Life's adventure awaits us all - The Alpine Coast to Coast

Life's adventure awaits us all. Now is OUR time. (Yes you!)

In August 2014 Charley and I are setting off on an adventure. It's not just any adventure, it's one we've been talking about and planning for eighteen months. The Alpine Coast to Coast. We'll be climbing the highest mountains in each of the 8 Alpine countries and I'll be cycling between them. It's also never been done before which excites me!

Alpine Coast to Coast - Sophie Radcliffe
Alpine Coast to Coast - Sophie Radcliffe

What the Alpine C2C means to me:

Everytime I think of the Alpine Coast to Coast I cannot believe our luck that we're going to do it. I cannot wait for the adventure aspect of it, the exploration of new countries, people, cultures and food. The incredible scenery, the many mountains we will climb and cycle, the time spent with Charley. When I think of the physical challenge it scares me and makes me question if I can do it. There's only one way to find out!

Over the last five years I've been developing my skills and reputation in the world of adventure and endurance sports. It's one of the strings to my bow that I'm excited about working on in Chamonix and developing through the Alpine Coast to Coast.

Alpine C2C mountains
Alpine C2C mountains
Alpine C2C mountains
Alpine C2C mountains

 Why challenge ourselves?

I believe that it is through exploring our physical and mental limits that we learn, grow and adapt. Through challenging ourselves that we achieve more and become more. I aim to break down the barriers and help you realise you can do so much more than you think. By setting ourselves challenges, we understand this to be true and develop confidence in ourselves which ripples down through all aspects of life.

Where did the Alpine C2C come from?

In 2012 I completed the Three Peaks Cycle Challenge with Sean Conway, it was the first adventure that really opened my eyes. It made me wonder if perhaps I could do something on a par with the adventures I've read and dreamt about for years. Would I be able to embark on a unique and challenging adventure that both scares and excites me? Would I be prepared to make sacrifices in my job, life and security in quest of this adventure?

Mountaineering and cycling are my two favourite sports, so I knew I wanted to do something that combined them. Charley and I got to brainstorming and came up with the idea of the Alpine Coast to Coast, think of it as a European version of the Three Peaks. Just a little longer, higher and further. Eeek!

I loved it. I didn't need any convincing, I knew this would be my big challenge.

I was far from ready to committing to it though.

Route planning for the Alpine Coast to Coast
Route planning for the Alpine Coast to Coast

In our safe zones

It was Christmas just gone by (18 months later) when I finally committed to making it happen. We were in Chamonix and planning our year ahead and having that conversation we'd had many times before about the prospect of moving to Chamonix. At that stage my whole summer was booked up with Ironman Wales, Ironman UK, Wimbleball 70.3 and The Transcontinental cycle race from London to Istanbul. I'd just started a new job with EpicTV which meant being in London for the forseeable future. Charley had committments at his company, he had a vested interest in staying there long-term and was making great progress financially and in his career as a Product Manager. We were in our safe zones. The future looked like security. Go and do events that I knew I could do, but do them faster. Earn money in a job I knew I could do. We had set ourselves up for a great life, but we knew we both wanted to create a different path, I was just scared at the prospect of it all.

We started planning ahead for 2015, which felt crazy!!!

"Let's move to Chamonix in 2015 and do the Alpine Coast to Coast then..." We looked at each other and knew instantly what they were thinking. We could well be sitting here in a year's time having exactly the same conversation. Saying "I'll do that when...."

...the time is right

...I've saved enough money

...I feel confident enough to leave my job

...I've paid off my debts

There's always something holding us back and we didn't want to be sitting in the same bar in years to come thinking

"wish we'd done that one thing we always wanted to do"

Making it happen

We decided then and there we were going to make it happen. What exactly IT was, we still had to figure out. Committing to the Alpine Coast to Coast wasn't just about going on an adventure, it was part of a bigger plan, a different way of living and a lot of change so it required thought and time to work out.

Taking a calculated leap of faith

We decided that if we wanted to be in Chamonix, do the Alpine Coast to Coast adventure, and live life on our terms, we could, but we would have to start. We'd have to make decisions and stick to them. We would have to work hard, be prepared to make sacrifices and walk away. We'd have to take that leap of faith from a place of security and embrace the unknown. We couldn't control how it was going to work out, we'd have to just go for it.

New beginnings

5 months later and we're here. We're in Chamonix and adjusting to our new life. Feeling happy. We're planning the Alpine Coast to Coast and training for it. We're focusing on building our futures in the way we want to live and doing work that combines our skills, passions and experience. We don't have all the answers, we don't have all our plans worked out - far from it. But we have ideas, momentum and passion. We will fail and we will succeed.

We'll be ok so long as we see both failure and success as opportunities.

There is some kind of adventurer in all of us. It doesn't have to be about climbing mountains, can be setting yourself a new goal of any kind; read more, play more, travel more, go outside more, learn more... whatever it is:

Life's adventure awaits us all. Now is OUR time. Go make yours happen.