'Sometimes, you meet people who simply seem to "get" life better than the rest of us, who act as a reminder that being alive is more than simply continuing to breathe.
'They negotiate it like skilful acrobats on a high wire, exhilarated yet instinctively balanced, undaunted by the inevitable wobbles, and the remarkable thing is that their innate confidence is usually its own sure-footed reward.
'They are often achievers, yet somehow achievement is only a by-product of the way they live. It's their dreams that single them out. They scale the mountain of those dreams, reaching distant pinnacles, while the rest us stand muttering in the foothills that it's all right for them but we have responsibilities and proper jobs to get on with.
'Mark Beaumont is 27. Already he has set the record for cycling round the world (knocking 81 days off the previous time) and has just returned from a nine-month cycle across the Americas, from Alaska in the north to Argentina in the south. His route took him 13,000 miles through the Rockies and the Andes, stopping off to climb the two highest mountain peaks: Mount McKinley in the north and Aconcagua in the south. He also made a BBC documentary of his journey, the camera becoming his confidante during periods of intense isolation on remote roads and among Spanish-speaking communities.' (Scotsman interview).