The Year 2020 marks our 10th Anniversary
What better way to finish off the year/decade than to spend the last couple of hours running and walking, the “new” Ras Dewi Sant Marathon Route (well 12 miles of it). During the 3hrs 18 mins this took me. The solitude and beauty of the coast path was ideal to reflect on the time that’s been and to dream of what the future might hold. As I plodded my way around, my thoughts drifted in and out of the last 10 years, with the following thoughts;
On one hand you could say, where has the time gone and can 2010 really be a decade ago. Whilst on the other hand, I look back on certain things and think that seems like a lifetime ago.
Now what started as a bit of fun 10 years ago has certainly taken many twists and turns, there’s been loads of ups and a few downs!
5 years ago, the hobby became fulltime employment. I can’t say it’s become a job, more a vocation. (when I say I’m going to work, I get funny looks from those who do actually have to go to work)
Whilst reflecting over this period, time has not only seen the business grow and change, but much wider shifts as well to the likes of Society and of course to the people around us. Time and age and wear and tear has caught up with some of us. Whilst for others we have seen them come of age, which has been a pleasure to watch.
First Up – The Business
We started off 10 years ago as Man-Up UK with one event and about 40 customers. Roll on 10 Years we are now Muuk-Adventures with 8 events and an adventure activity business, which between the two attract about 3000 plus customers annually.
Looking back my initial thought is, how did this happen? Well there was/is no magic potion and not wanting to (but I will) use cliché, it has been long hours, lots of meetings, lots of trial and error, lots of help and support and did I mention long hours and help and support from some very good friends and great volunteers.
The highlights of these 10 years have been many, things like seeing events such as Ras Dewi Sant grow to what it is, having people Swim around green scar, been involved in Tour de Shane. Hosting the brawl in Berea, running bootcamps and many more, but I think to look more deeply at the achievements my favourites and in no particular order have been the following.
- Watching Rich Simpson becoming the first person to do the Pembs Coast Path in 3 Days
- Obtaining our ALAA Licence to take groups of U18s on Water based Activities.
- The early days of Walking the Coast Path with Carwyn figuring things out (not making it up)
- The banter and fun at the Whitesands Challenge and the After parties
- Running on Ramsey Island
- Having the Tour de Shane based at the Bishops Palace.
- A meeting with Sean Holley in Pont Abraham service station
- Coasteering and all that it brings with it, with groups and families alike
The Change in Society
When we started, social media was in its infancy and we used it for our benefit to create a little thing. We used it to have “inappropriate banter” with each other, to build up the anticipation, create rivalries and after the event to take the piss out of any indiscretions on the day (including and mainly our own).
Now this statement is a sweeping one!
As good as Social Media has been for creating things and helping all sorts of businesses flourish, its been a bit of a nightmare too. You crack a joke, try and have a little bit of banter or heavens forbid say something slightly controversial or have a difference of opinion and you have got to be prepared for a keyboard warrior to come to the defence of all those you may have upset and to tell you what your opinion should be! Yes debate is good, seeking clarification is right but do you have to be rude, personal and an arse about it?
Although I have not totally escaped the wrath of the KBW over the years, overall we have been lucky, and I think this luck has been down to the fact that 99.9% of our customers have been good old eggs. Well let’s be honest to take part in most of our stuff, you have got to be a certain type of person! And I’d like to think that we try to be honest if people have queries!
But overall this growing trend has been my biggest bug bare over the decade. This Christmas I’ve seen adverts on the TV asking people to think before posting negative comments! So, this is not just me then!!
I hope and not naively that the next 10 years, will see us all become a bit more tolerate of each other and that when things go wrong we look to ourselves first, be honest with your own short comings and sort those out, before we blame everyone else! That way we stay in charge of our own destiny and can keep moving forward.
The People around us
The people I have meet and known over the past 10 years could and should’ve been a section on the above favourite points of the Muuk-Adventures, because it is without doubt the number one factor and what has kept me going.
I’ve meet so many people over the years, I can’t always remember the names but the faces and stories stay with me. Its been great talking to these people, listening to their experiences and learning from them.
Now those who know me very well might not agree with that, as I do tend to say that people annoy me and can be dismissive of others. Well that’s true to an extent. I’m not a fan of crowded places and haven’t much time for negative people or those that talk through their backsides. But one on one chats with interesting people or people who are open to adventure is a totally different, And again I feel lucky as the vast, vast majority of people we meet are like this.
A saying I’ve used many a time over the past 10 years is
“People will either drain you or inspire you, so choose them wisely”
And this is something I will definately be taking into the 20’s with me. However I can hand on heart say, that many of those who I have meet along the way have not only inspired me but have become regulars, friends and even advisors. People who will pop down St Davids and ring you to go for a drink. I love the fact that some of them started years ago doing our events as a challenge for themselves and are now either on the side-lines watching their kids or even better competing with them. That is what its all about.
On the downside of time passing is that age seems to be catching up on us (or some of us). Whilst there’s those annoying ones amongst us who seem to be getting better with age, (its just not fair).
It’s fair to say that at the beginning of the decade I believed I could do any physical challenge and had dreams of climbing Everest now as 2020 approaches some days I and my knees wish I lived in a bungalow!!!!!
So if I had to sum up the 10 years and ask the questions has it all been worth it? Has it been a success? And where do we go?
- Well over the years I think its fair to say that we achieved what we set out to, which was;
- inspire more people to swim, run, bike.
- Enable more people to explore Pembrokeshire,
- To help local businesses in the economical wheel.
- And dare I say it, To earn a living!!
Yes there has been some downs along the way, we’ve come across some people that have different views, some of which have led to minor conflicts of a sort, but these are few and far between and unfortunately all part of creating something.
So what will the next decade bring.
More of the same I hope, getting the events to where we want to be, create some new ones, grow our activity business and seizing the moments and taking the chances that present themselves!!
On a personal note it will be to keep the friends I have and to make new ones along the journey, to use the knowledge gained over the years to develop myself and finally to tackle some of the big challenges I have always wanted to do.
Because the sad reality is that if I do not use the next 10 years to do the lifelong challenges and journeys I have always wanted to do, I may have to settle for the fact that I will never do them!!!! As this is could well be my last decade of being able to achieve a few of them (A scary thought) And in the end you only regret the things you didn’t do!!!!!!
So on that Note a Happy New Year and New Decade to you all, I hope the adventure inside you, no matter how big or little flourishes and remember there is never a right time to do something, only a time to act, because tide nor time waits for no man (or woman)