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Beyond the Horizon: Extreme Adventures at the Edge of the World Hardcover – 25 Sep 2014
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The incredible story of one man's journey from international rugby player to world record breaking extreme adventurer.
About the Author
Born in 1977, Richard Parks is a former Welsh international rugby player turned extreme athlete and adventurer. When he's not travelling, he divides his time between Cardiff, Sheffield, and London.
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Richard Parks overcame what appears to have been, having read the book, an almost complete physical and mental breakdown by re-discovering his core strength. The strength which saw him take on and compete on a professional level for Wales in his much loved sport of Rugby Union.
The book concentrates on much of his preparation for the challenges and the real physical and mental torture he endured during the events. It's a hard hitting, factual account of one man, his team of helpers, his ambition and Richard's story has now been filmed for a Channel Five documentary.
I enjoyed the read but have one 'niggle'. There's enough here to have made at least one more book. The detailing is sketchy in places because too much has been crammed into one volume. I'd have preferred more. More photos, more interviews, more depth. I'd have also enjoyed more of Richard's rugby union background and family history to add character and texture to a man who becomes obsessive and driven in his pursuit of winning. A little more balance would have been a good thing.
Good book. Good read. Recommended.
The only thing that really bugged me was the little swipes at those who take on challenges without having 'earned' the right. That's the commercialism of adventure which is necessary and benefits such challenges directly (guiding fees, books etc) and indirectly (revenue for Rab to allow innovation...). Jagged Globe probably wouldn't have taken on his expedition finance risk without a queue of the less entitled paying to try ;)
This book grips and captivates from the very first page and portrays a very human story of an agonising struggle with and through adversity. The achievements that are described in graphic detail within this book are truly breathtaking!
His incredible guts and determination to face up to and wrestle his fears is the true inspiration for me.
He tells his story with complete honesty and humility and is a powerful example to anyone of what can potentially be overcome, by simply facing up to your fears.
Richard Parks is a very rare breed. He naturally embraces both the Yin & Yang - steely toughness coupled with warmth and compassion, in equal measure.
He also has the emotional intelligence to fully recognise that he could not have achieved his success, without the selfless help of others.
Understanding the importance of teamwork of course stems from his rugby career, but for me there is a sense that he has further developed a deeper appreciation, by paradoxically spending long periods in solitude.
Meticulous preparation is the cornerstone of how Richard Parks goes about his business. It's clearly evident he's given the same level of preparation in writing his first book and the reason I've given it 5 stars.
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