Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Posts Tagged ‘team work

Be an activist by being active!

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Challenge Yourself - Challenge Poverty

Challenge Yourself – Challenge Poverty

I just recently completed a 100 km walk in 36 hours, 44 minutes (ignore the clock behind us – it was a staggered start, and we had stuffed around a bit after we finished before we got our team photo done!).   What a crazy thing to do!   And it is not something that I would normally do.  I mean, I like to walk, and I would happily walk 100 km or more, but generally I would not punish my body such that I would complete the equivalent of 2 and a half marathons in less than two days!  So why do it?   Well, in this case, it is because it is an “event” (in this case, called the Trailwalker) which is organised by a worthy not-for-profit organisation (in this case, Oxfam).

You know the thing.   An event which brings people together (in this case, a team of four, who need to walk together the whole distance – it’s not a relay!), and at the same time, raises much needed funds for whatever “The Cause” is (in this case, promoting education, ensuring access to clean water, teaching skills to grow food and fighting for human rights).

When you walk 100 km, you get a fair bit of time to think about THINGS.   In fact, a few things that I wanted to share with you here.  One is this:  participating in events like this is so much more than just DOING whatever it is you are supposed to do.   It is a great opportunity to stretch yourself with a fitness goal, a fabulous way to spend time training with like minded souls, and a good test to see what you are made of!    I loved observing the team dynamics of our group, and was so impressed with one of our team members in particular, who really had to push himself to his limit to be able to finish the event.   But it is all part of it!  Throughout the couple of days, he stayed optimistic, kept his sense of humour, and achieved something that I am not sure many people in his position would have pushed themselves to do.  It is good to have challenges like this in our life.  It shows what we are made of.   Fewer than half of the teams that start this event, end up finishing with a full team of four.   But we did!

And then of course, there is the fundraising.   As one of our team members said, “Even though this is a tough event, and we are suffering, think of the people who live in poverty every day, and who suffer every day”.  It was a sobering reminder of a very real situation.   The fact that the lifestyle we often take for granted, is not within reach of so many people in the world.  Even a small improvement in people’s condition can make a huge difference to them.   So we were very proud of our efforts to fundraise over $5,500 for this cause.   It was our contribution to the over $1.1 million dollars that was raised this year at the Perth Oxfam Trailwalker.  There are lots of ways to be an “activist”, and one way that I particularly love is to get out there and be ACTIVE!

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Written by Mar(k)

October 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

100 km in 48 hours? Oh yes, indeed!

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Back in 2008 The Shox met Eddy and Jillian whilst doing a hike in Bhutan called the Snowman Trek.  At the time, Eddy and Jillian were living in Melbourne.   Since then, they moved to Houston, the Shox moved to Ghana, and we have both found ourselves in Perth once again!   Over this period of time, we have stayed in touch, and one thing that is consistent in our friendship is that we all love to walk.   Now Eddy (the token smart alec – every group has to have one, right?!) would say that SOME of us (namely Mar) like to do this a bit more than others.   And this may be true!   But nonetheless, the four of us have set an exciting and ambitious goal – to walk 100 km in 48 hours.

We must be crazy to be doing 100 km in 48 hours!

We must be crazy to be doing 100 km in 48 hours!

This isn’t as crazy as it may sound.  Wait.  Actually, it is pretty crazy.   BUT!  We are doing it for a very good cause!   It is supporting disadvantaged people through Oxfam.  This is an organised event which Oxfam holds in many places.  But this  will be the first year for it to be held in Perth.  So we are very excited to be taking part.

Over the next few months, Mar(k) are actually heading overseas to “train” for this!   No.  Actually, that’s a lie.   We are heading overseas to Europe to spend some time doing what we love to do – hike in the mountains!  So the Italian Dolomites and the European Alps are beckoning to us.   But it is a great excuse to maybe go a little harder, a little longer, a little faster.   Because we have the very good excuse that we will be training for the Oxfam Trailwalker event in Perth, which will be held 18-20 October.

As part of our commitment to doing this, we are raising funds for this very worthy cause.   So if you follow us along on this blog, and you’d like to support us, please consider heading to our Team Page.  We are called the Precious JEMMS and we would love it if you could make a donation to this very worthy cause.

As we will be traveling, we will not be posting anything for the next few months.   But rest assured we will be back at it when we are back from Europe.   By then we hope to be fighting fit, and ready to tackle this very exciting challenge!

Written by Mar(k)

June 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm