I've never had a gun pointed at me, let alone had one shot at me, and so it really was an easy choice to add this item to the list.
Written on the eve of the shooting:
On the eve of possibly one of the most dangerous days of my life, I sit here with an intense bout of the flu, unable to think straight.
Tomorrow, I will ticking off Number 73- Getting Shot Whilst Wearing a Bullet Proof Vest. It's finally here.
I've been waiting here in Bogota for 10 days for this moment and it's only now, one day out, that I have actually thought about the ramifications. Of course I am completely confident that the bullet proof vest will work. How could it not, right? But as with anything in life, there is no certainty. What if for some ridiculous reason, the vest fails and I end up being shot, for real!?
With that in mind, I thought it might be a good time to jot down some of the thoughts and feelings that this flu allows right now.
Tomorrow, as I stand in front of that gun, awaiting a Colombian man to pull the trigger, this is what will keep a smile on my face- whatever happens after the bullet leaves the barrel:
As has been well documented, 4 years ago, a close friend of mine passed away. 'Detho', as he was known, passed away tragically, and his death rocked a community. Everyone was affected differently but for me I wondered whether that if Detho had known he was going to die that day, would he have changed what he was doing- not only on the day of his death, but the previous week, month, year and so on. The answer to this, I concluded, was no. I think in this sense Detho was lucky; he lived everyday exactly how he wanted and his final days were spent amongst friends, a place he loved to be, and he would not have changed this.
Immediately, I wrote a list of all the things that I had ever wanted to do and before long I had decided to drop everything in my life to complete this list. My thinking was that life is an opportunity to carry out your wildest desires and if you are not spending time chasing these things, well surely you're wasting time.
I left Australia 16 months ago on this journey which I called 100Things. It was the easiest decision that I had ever made. In this time I have seen a world that I could never have anticipated and felt things internally that I find hard to explain in words. I have felt the kindness of loved ones from complete strangers, seen how the benefits of a positive and open attitude can open up the world, and truly believe that anything is possible.
Unexpectedly my journey has resonated with many people around the world and it makes me very proud to say that 100Things has inspired others to look at life in a more positive way, and even encouraged people create their own lists. Who'd of though? Not me.
This, I would have to admit, is the most satisfying this about this journey, the ripple effect. Sure, every time I tick something from my list I reach a state of complete euphoria (often communicated with a scream or a big smile!) but the true story lyes behind this.
Opposed to what many people may naturally assume, I do not have much money. 100Things is what I have chosen to do with my life regardless of influences such as finance. I wanted to explore life and the feelings that it allows. Living outside my comfort zone made me discover who I am (an ongoing process) and being shot tomorrow is the next item in a long line of activities that makes me feel alive. I would not change this for anything.
The journey has become less about me and more about others and I want to take an opportunity to thank everyone for letting me into your lives. I never would have thought 2 years ago that i'd be invited to deliver the baby of a complete stranger (thanks Carmen), be invited to minster a wedding (cheers Peter and Osamu) or even become an official Guinness World Record holder!
With our heads we are allowed to dream and with our bodies we are able to achieve.
I have just booked a flight back to Australia which lands in Sydney on Thursday. I cannot wait! One of the sacrifices of attempting a journey such as this is that you lose direct contact with loved ones, including family. Some may see this as selfish, but I do believe that it's important you spend time discovering and testing yourself so that you can be a better contributor in the long run.
I have a very close family and reconnecting in person with them is my priority on my return. If you guys are reading now; I love you and don't worry about tomorrow's shooting, a fortune teller once told me that I wouldn't die until I was 91 so how could anything go wrong?
I think this journey has already helped me in ways I am still yet to discover, and this development will continue for a long time to come. I am, after all, just a bloke trying to work it all out. But the one thing that is for sure is that the positive feelings and undertones that I have felt in the past 16 months are the same feelings that will allow me to not only enjoy being shot tomorrow, but drive me to build something very positive with the future for not just me, but for others too.
I'm truly excited.
Anyway, perhaps this flu has got to me over the past few days but when that trigger is pulled tomorrow, know i'll be smiling.
Written 1 day after the shooting:
A Day of Nerves Ends in a Bang!
I feel like I’ve been given a new lease of life; yesterday I was shot, and survived. By doing this, I successfully completing Number 73- Get Shot Whilst Wearing a Bullet Proof Vest!
The Moment of Impact
It has to be said that I was a little nervous in the 24 hours leading to the event but these nerves allowed me a moment of clarity to think about not only item number 73 from my list, but my life in general.
I made a promise to myself yesterday that if I survived the shooting, I would turn my life up another notch or two and so as I type this update, the prospect of the future makes me itch with excitement. I cannot wait.
Number 73- Get Shot Whilst Wearing a Bullet Proof Vest.
Yesterday, a Colombian man I’d never met before shot me in the stomach. Luckily, this man was Miguel Caballero, creator of world renowned bullet-proof clothing, and he was nice enough to lend me one of his garments before hand, otherwise I’d be in a bit of trouble.
I could sit here and tell you exactly what happened yesterday, like learning that Miguel shoots all his staff as part of initiation, but instead I think a video would be more appropriate.
I am still on a high from this amazing event and currently I have a plane to board which takes me to LA for 2 days before then on to Sydney! I can’t take the smile off my face.