• GlennValentin

5. Crossing the Pyrenees (with a unicorn)

Big: Hiking 800 km with 45,000 altitude meters was a big challenge. The logistics made it even more difficult: at some points it was hard to find water sources, villages (read: food) were often 30-40km apart, I had to take care of my dog and support the company of a unicorn with fluctuating moods.

Right: Honestly, I don't know if this was the right thing to do. Or at least, the right time. Of course, I love nature. Crossing the Pyrenees was a dream of mine since I moved to this region, and if you want to become a professional adventurer... you have to do adventures. But my financial situation actually didn't allow me to leave on this trip. That's what made me feel in a hurry most of the time. And feeling in a hurry probably was the main reason I pushed Chopko too much, so I had to leave him injured with a friend at home after 1/3th of the trip.

Attractive: The Pyrenees are wonderful. That's what attracted me. I was also curious how I would deal with fatiguing the body over an extended period of time.

Visionary: As said above, I want to become a professional adventurer. And how much 'head in the clouds' that might sound like, I know it is possible. I interviewed more than 50 adventurers (for a book that will be published in 2021) and learned how they did it. It is going to be brutally hard, but I have what it takes.

Emotional: This adventure got me emotionally so deep. At times it got me to dark places I've never been before. Dark places where I felt a deep hate and incomprehension for humankind (How can we be so stupid to destroy our health and our planet for the sake of things like comfort, status and being convenient to the expectations we imagine other have of us?????), and even the very dark question whether I still want to take part of that world...

Years ago, I heard the life story of Sylvester Stalone, the man behind Rocky. I remember thinking to myself: "How far can you go for your dream?"

Today, I find myself almost in a similar position. During my crossing I received some unexpected bills and taxes. Now I am completely broke and have to lend money to my parents. Luckily, I didn't have to sell my dog to someone like Sylvester, but more than I want to I have to leave him to others because I simply don't have the time for it.

In January 2019; I felt terribly unhappy with myself, my job and my life. I wanted to change everything and up until grinded so hard. I've read over 70 books, I did a Vipassana-mediation (which a lot of succesful people refer to as one of the hardest things they ever did), I'm almost finished writing my second book, I learned to step up to the most beautiful women on the street, say they look gorgeous and sometimes managed to get on a date with them, I followed a course in social skills, I trained like a fool for a full-distance triathlon and went digging in my physical reserves during this Pyrenees crossing. So much work inside, and the only visible result on the outside is an empty bank account...

I can only remind myself to Paulo Coelho's words in the Alchemist: "Many have died of thirst while they could see the palmtrees on the horizon."

I absolutely hate paperwork and that's what drowning me now... the fact of living in France doesn't make things easier... there are so many different instances, so many rules and even more limitations. That's why my first book still isn't legally published, that's why I still don't have a company, that's why I got bills I didn't expect...

But I know I have gold in me, as we all have. The handful of people that read an illegal copy of my first book told me it inspired or even changed them. The second book will be even better. All these struggles are getting me to a level in which I start to have the mental strength to break records. The few followers on Instagram told me my posts made them smile everyday... These little pats on the back from these people give me the drive to continue...

Because if I can't live my dreams, why, then, am I even alive?

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