7 Questions with Finlay Wild

In our “7 Questions” interviews, we catch up with inspiring people from all around the world and all walks of life, from everyday heros to world class athletes. We chose the 7 questions to try and gain a glimse of personal motivation and philosophy that we can all relate to and be inspired by! 

Introducing Finlay Wild

This week we spoke to Finlay Wild, Scottish hill-runner, mountaineer and all-round lovely person with a mind boggling list of achievements to his name. He has won the Ben Nevis race for 10 consecutive years, holds the current speed record for the Cuillin Ridge Traverse (2h59mins!) on Skye, and was former British Fell Running Champion. He also holds records for three famous mountain rounds: The Ramsay Round, the Tranter Round and the Welsh 3000ers. Finlay works as a doctor in Fort William and hosts his “Go Mountain Goats” podcast with an aim to share positivity and enthusiasm for the mountains – visit his website HERE. Finlay very kindly took the time to sit down and answer our “7 Questions” – thank you Finlay!

1) Draw a 60 second picture of something on your bucket list!
finlay wild 7 question blog
Finlay's 60 second drawing - The Matterhorn

Matterhorn – i’ve not done it yet, such an iconic peak, would be cool to get to know the Lyon Ridge well and maybe do a semi fast effort. Plus, I thought it would be easy to draw recognisably – but I had to cheat and look at a photo of it!

2) What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given, or your favourite quote?

I’m not great at remembering quotes but I love this from W.H. Murray: “Here is a field of free action in which nothing is organised, or made safe or easy or uniform by regulation; a kingdom where no laws run and no useful ends fetter the heart.”

3) If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three luxury items would you bring and why?

1. Running shoes – its all I’d need really to get up on the mountains. I’m assuming this deserted island has some. I could of course learn to run barefoot, but hopefully there are some epic technical ridges up high so some footwear would come in handy!

2. Books – can I say ‘a library’ or is that cheating? It would be pretty hard to chose just one book, I suppose some kind of diverse anthology would be good. I contemplated saying a massive Russian classic, but not sure how many times you could read something like The Brothers Karamazov. Maybe Roald Dahl’s adult short stories would be a good shout – pretty varied and wry.

3. Some form of music – probably there’s no electricity on the island so I’ll have to make my own music. I’ve got a Yamaha acoustic guitar with a lot of sentimental value, I could spend lots of sunny afternoons on the beach improving my playing.

4) Share a photo from a moment you remember feeling very happy, with a caption to explain why
Audrey and the boys finlay wild 7 questions

This is from our ‘2000 Teabags’ trip to the USA and Canada in 2008-9. Myself and my friend James spent 9 months exploring the mountains over there. Our van ‘Audrey’ was our transport and our home! This photo makes me chuckle – remembering all the great days out, random banter, people met and places visited. 

5) Can you please recommend a book, movie or podcast?

Books – For fiction I’d recommend ‘Blood Meridian’ by Cormac McCarthy, its a pretty dark story set in the American west in the mid 19th century, where it’s every man for himself and the brutal reality of frontier life is portrayed. One non-fiction I found really insightful recently was ‘Lost Connections’ by Johann Hari. He challenges the ‘chemical imbalance’ narrative of depression and looks at how society is making people unhappy – from lost connections with meaningful work, nature and other people. 

Film – ‘Shirley’ is a film about the horror writer Shirley Jackson and I found it pretty compelling – a strange atmosphere of ‘the tortured, volatile artist’ and weird, complex relationships. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re fed up with blockbuster predictability its definitely different. 

PodcastGo Mountain Goats is my podcast so I’ll plug that – ha! Its been a fun project and I’ve still got a lot to learn, a fairly rambling series of conversations with various outdoor people. Hardcore History by Dan Carlin really lit my curiosity for history, he’s got a style I like and a nack for combining both the big picture of world events (like WW1) with the individual perspective (what was it like for a soldier in this particular battle). 
6) If you suddenly found yourself with an unexpected free summer evening, how would you spend it?

 Probably a romp up Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis – I never get tired of it. A sunny midsummer’s evening and it would be great – dry rock, flowing movement, and maybe a sunset while descending the Ben. 

7) If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

 I felt really self conscious at school. I’d tell myself to just chill out and be proud of doing the things I enjoy. Having hobbies and ‘doing stuff’ is way more interesting than trying to fit in!

Thank you Finlay!

Finlay is sponsored by Mountain Equipment and Walsh Footwear.  You can read more about his running and check out his podcast on his website HERE

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