Friend of FINDRA: Ross Williams

Friend of FINDRA: Ross Williams

Hey, can you tell everybody where are you based and what you do?

Originally from the Isle of Mull and now living in Kendal, Cumbria. Sort of stuck in the motor trade, currently a Service Advisor for a family owned Jaguar Land Rover dealership.

How long has the outdoors been a part of your life?

All my life, growing up on the Isle of Mull I was always outdoors exploring and getting covered in mud. Growing up near a farm I used to disappear to the farm to see the cows being milked and watch the farmer on the tractors. As I got older I played football and had a bike for messing about on but never really appreciated my surroundings.

In my teenage years I spent a lot of time in the forests of Scotland at various motorsport events which normally resulted in getting eaten alive by midges. Moving to Cumbria made me feel at home and I soon felt settled. My real bike love for the outdoors came after I got out of a bad relationship, I was really at a very low point in my life and the 1st step to start building myself up was to get out and walk places. So I would go exploring forests and lakes in my free time and reignite my sense of adventure. The next step involved joining a walking group and start walking the fells bagging Wainwrights, something that I had never had the confidence for before.

What’s been your favourite trip or adventure?

I have had loads of great adventures especially recently with my partner and her lovely Labrador. My favourite adventure would be a spontaneous May bank holiday trip to Glen Coe a few years ago. A friend messaged me 2 days before to mute an idea of walking the Aonach Eagach ridge as the weather looked favourable.

We headed up on the Friday and called into the Clachaig Inn for food and decided we would set off that evening to camp on the summit of Am Bodach. We got to the summit and set up in time to make a brew and watch the sunset. We got up early in the morning, enjoyed some porridge and a brew as the sun rose then packed up ready to head across the ridge. Being on the ridge early was amazing, no one else could be seen for miles, the morning air was fresh and the view was stunning. The ridge is a great challenge which we both enjoyed with some technical sections that require some care. Looking back from Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh soaking up the amazing exposed ridge and absolutely buzzing. We descended down the path to the side of the Pap of Glen Coe to arrive back at the Clachaig Inn before lunch.

How do you find a balance between being active and life’s other responsibilities i.e. work and family?

Working in the motor trade and being customer facing makes it less straightforward to have an active life. Family life is about to become a little different with the arrival of our little boy in October. When possible I do like to cycle to work and then try and piece a loop together for the return journey home. Currently, I ride at least one evening a week sometimes more if time allows and the rest of the time is spent walking our Labrador.

Is there anyone who inspired your love of the outdoors?

My initial love of the outdoors came from my godparents growing up. Lately there are a number of people I know who have suffered from health issues and still push to get outside which inspires me to make the most of my time and get outside as much as I can.

Do you find that being outside has a positive impact on your wellbeing and mental health?

Definitely! After a day at work there is nothing better than heading out for a walk or jumping on the bike and heading out and recharging the soul. I definitely work to live and not live to work.

What is it about cycling specifically that you love?

Cycling is my main motivation to get outside. I mainly ride my mountain bike and am lucky enough to have great trails that I can ride from the doorstep. I have a gravel bike which gets occasional use mainly for exploring local bridleways.

When did you discover FINDRA?

I came across FINDRA after seeing Danny O’Callaghan’s posts on Instagram. I was instantly drawn to the products based on the values of the company and the quality of the products.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I was once told that a bike ride is not about how far you cycle but about just getting out and pedalling. I always get outside when I can, be it for 10 minutes or 5 hours it's time better spent than being inside

On writing this blog, what do you feel is the key motivational or inspirational message you would like to highlight to our followers that would inspire them to get outdoors more?

I would say the best medicine in life is to get outside and enjoy nature. There is no amount of medication that can give you as much energy and wellbeing as time spent outside.

Favourite Walk?

My favourite walk in the Lake District is the walk up to the summit of Blencathra via Halls Fell Ridge.

Favourite Quote?

Favourite Song?

Caledonia by Dougie MacLean. Makes me thinking about home on the Isle of Mull and how lucky I am to have grown up in such an amazing place.

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