GLAD HE DIDN’T QUIT!
In a previous edition of ‘Midweek Musings’ we had referred to an Apple TV series called Long Way Up, which documents actor Ewan McGregor and his friend’s Charlie Boorman’s extraordinary 13,000 mile journey across South and Central America on electric motorcycles. Starting from the southernmost tip of South America, the friends traveled through 12 countries and finally ended their journey in Los Angeles 100 days later.
Long Way Up, incidentally, is third in a series of three incredible motorcycle journeys the two friends have made across continents. In Long Way Down, the second of the series, they travel 15,000 miles all the way from Scotland down to the tip of South Africa.
The first one is called Long Way Round, in which they bike across Europe, Russia and Canada, to New York City.
There is a particularly moving episode in Long Way Round when Ewan and Charlie are making their way through Mongolia. It is an excruciatingly difficult part of their journey as they travel through vast, muddy, rain-soaked plains and swollen rivers. Their bikes and vehicles get stuck in the mud innumerable times and their normally upbeat and cheerful demeanour starts becoming more and more pensive and grim.
There is a point when things get so bad, they are tempted to cut short their travels through Mongolia and take an easier route through Russia instead. But something within keeps encouraging them to stay the course, and eventually they come across a small orphanage in Mongolia where they spend time with the children and staff there.
And that is where Ewan McGregor ends up meeting a little child, Jamyan, who later goes on to become his adopted daughter!
Many years later, Ewan still gets emotional as he thinks about how close he came to quitting that particular leg of the journey and how grateful he is that he didn’t, because if had, he would never have met his daughter.
In the words of poet Frank Stanton,
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Have a great week!