Hands up if you can think of somewhere BEAR GRYLLS has not abseiled, parachuted or swum. Or a variety of yak’s eyeball that he hasn’t eaten. This most pukka of British adventurers, whose TV shows ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’ and ‘Man vs Wild’ have become two of the most watched on the planet, has managed to get out of the office a bit.
Most things are unimportant detail, says Bear Grylls
Bear (early on, his real name Edward was turned by friends to Eddie, then Teddy, then Bear), grew up climbing cliffs on the Isle of Wight. After school he joined the British Army, going on to serve in the elite SAS, but broke his back three years later in Zambia when his parachute only partially opened. It took him 18 grim months to recover, but two years later, aged 23, he entered the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest Brit ever to summit Everest. This he followed with a number of stunts that some would call beyond crazy, including a dinner party at a table attached to a hot air balloon, a mere 8,000 metres above the ground (for charity, naturally). Approached three times by TV’s Discovery Channel, he eventually gave in, and in 2006 signed up for Man vs Wild, swimming hippo-infested waters and drinking his own urine for a living as he demonstrated to a watching world how to survive in almost any situation. Once voted by British teens as The UK’s Most Admired Man, he has also trekked in the Alaskan wilderness with then President Barack Obama, and has now been watched in 150 countries around the world by more than one billion people
Bear is married to Shara, a fellow Brit. He divides his time between a small secluded island off North Wales and a converted barge on the River Thames where they live with their three boys, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry. Fiercely protected by a host of agents and PR people and now one of the world’s most in-demand motivational speakers, Bear nevertheless graciously took time out to give Thislife Online a brief but exclusive glimpse into his persona
Bear: I stumbled around in my youth
Ultimate comfort food?
Croissants and raspberry jam
Most irritating habit in self?
Most irritating habit in others?
Standing still on escalators
Best moment of your life?
Summiting Everest and marrying Shara – both got me high!
Breaking my back while in the military
Are you really fearless?
Where do you find meaning in life?
Shara and I did an Alpha course when we first got together. It helped us find a really simple faith that wasn’t churchy and wasn’t complicated and wasn’t irrelevant. Over the years a lot of stuff has happened. On Everest we lost four climbers, stuff happened in the army, there were a lot of Man vs Wild narrow escapes. I’ve learnt that it takes a proud man to say he never needs any help. My faith has been a real, quiet strength for me, a backbone in my life and a good thing for Shara and me
What’s your faith actually about?
It’s taken me a while to realise that faith is not about being forced to go to church. It’s about being loved and being held, finding home and finding peace. I don’t meet many people who don’t want that in their life. I think I’ve spent quite a lot of my younger life stumbling around in the dark. My faith has helped me find myself
Make me President and I’d…
be the scruffiest one ever!
Your message to Thislife Online readers?
Have faith in yourself, others and the Almighty. The rest is detail
It’s best not to block Bear on an escalator…
This page proudly sponsored by the Wilson family, USA: Mike & Barbara Wilson of Buffalo, Helen Wilson of Detroit and Liz Wilson of Oklahoma City