This is the remarkable and inspiring true story of a man who went from being a violent criminal and alcoholic to a charity worker, extreme adventurer and world record holder.
Not only has Roger Davies faced the challenges of extreme cold in the Arctic, searing heat in the Sahara and an uncompromising North Atlantic, but he has done this whilst latterly battling cancer and staying sober one day at a time.
Told in his own gritty, unique and entertaining style, Roger’s story proves that there is no limit to what we can achieve if we really want to LIVE A LIFE TO DIE FOR.
Roger is ‘hard wired’ for success. If he can beat cancer, he can easily beat the Channel!
Jock Wishart, explorer
I had the pleasure of sharing Mount Everest with Roger and his lovely wife Lesley on yet another challenge Roger had undertaken. He is a great man with a remarkable story and I was massively inspired by his determination and drive and his never say die attitude. I am honoured to share a Guinness world record with Roger and have no doubt he will continue to inspire us all!
Shane Williams MBE, Welsh Rugby Union player
Available to buy from Amazon
You can find out more about what Roger is doing now by visiting his website at www.rogerdavies.me.uk Here he shares his experience and knowledge of what it takes and what you need to have your own adventures.
He also talks to schools and groups about his adventures and his sobriety. He lives in the south east of England with his wife and cockerpoo Dolly.
I don’t know about you, but knowing tomorrow is the first of February has left me wondering what happened to January! And more importantly all those resolutions we decide are going to change our lives – did they? Are we still keeping to them?
Reading online and talking to people, it is clear to me that a great many of us don’t stick to our resolutions for long – a few months, a year maybe. But it’s hard to stick to a resolution, isn’t it, whatever time of year we start one. This is one of the reasons why the next author featuring on my blog is so remarkable. He has held his resolve for over 40 years now!
Choosing to stay sober for so many years has changed Roger Davies’ life in ways I doubt he would have imagined. He says he is just an ordinary man who has done extraordinary things, but I say he is a remarkable man who has and continues to do inspiring extraordinary things! Reading his book you will discover this for yourself as he tells us how he went from drunken thug to charity worker and extreme adventurer. I felt very lucky to be involved with his book LIVE A LIFE TO DIE FOR and to get to know the man behind the book title.
I asked him a few questions recently so you can get to find out more about him too. I would highly recommend buying the second edition of his book published by Goldcrest Books as it contains two extra chapters and brings Roger’s amazing story up to date.
Why did you decide to write your own story?
As an ordinary man, who has done many extraordinary things, I have been encouraged by others to share my life’s journey – what it was like, what happened and what it’s like today.
My journey in recovery from crime, addiction and cancer to wild adventures has caused me to look at myself on a much deeper level and how it can inspire others.
The more I shared my story the more it revealed to me. For me, the implications of putting my life on paper were a significant leap into the unknown. I hope my story in print may leave a legacy of recovery.
What was one of the most surprising things you learnt in creating your book?
Writing is not easy.
Transferring thoughts and memories coherently onto paper or a computer screen sounds so simple; nothing could be further from the truth.
As the writer, only I can choose the ‘word’ or ‘turn of phrase’ that reflects the distinct meaning I want to convey to the reader – I found this to be surprisingly testing.
Creating a biography reflects your personality and in my case creating my book exposed my real self, warts and all.
Which part of your story was the hardest to write and why?
Remembering and writing about the many acts of extremely violent physical punishment meted out to me as a child by brothers belonging to a religious order. Memories deeply buried in my subconscious since the late 50s and early 60s. I was 48 years old and 15 years into recovery when I began getting serious nightmares and cold sweats – the memories had started to surface.
I received support through counselling and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During this difficult period I was supported, enabling me to ‘see’ the mental challenges and changes I had used to protect myself from the abuse.
How profound and deep the damage was only came to the surface when my ex-wife Gloria told me about a conversation she had had with my mum, who knew she was nearing the end of her life. My mum quietly confessed to Gloria that as a young boy, I had changed dramatically overnight from being her happy, fun-loving little boy. She didn’t understand what she had done. Tragically, my mum blamed herself for how I had turned out.
I learnt of my mum’s burden too late to set her mind at rest. For over forty years she had been unjustly condemning herself and she took that to her grave.
You have visited some pretty diverse places in the world. Which was your favourite and why?
I’m spoilt for choice; a peaceful day’s trout dry fly fishing on the River Test; a unique gin clear chalk stream with its rich fauna, flora and wildlife. Or maybe the breath-taking trek to Everest Base Camp, with its unmatchable views of Mt Everest; flanked by rugged slopes, ridges and soaring heights of the majestic Himalayas that are humbling yet empowering. I benefited in many ways from trekking in the company of the charming, good-natured Sherpa people; one cheerfully gave me some advice, ‘one step at a time – don’t think too far ahead’. This I cherish.
However, for me it’s the Arctic.
It’s still hard for me to grasp that I trekked 650km across the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole, on constantly shifting pieces of sea ice, covered with ice rubble of fanciful shapes in a range of impossible sizes. I recall comparing the frozen seascape to a field of giant, rough-cut diamonds scattered by an unseen hand, quietly emitting a raw power. The desolate landscape has a stark savage beauty that exceeds the expectations of all who witness it. Out there I am just a speck on the most desolate terrain on the planet.
When you look back on your life so far, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?
It would be so easy for me to say, walking 650km to the North Pole, rowing the North Atlantic or achieving two World Records, but they were just interesting and eventful ‘parts’ of my life’s journey.
For me, my proudest accomplishment is my sobriety. Staying sober has been my greatest achievement; it changed my life 100%.