Helen Skelton is a television presenter, journalist, adventurer, multiple world record holder, and charity fundraiser extraordinaire. In this extract from the introduction to her book Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures, Helen writes about what helped her become the adventurous woman she is today.
I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere – well, it was the middle of nowhere to everyone else. To me it was a world full of limitless adventure. My brother and I and our friends played out later than we should have, we climbed trees we weren’t supposed to and made up games as we went along. I will be eternally grateful and in awe of my parents. They taught me to see the fun and opportunity in every situation, encouraged me to get muddy and told me never to allow fear to stand in my way.
I’ve always liked being outdoors more than I liked being indoors, and I’ve never liked being told I can’t do something. I am no runner, but I’ve run an ultra-marathon through the Namib Desert. I am no kayaker, but I’ve kayaked down the Amazon, one of the biggest rivers in the world. I am certainly no high-wire walker and never will be, yet I walked a wire between the towers of Battersea Power Station.
I am very lucky that as a television presenter, I’ve been a part of some massive adventures in the world’s wildest places. I’ve always been accompanied by an experienced support team and often my adventures have been for charity or to raise awareness about a cause. I know I will never be as accomplished as the adventurers I admire, but they inspire me to think and dream big. I’ve written this book because I want to share what I’ve learned: anything is possible if you put your mind to it and try.
Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures by Helen Skelton, illustrated by Liz Kay ISBN: 9781406387643 (Walker Books) £12.99
To celebrate National Non-Fiction November, Walker Books has allowed the FCBG to publish the following exclusive selection of ten double page spreads from Helen’s book Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures.