Dave Cornthwaite - Say Yes More

In this episode, we talk to Dave Cornthwaite who, a few days after we spoke to him, turned 40. Dave is an Adventurer and Community Leader and he'll be something else soon. Fifteen years previously, on the morning of his 25th birthday, Dave woke up at home in Swansea and spoke to his cat Kiwar. He had a 10 hour a day Playstation habit (Dave not Kiwar), a job he hated and a girlfriend he didn't like. Despite having everything he'd been told a successful adult needed. He didn't see any reason to be around. He was in his words . . . a loser. That was the moment . . . the moment he decided to swap negativity for positivity, the moment he decided to say yes more. Very quickly Dave was exploring Swansea on a skateboard . . . his first-ever skateboard. This was the start of a journey that lead very quickly to him breaking the world record for the longest journey by skateboard. . . Perth to Brisbane . . . 3618 miles. Many adventures have followed including paddle-boarding the Mississippi with alligators and Marathon DeSable, the world's toughest race. Many more have followed. It would be wrong to assume that Dave's conversation with his cat was a turning from which everything panned out just fine. What Dave has experienced is 15 years of real adventure . . . and all that comes with it. Dave has learned that the periods he feels most alive will inevitably be followed by periods of gloom . . . like long hangovers. But . . . on balance, Dave considers the ups to be worth the downs because he knows a 'just existing life' just isn't enough. "My mother went through all that pain bringing me into the world. The least I can do is make the most of life" Dave Cornthwaite

In this episode, we talk to Dave about:
  • the importance of articulating a vision when you're working in a team
  • the move from graphic designer to Adventurer
  • the move from adventurer to community leader
  • not wanting to wait for the bad thing to happen before making changes to his life
  • being a fortunate kid
  • having 18 different addresses by the time he was 18 (because his Dad was in the RAF)
  • not needing to make long-term friends because he was going to move on
  • being physically and mentally bullied at school
  • when football isn't enough
  • planning his suicide 
  • feeling there was something important inside waiting to get out
  • the deliberate act of escaping home so he could grow up
  • beginning to understand the importance of long-term relationships
  • understanding that nobody else cares what you do, you have to make it happen
  • university life 
  • becoming a football entrepreneur 
  • becoming a writer, storyteller and maker of small films
  • teaching himself graphic design so he didn't have to make the trip across town
  • being lost/having no direction
  • feeling there was something more to life
  • his 'crossing the threshold' moment 
  • the first step being late for work
  • understanding he had a negative approach to live 
  • starting to say yes instead of no
  • starting to explore the town in which he lived
  • the benefits of a cardboard programmer
  • wanting to impress himself
  • his habit of not spending very much
  • the skateboard that became the turning point
  • breaking Jack Smith's world record for the longest journey by skateboard
  • understanding it's not what you earn, it's what you don't spend
  • understanding that the feeling of being alive comes with higher highs and lower lows and that it's worth it
  • the importance of taking small steps / one day at a time
  • the importance of focusing on what you want to achieve NOT what you want to avoid
  • post-trip book writing depression
  • the joy of being in nature
  • finding the things that bring him joy in life
  • turning pub ideas into reality
  • ten years living out of a rucksack
  • combating post-expedition depression with expedition 1000 - having the next thing to look forward to
  • paddleboarding the Mississippi with alligators
  • wild camping  
  • Yestival, a festival where people share their stories of adventure.
  • how one step leads to another
  • why an 'existing life' isn't enough

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