Mark Hines: Ultra Endurance Adventure Racer, Academic and Writer
Mark Hines is an exercise physiologist and biomechanist who competes in the toughest ultra-endurance races in the world. He has raced in rainforests, across deserts, over mountains, and in the sub-Arctic and Arctic.
Mark can be found running along trails in Britain, often in training for his next race. He lectures to students and to those interested in running, fitness and the great outdoors.
Mark also spends time conducting research in his labs, writing books on health, fitness and his adventures, and plotting that next big thing. He is currently looking for corporate sponsors to help fund a record-breaking expedition to the Geographic North Pole. Mark is planning to spend 2014 on races, adventures and expeditions in the UK, Europe, India and the Himalayas, before moving to the Yukon in 2015.
"Life is far too short and precious to miss out, preoccupied with a pursuit of the unnecessary. It might be made more comfortable with more money, more and/or better status symbols and that next promotion - and these might even bring a certain amount of satisfaction, for a while - but these are nothing more than distractions.
In a world driven by our economies as they are, and an invented need for corporate and personal wealth, we seem to have become trapped in cycles of self-inflicted (but industry-supported) debt, and resolve to invest our whole lives in being a part of a finance-based system, and even wanting to show others how well we play that game. In that sense, life might be nothing more than some grand game of sudoku - engaging, stimulating, satisfying, but ultimately entirely pointless. We start, we fill in some gaps and we end.
Life is a game and nothing more: how we live nowadays seems a distraction from that which is truly important. I do not want to believe people lie on their deathbeds and reflect on how great they were at working tirelessly and making money. What makes you happy, deep down? What do you love doing? What is your passion? If you do not know, perhaps now is the time to find out. I love to travel, I love being with real friends and the people I love, and I am passionate about living life to the full.
I do not need to race for 430-miles across the Yukon in Arctic conditions, but I love pushing myself physically and mentally, finding myself on the edge and pushing through to a satisfying, enriching conclusion. I do it because it is what I am passionate about. I love nature and world's wild places, and I want to spend my time experiencing them as best as I can. I am also passionate about education and self-development, hence my priority is to complete my doctorate.
When I have a family I accept my lifestyle will need to be refined, but I will still have similar priorities. The challenge will be to ensure we are all still doing that which enriches us fully in the time we have. Work will be preferably part-time and from home (wherever home is), hence hoping to do well with my books. Travel and learning will be a huge part of what we do - experiencing the world and enjoying each other's company. Aside from that, the balance is to spend more time reading than watching television, being outside in beautiful country rather than sitting indoors, and pursuing my dreams rather than only ever reflecting on them. I like to help others achieve their goals too, or at least help them get onto the path they really want for themselves.
As a goal, mere satisfaction is not enough, although perhaps sufficient for those waiting for a life after death. For me, I need to know I am doing everything I can to live life to the full. Life is such a precious thing. The universe has been here for a little over 13 billion years, and the Earth just over 4 billion. Everything around us exists because of lifecycles, whether the life and death of stars or of the animals and plants composed of stardust. We have a few decades if we are lucky - between growing up and growing old - in which we can truly experience this amazing world around us, to our physical and mental potentials. Maybe one day our societies will be more advanced, utilising technology in place of a workforce, and leisure time will be prioritised as our privilege for being here. Until then, we just have to be more imaginative and daring, in finding ways to make our lifetime truly our own, and what we want it to be." MH
Marks books have been published as both ebooks and printed books:
Ebooks can also be read on computers, ipads, smartphones and so on, via the Amazon Kindle Reader Apps.
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