Inspiration can come from surprising sources sometimes. When things get tough, I like to remind myself of who and what inspires me. Here are some of them, in no particular order.

Ben Fogle: I’ve always been a huge fan of his. I didn’t watch Castaway regularly, but on the episodes I saw, he always caught my eye. OK and he’s rather good looking too…..I’m going all the way to London just to hear him give a talk at the Royal Geographical Society in May and I’m very much looking forward to meeting one of my heroes! He’s put himself through some incredible challenges, but I think the trips where he’s been guiding others, and especially the Extreme Dreams series where he led groups of very diverse ordinary people, but with either physical disabilities or  other mental challenges, on incredible treks really showed his phenomenal mental strength. Turns out he learnt a lot from them too.

Sir Steve Redgrave: Not as good looking as Ben Fogle, but I’ve been a fan of Steve’s for a long time. I met him about 10 years ago on a sponsored walk for Diabetes UK, and he was lovely. One of very few Olympians with diabetes, he was an inspiration to so many diabetics not to let such a condition stand in the way of his dreams.

Max the Minimed Moose was given to me by a very old friend nearly 15 years ago. He’s the mascot of Minimed Medtronic, who make the insulin pump I use, and as you can see in the picture, he has an insulin pump too. On the back of his Tshirt is the slogan: “Don’t let diabetes hold you back”. And I think of that often when blood sugar levels are conspiring against me. Max is only little, but true to his Canadian roots, he’s a great adventurer and loves to throw himself into all sorts of sporting activities. And when things don’t go right, he always offers to help by attacking the offending person or thing with his antlers, or jumping up and down on them until they surrender.

CK is a great friend of Max. He’s from Australia and has his own TV show called the Koala Brothers, where his screen name is Buster. He’s much more laid back and reserved than Max, but as you’ll know if you’ve ever watched the show,  he’s always “here to help” and is very good at hugs. Whenever there’s a problem, he thinks about it logically and comes up with a practical solution. He’s also a very good doctor, and flies around in his plane checking up on anyone with health problems. He’s also a big fan of cricket, and loves to umpire with a cold beer in his paw (playing is a bit too tiring, but if you need him to help out, he’ll have a go).

Completing the trio is Tigger. As you’d expect, Tigger is very bouncy and is always full of energy. His forte is the motivational side of things and he always advocates self-belief. When you’re feeling down and think that something’s impossible, or that you just don’t want to do it, he’ll be there telling you that you can do anythig you put your mind to, as long as you do it with a bounce. He’s also very good at pushing people out of bed in the morning when they don’t want to get up.

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