Our very first featured athlete is the incredible and inspirational individual, Natasha Fanshawe - A professional declutterer at Light Style Space and Co-Founder of And The Future. She is a risk-taker, spontaneous and loves experiencing life living on the edge!
Tell us a bit about yourself - What makes Natasha Fanshawe incredible?
Ha! I don’t know about incredible but I’m a declutterer, at Light Style Space and started this business three years ago. I help people work through their stuff and let go of what they can. A bit like Marie Kondo, she’s my inspiration but I don’t always use her methods. I offer to take the things away, and promise to use landfill as a last resort when I’m rehoming their things. If I make any money I share it back with them.
I co-founded And The Future, a sustainability network, something I’m passionate about – I think we could all do more to give the planet a bit of a break. I also love to work on events, arriving at the event, helping out and troubleshooting.
We have a family farm in Wiltshire so I sometimes call myself a farmer, and I love to travel and run ultramarathons, mainly with 4Deserts although I really just walk them! Ultramarathons are a lesson in being in something for the long term, just keep going and you’ll get there. Also in delayed gratification – it’ll be painful but if you see it through, the benefits are incredible.
How was it like living in Pakistan as a kid? Share one of your best memories.
My dad was a civil engineer and that sent him to all sorts of places around the world. Because if his profession, I was born in Peru, and lived in Lahore when I was 10. I went to school there for a year, and we always went to the mountains in Pakistan in the holidays. Sometimes to Murree, also to Skardu, Chitral, Peshawar, and Gilgit and Hunza. At school there, we were taught a Chitrali dance and wore the local outfits. I remember being stuck by a huge landslide on our way back down the Karakoram Highway and staying at a local guesthouse with everyone else who was stranded. They delivered fresh, live chickens every day that ended up in the pot in the evenings. There’s an image in my mind of one of the local lorries, super colourful, painted with amazing murals and embellished with metallic coloured pieces, toppled on its side at the landslide. Another time, we stayed in old army tents, at a campsite with a fascinating view of Nanga Parbat mountain (part of the Hindu Kush? Possibly also a view of K2?). We had to close our tents very securely to stop the local goat population coming in and eating whatever they could see, edible or not! I also remember the soft drinks (bottles of coke and sprite, although my favourite was the local mango juice in a similar style bottle), being kept chilled in wicker baskets suspended in the glacial streams. Apparently, we swam in the Hunza river, brrr, but I’ve deleted that from my memory.
One reason why you would encourage people to visit Pakistan?
Really, really lovely people. I may not have appreciated it at the time – quite a lot of the time I was there, I was a grumpy teenager, but I read articles on Pakistan and interesting things coming out of the country, and there are some really inspiring stories. Also, for the curry. Again, I was completely unappreciative as a teenager but I love curry now!
What makes you challenge yourself and do crazy stuff?
I guess life’s too short to not do stuff. I’m a firm believer in ‘done is better than perfect,’ so I’d much rather be doing something than just thinking about it, so I often just plunge into things. If someone I admire suggests something, especially if it means spending time with them, and even more if it involves an adventure, I’m more than likely to say yes!
One piece of advice for seeking adventure in life?
JFDI! Just *** do it!
Mind vs. Body - What's more important to you and why?
Both are important. You can’t have one without the other. The mind needs to be strong to talk you into doing things, and the body makes it happen. I believe always more strongly in the relationship between the two, and although I don’t always practice what I preach, mindfulness and yoga are super important to be able to do stuff.
Lastly, hot or cold showers? 😄
Ha ha, hot showers, but if a cold shower is all that’s available after a long day, especially after an ultra, I won’t say no, I did take a dip in the Antarctic waters last year after all! And on the 4Deserts races, there are no showers for the whole week, and very few changes of clothing. The shower you have at the end of the week is the best ever, although it makes my hair go frizzier than ever!