We caught up with Rosie Swale Pope MBE from our #RosieRuns campaign to find out a little more about her incredible journey. Spending time with Rosie, it was clear to see that she had learnt a lot from her travels around the world. We were delighted that she would share some of her wisdom with us. Here is how our conversation went.
Hi Rosie. How are you?
I’m very well thank you, how are you?
I’m really good thank you. To kick things off, what is the #RosieRuns campaign?
Well, I am currently running 9,000km from Brighton to Kathmandu, to raise money for wonderful, PHASE Worldwide. And I am so proud to be doing it.
I’ve seen that you are running ‘unassisted’, what does that mean?
I am pulling everything I need in a little cart behind me, which is my home. I am pulling my home behind me! I am doing my own navigating, media and IT on the road. I buy my own food from supermarkets and budget my own spending. Whilst this is extremely difficult, the rewards are huge. Running unassisted helps me make more progress and meet more people along the way. I get to have more independence and make more meaningful connections.
When you are self-supported, the journey chooses you.
What is life like on the road?
Life on the road is like life at sea. It’s like shift work. You must do things at certain times of the day to do them properly. Everything takes time, you must manage your time well. For example, in icy conditions, its better to run at night when the ice is stronger, and you’re less likely to fall through a crack. However, on some roads, I would go to sleep at about 8pm to sleep through the most dangerous part of the day. You must constantly adapt. I’ll sometimes even go to sleep during rush hour when I’m running by busy towns. I also must factor in time for talking to people, because that’s very important for the journey.
What are some of the meaningful connections you have made with people on your journey?
People have hosted me and fixed my trailer (“Ice Chick”) when she breaks. I have also asked people to look after Ice Chick when I return home to the UK to talk about my experiences. I have also learnt a lot from the people I have met on the road. Everyone I have met has had something to teach me. Someone in particular I met a while back taught me that when you think you are finished, you always have at least 65% left. After they told me that, I later learnt it for myself. But it was thanks to them, enabling me, giving me that information, that I was able to learn it for myself. Much like how PHASE Worldwide works actually.
You’re right. Have you developed any clever ‘survival’ tricks whilst on the road?
The three-sock trick comes to mind.
What is that?
Everything is finite, resources are precious. Like they are for most people in the world. In the Sahara I learned the three-sock trick. I normally only have enough water to wash one sock well. It’s better to wash one sock well than two socks badly, because then the grit hurts both of your feet. So, I take three socks and rotate through them one at a time, washing each one as often as I can.
That’s incredible! What is one thing you have learned about the world?
Everything is connected. Plants, people and animals. When you release it to the world, your smile could save a life, or just cause a bit of fun. My run here is connected to people living thousands of miles away, way up in the Himalayas. If you are wondering where to put your energy, or what to support, just remember that the things you do will have huge knock on effects, and a small amount of support can go such a long way, in directions you wouldn’t expect.
How can people support the #RosieRuns campaign?
You can donate to the #RosieRuns campaign on the PHASE Worldwide website, the money will go towards supporting their work in Nepal.
Why are you supporting PHASE Worldwide on this Journey?
It’s because of their ethos of supporting self-empowerment. The communities we work with are filled with extremely talented people who only need tools and information. Like I have been enabled by people on my runs around the world, PHASE Worldwide helps people realise their true potential. I am proud to put my name on that.
That’s all of my questions, any final words you’d like people to hear?
Don’t be afraid to make baby steps. Small steps lead to bigger steps. You don’t have to take one gigantic leap when putting one foot in front of the other is enough to get you moving. That’s what I do best.
If you would like to donate to the #RosieRuns campaign, please click here and donate what you can to help us reach our fundraising target.