Gillie Hammersley

Nature the outdoors is everything to me, it is freedom, freedom to feel calm and peaceful just walking or sitting, permission to relax and feel reflective watching the sunset, the excitement and hope of what watching the sunrise on a new day, it washes away my fears and my insecurities swimming in its cool calm waters but can also terrify the life into me ice climbing or running along a ridge, I feel alive outside, rain on my face, wind in my hair, it is part of me and I am part of it and all the living beings on this beautiful amazing blue planet.

As for moments that stick out in my life in nature it is always the sunrises and sunsets the peacefulness as the day ends and we can let it go and the hope a new day has when the warmth of the sun hits your face.

If your looking for the perfect day, it would be Ice climbing on The Ben, wake up in the dark, big challenging walk in, watching it get light, the sun rising, the jingle of gear getting kitted up and then the sheer joy of movement,making your way slowly and carefully almost meditative in state up the beautiful frozen rock and ice, heart pumping, barely breathing at times and other times controlling your breath from hyperventilating with fear, my mantra for not dying on these days”this is not the day” over and over in my head staying calm but all the time loving that feeling of just being alive, sitting at the top on a blue sky day and knowing that had you died today it would have still been the perfect day because life doesn’t get much better than this.

I have to be outdoors, it is a fundamental need not just snippets of time to my next adventure but living as close to nature as I can, biviing in the mountains, washing in the lakes and waterfalls opening up the van door and it just being all around me, I feel complete, part of nature it’s where I have to be or I get agitated anxious and upset.

The most beautiful place I’ve been to… Nepal without a doubt, it changed me forever , I could no longer just work my life away after visiting here, I could no longer just make money,it got inside of me and was a massive wake up call it’s where heaven and earth meet, the clouds are mountains, the air is easy to breath, fresh and thin not clogged up with pollution, the stars at night, the brightest and most beautiful I have ever seen with no light pollution, the golden sunrise around the valley over Everest is one of those moments that stays inside you forever and the people are so happy and polite and chat away to you endlessly, they have very little but in that have so much. I flew back into Heathrow and looked around me and sat on the floor and cried because at that moment I saw through all the consumerism, saw all the pain and suffering of the people around me stuck in this western world and I hated it.

Barriers and Goals… Years ago my goals were to push myself harder, faster, further and I still have that inside me but to do that means giving up precious time with Tigger my 19 year old four legged best friend who can no longer train with me for those events, so I’m putting that on hold to spend time with him in nature as best we can right now but watch this space. I want to carry on seeing the world and all it’s beauty but There in lies a barrier as flying is no longer an option as I have become an Earth Protector my goal is to protect this beautiful blue planet as best I can making big and small sacrifices and trying to change bigger policies that will bring the systematic change we desperately need. To stop humans destroying not only everything on this earth but fundamentally themselves as well. This years goal is to protest more, get arrested more, be so much more.