of 100 people who take injuries like mine, 95 won’t walk again. I approached my treatment with the mindset of a business builder: a positive mental attitude, refusal to give up until the job is done, and an absolute focus on the outcome rather than the difficulty of the moment. Although I believe my mindset played a large part in my recovery, the truth is that the big difference between the me that would be confined to a wheelchair and the me that’s going to climb up a mountain was a stroke of luck.
Whatever it was that looked favourably on me that day, the experience inspired me to push harder to achieve for myself, and to do as much good as I can. If the universe is going to look out for me, it would seem like a pretty poor thank you if I didn’t use my chance to help others.
That’s what I’ll be telling myself when I’m climbing that mountain, and that’s what’s going to get me to the top. Four times. In four days.
If you’d like to donate to the essential work of the Lily Foundation, you can sponsor me at https://www.justgiving.com/Dancor-Group, or you can find out more about the Lily Foundation and mitochondrial disease at http://www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk/.
Dominic Goodale is CEO of the Dancor Group.