One amazing woman! Yet some would say as mad as a ‘box of frogs’, which in saying is only ever intended in the nicest possible way. Rosie Swale-Pope is a gift to the world, someone who has not only completed some amazing journeys and adventures, who has experienced love, death, friendship, near misses and some amazing highs and lows in her life’s journey. Yet, to meet her, to hear her speak is to be inspired and to pass through a myriad of emotions as she tells her life-stories.
Rosie, was born in Davos, Switzerland and was brought up by the wife of the local postman as her mother was suffering from tuberculosis. She later moved to Ireland with her paternal grandmother and so her life of adventure began. It was with tales from her early life that Rosie began her talk, including adventures with her pet cow, Cleopatra. Later, whilst racing in Davos, which she thought to be a mere marathon (it was actually a 42-mile run over the local mountain pass) she was amazingly reunited with her post-mistress foster mother who had waited for 6-hours on the finish line to meet Rosie… and that was the nature of the evening as Rosie jumped from one adventure to the next, and then to another gem from her life of travels. I think the best moment in the evening was when she described her way of handling more hostile youths, groups and individuals she encounters around the world, ‘Don’t I know your mother?’ The result, often, her new best friends and guardians… now how does that work? Well, then there was the incident with the fish, the hair dryer and oh so much more. Surely she was only talking for about 10-minutes, no it was well over an hour and the encour was superb!
For Debs and I, the whole Evening with Rosie came about as a result of organising her next pair of running shoes, all led by coincidence and chance. The shoes were collected and sent to her and she asked how she could give back. Almost flippantly the response was, ‘How about a talk?’. By chance again, we were provided with a date that she would be passing through Sheffield as she journeyed to Rotherham. That was it, one date, one chance. We had a little over two weeks to organise this.
Additionally, I had always wanted to bring something different to a talk by a fellow runner. This was clearly the opportunity. So it was a quick nip down to Masterchef who had recently built their own brick pizza oven. So all was quickly agreed and wood fired Pizza was on the menu. Capacity for the evening we reckoned was two football teams.
So the concept became reality and ‘An Evening With Rosie Swale-Pope’ was launched on an unsuspecting public. Ticket price included a woodfired pizza, table salad and a chance not just to hear someone famous and magical talk running, life and adventures, but a chance to meet them. Something that was far greater than a book signing. The evening began at the store, moved to Masterchef for the ‘main event’ before everyone returned to Accelerate for more chat with Rosie and coffee. The evening did sell-out, with all the profits passed back to charity. In fact we squeezed 28 into Masterchef, and we had to turn folk away – sorry if you missed out.
Now, Rosie arrived pulling her home, ‘Ice-Bird’. On arriving she took her self around behind the store onto a small grassy area for forty-winks. She was later to return to the same spot for the night, before continuing her journey. Yes, it’s true she has sold her home and she now lives pretty much hand to mouth. Some would argue this is no way to live for a woman well into her sixties. Yet having only meet her for a short period of time I would say her life is rich enough, she is clearly content and happy.
Rosie Swale-Pope: One amazing and inspiring woman.
PS A massive thanks to everyone who came along, to Nick and Marie (you know who you are!) for helping to set things up. Plus a massive thankyou to Matt and Jenny from Masterchef, who in the middle of opening a new business and moving house ensured top quality pizza’s. Masterchef can also be found on FaceBook >>
PPS If you would like to meet Rosie Swale Pope and hear her talk about her amazing run around the world contact Marie Cragg. She has booked a lecture theatre at Sheffield Hallam Uni for next Weds 21st May at 7pm. Tickets £6. O7774 223 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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