Global Adventurer Makes Stop in Rector
Global adventurer Rosie Swale-Pope, 68, landed in Rector last week on her journey into the true heart of America.
The run began as a tribute to her late husband, Clive Pope, who died of cancer, and father, Major Ronald Griffin, who was a veteran. When grief knocks on a person's door there are two choices -- one is to stand up and keep moving, flying the flag, and the other is to curl up and die, which isn't a good tribute at all. "The past is never the past." Pope said. "It's part of today and it's part of tomorrow, but it's also what you do with it."
She travels with her small enclosed cart she calls the ice chick, which houses the things she can't live without and also provides her a safe place to sleep out of the elements. "Pulling a cart is amazing and true independence," Pope said. "You can get up and go whenever you get ready."
Beginning in New York, she crossed New Jersey, stopping at Princeton and Trenton to give motivational speeches, before heading out again to D.C. crossing Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee before traveling through Missouri and finally into Arkansas.
She has been following the paths less traveled as she explores the people of rural America, finding them warm and in touch with each other. She has been surprised by the genuine concern for each other, as well as her own well-being.
Pope is an accomplished adventurer, best-selling author, motivational speaker and a member of the Order of the British Empire, which was bestowed on her by Queen Elizabeth II.
However, even with a career such as hers, adventure is truly her life -- from riding horses 3,000 miles through Chile to running around the world in five years to sailing the world with her young family. Her life has been filled with marathons as she has crossed Russia, the Sahara, Romania, Iceland and many other countries. She is passionate about her causes as she's run for many, but has found the people she meets along the way to be the true blessing. "Passion is the mark of life -- it's dramatic like a symphony," Pope said. "Everyone I've met is coming with me."
As the days have gone by Pope has realized there is more to her walk than her original awareness campaign. Instead, she now wants to advocate looking out for each other and love. "Many people tell me I'm inspiring, but I think what they see is a reflection of themselves," Pope said. "They see what they need, anything inside you; for example courage, if you're not aware of it, it's not much use."
Pope continued her journey through Pocahontas to Mountain Home, where she will stop for an eight-day trip home to England, where she has speeches scheduled. She then will return to Mountain Home to continue on to Springfield, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, Las Vegas and finish in Hollywood.
She has two children, Eve Stanley and James Swale, and two grandchildren, Michael and Lucy Stanley, awaiting her return to England. "I connect adventure with writing," Pope said, and she truly has as her books, Just a Little Run Around the World and Back to Cape Horn, encompass the sometimes challenging adventures.
She left Rector with these parting words, "There is no finish line, success is not the end; growing is always necessary in each person's life."