Meet Laura Kennington!
Laura is a professionally trained actress and singer turned adventure athlete. She has completed the Nepal Marathon, climbing to over 2,000m in the process, cycled 2,600km through Ireland, and kayaked 236 miles of the River Thames. She has turned the three Channel Islands of Sark, Guernsey and Jersey into an adventure playground, where she swam, kayaked and cycled across and around the islands as a triathlon in three days. She has also attempted to kayak the entire length of the 2,300-mile-long Volga River in Russia but was forced to call it quits due to safety concerns.
Here, Laura talks about mental strength, the gift of human kindness and being inspired by Dr Seuss.
What was the impetus behind becoming an adventurer?
I originally became a personal trainer as a way of flexibly earning money in between acting commitments but I totally fell in love with sport and its ability to empower people. I wanted to feel like I was pushing myself to my full potential and it all spiralled from there. The basis for all of my adventures is curiosity – for exploring new places and also for exploring my own limits.
Before setting out on your first adventure what were your doubts/fears/concerns and how did you overcome these?
There’s a plethora of doubts and fears to choose from here – fear of failure, doubt in my own ability, safety concerns… all the usual suspects! I always focus on breaking things down into manageable chunks; ticking things off step by step. Feeling intimidated or concerned is totally natural but it’s also a sign that you’re about to grow. The more adventures I did, the more I realised that the world is actually a beautiful and overwhelmingly kind place and that much of my fear was unfounded. I’ve also come to realise that failure is nothing to be afraid of either – it would be much more tragic to never even try!
“Feeling intimidated or concerned is totally natural but it’s also a sign that you’re about to grow”
What is the main thing you have learnt (about life or yourself) from this experience?
Having addressed the lesson of human kindness above, I think I’d have to say I’ve learned a lot about mental strength and untapped resources. I used to think that athletic people possessed different DNA that made them stronger, braver and fitter but in reality mental resilience is a muscle just like any other that gets stronger the more you use it. Mindset is key to everything we do in life and endurance adventures have definitely taught me the importance of mental discipline.
What would be your dream adventure/goal and why – and why haven’t you done it yet?
Well, pretty much everywhere is on the list – but I’m working through it as quick as I can!
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
“You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose”
– Dr Seuss
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have with you and why?
A surf board so I can use my time productively and finally get good at surfing, a decent knife for both cooking and construction purposes, and a hefty supply of sun cream.