James Ketchell: The Living Definition of “Extreme”
Known to his fans as “Captain Ketch,” British adventurer James Ketchell has big plans in store for the year 2013. A lifelong extreme sports fan and motorcycle-racing enthusiast, Ketchell’s taste for the extreme was almost ended in 2007 when he was involved in a devastating motorcycle accident in which he broke an arm, both legs, and dislocated an ankle. Having been told by doctors that there was a good chance he would never fully recover from his injuries, Ketchell has made it his mission to do more than just recover. Not to be dissuaded from his ambition for adventure, beginning in January 2013 as the culmination of a grueling five years of post-accident training, Captain Ketch will begin a yearlong trek across the globe in which he plans on rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, climbing Mt. Everest, and cycling around the world…and he intends on doing it all in less than a year’s time.
This type of adventuring isn’t new to Ketchell; he has previously rowed across the Atlantic in 2010, as well as climbed his way to the peak of Mt. Everest in 2011, so he is familiar with what the year has in store for him. It seems that those extreme adventure trips weren’t enough for Ketchell, even though he had only of late recovered from the very serious injuries that he sustained in his accident, and in fact had just the opposite effect. According to Ketchell, his ambition for adventure only increased after rowing across the ocean, leaving him more enthusiastic than ever about his first expedition up Mount Everest. And after his first trips across the Atlantic and up Mt. Everest, Ketchell says that he had such great experiences that he’s been planning on repeating them ever since. Add to that plan a lifelong desire to circle the globe on his bicycle, and a new plan for the ultimate round-the-world adventure that Ketchell calls “Pushing Limits” was born.
Ketchell plans to start in on his global triathlon in January 2013 by rowing across the Atlantic accompanied by his good friend Chris Gleghorn, who is an ex-Royal Marine in the British Navy. Their sea-faring journey will begin in the Canary Islands, from which point they will paddle up and row approximately 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, taking between 50 and 60 days, and ending up in Barbados. Traversing the ocean during January and February will allow Ketchell and Gleghorn to take full advantage of the current and wind patterns that exist during that time of year. After the first leg of his adventure, Ketchell plans to move on to Nepal where he will be taking on his next assignment which is climbing to the peak of Mt. Everest, a journey that will find him hiking across some very unforgiving terrain and that he estimates will take him over three months to complete. That is going to take some serious skill to survive and make it to the destination along the treachery paths. But having made the climb once before, Ketchell is confident in his abilities to do this again and show to the world that he still has in him to achieve feats he is known for. Ketchell plans on climbing with the same Sherpa he climbed with in 2011, and in addition to the climb itself, he intends to document the culture and story of the people of the Himalayas. For the final leg of his colossal trip, Ketchell will come back to London from where he will begin a round-the-world bicycle trip all the way through 20 countries, in which he plans to travel 18,000 miles in six short months, and returning to London before the beginning of January 2014. If all goes as planned, Ketchell will have completed his entire awe-inspiring journey around the globe in less than 365 days.
Although his “Pushing Limits” project won’t begin for several more months, Ketchell’s story is already an inspiration to many people. Due to the devastating nature of the injuries sustained in his motorcycle accident, doctors had given Ketchell a not-so-promising prognosis, warning him that he may never get back his ability to walk without some type of impairment.
Now, after having completely recovered from what appeared to be a career threatening injury, Ketchell plans on making a comeback by doing much more than just walking, and he plans to capture his ultimate adventure story on the documentary “Pushing Limits” that will air in 2014 after he returns from his journey. It is going to be a six part documentary, detailing everything about his expedition to all these destinations. And for those of his fans who can’t wait until next January to watch him begin his round-the-world adventure, Ketchell plans on cycling across the United States from San Diego all the way to Miami in July 2012 as part of his training for the upcoming year. Fans will be able to follow Captain Ketch’s cross-country adventure on his documentary called “Coast to Coast.” Ketchell also finds time amidst his training efforts to egg on and encourage others by speaking at various venues about topics such as setting and reaching goals, meeting challenges, achievement, overcoming adversity, and helping others along the way. This man knows how to create an impact in humans. He sure does.
Although pushing his own limits and living his dream adventure is certainly a huge goal for Ketchell, neither personal fulfillment nor the hope of being an inspiration to others are his sole objectives in the upcoming year’s journey across the world. Aside from adventuring, Ketchell’s biggest passion is raising funds for children’s charities. This tough man has a softer side too. Doesn’t he? On his first solo trip across the Atlantic, Ketchell raised almost £10,000, or $16,000 for the NSPCC, an organization that helps prevent child abuse, and he has similar plans for his “Pushing Limits” project. Ketchell states, “Throughout the journey I will be linking schools around the world sharing stories of adventure and educational information, while raising awareness for a wonderful children’s charity ‘The ELIFAR Foundation.’” The ELIFAR Foundation is a children’s charity that has the goal of improving the quality of life for severely disabled children by providing financial assistance to families to purchase specialized equipment and pay for therapies that would not otherwise be available. So if you can’t wait until January 2013 to see what Captain Ketch is up to, you can find more information about his upcoming journey, as well as make donations to The ELIFAR Foundation, on Ketchell’s website. Fans can also follow Ketchell on Twitter