Meeting Jonathan Pearson
I must admit I failed
A few weeks have passed since I wrote my last blog post, “2015 New Year’s resolutions”. Have you kept up with your resolutions? Personally, I have been good at keeping some of them, but, at the same time I must admit I failed with being more regular in writing blog posts for ABSOLUTE 360.
Here I am though, with a new post which I hope you will find interesting and inspirational.
This blog post is going to be completely different from what you might have got accustomed to – I am going to deviate from the usual topics about wellness, fitness and healthy lifestyle and instead, tell you of a recent personal experience of mine, when I met Jonathan Pearson.
Who is Jonathan Pearson?
You might wonder who Jonathan Pearson is. Perhaps if I hadn’t met Jonathan in person and someone had asked me I would have said that Jonathan is a very good and loyal customer to ABSOLUTE 360.
Jonathan is a normal person who decided to embark in what I believe is a remarkable, brave and inspirational challenge. Jonathan is walking the length of Britain, from the Scilly Isles to the Shetland Islands, to raise money for charity. A bit more on the challenge, his reasons and the charities he has chosen to support, later on.
How did it all start?
Conversation between Jonathan and ABSOLUTE 360 started back in January this year. Jonathan was “shopping around” for technical clothing and apparel ready for the challenge ahead. He never came across far infrared clothing before and he was quite intrigued. I remember Jonathan asking a lot of questions, and rightly so, and making comparison to compression clothing as, at the time, he was looking at SKINS Compression Clothing.
After a few messages he decided to take the plunge and give ABSOLUTE 360 a try. He purchased a men’s crew neck short sleeve t-shirt and a pair of knee high socks.
I guess he must have been very happy with his initial purchase as more orders came through… men’s leggings, boxer shorts, more t-shirts and socks. If I recall right Jonathan probably owns the complete men’s product range along with some items from the Body Support range.
Public appreciation of his purchases soon followed on Twitter as well as our own website:
Great for recovery – As with all the Absolute products that I've tried, these socks are lightweight, wick well and are very comfortable. However, they also aid muscle recovery particularly when I wear them at night after a hard slog. They now form an important part of my post-hike routine alongside rehydration and stretching. They will definitely be in my bag for the upcoming Land's End/John O'Groats walk.
Fantastic t-shirt – Very comfortable, very light, wicks well, dries quickly, smells remarkably fresh even after vigorous multi-day activity and has become the go-to base layer for my Land's End/John O'Groats walk (along with the other one I've just bought).
Jonathan and I carried on conversing about our clothing, far infrared technology, Jonathan’s challenge… in the meantime more orders were coming through. I reached a point where I felt I wanted to lend my support to Jonathan and his worthy cause.
The challenge – The project
The project is called A Portrait of Britain. Jonathan will be walking the length of the country taking photographs of the people he meets along the way. The photographs will form the basis of a forthcoming exhibition – I have also been told that a book might come out from this challenge.
This is only part of the project. Jonathan’s aim is also to raise awareness of mental health issues and raise money for two very deserving charities, Mind, and Women in Need.
Jonathan suffers from bipolar disorder and this challenge is also aimed at helping him create a focus that helps him in dealing with his own mental health issue… along with getting fitter and, perhaps, losing a little weight!
Sunday 26th April I met Jonathan for lunch at the Rifle Volunteer in Saint Ann’s Chapel in Cornwall.
During our conversations I discovered that Jonathan’s route was going to come through Tavistock at some point. If time allowed I suggested we meet in person. Jonathan welcomed my suggestion and kept me posted of his progress so I could fit meeting up in my very busy schedule.
Luck had it that he was due to walk from Callington to Tavistock on Sunday. That was just perfect for me. Jonathan and I spoke on the phone mid-week to make arrangements and I said “if you are in agreement I am going to cycle to Callington to meet you, then we can walk to Tavistock together”. That was the plan until Saturday. Unfortunately Jonathan picked up a calf injury a couple of days prior so he opted to have a rest day on Sunday. We met for lunch instead.
Lunch turned into several hours of good, stimulating and varied conversations – the idea of this blog came from those conversations. I shared my thoughts with Jonathan who granted me permission to write this blog post.
A drive around Dartmoor National Park followed – Dartmoor Prison in Princetown was a must – until we stopped for coffee in Tavistock before I drove Jonathan back to his luxurious accommodation, a tent!
What can I say? It’s been an absolute pleasure to meet Jonathan Pearson and hear about his project and how open he was about his own life and mental health issues. I found him to be a very interesting and inspirational person.
I would encourage you to follow his progress on Twitter @portraitbritain as well as the A Portrait of Britain website portraitofbritain.co.uk where you can also make a donation.
Jonathan now also owns a pair of IR Calf Sleeves!