I've traveled a long way on foot, both in training, and doing ultramarathons in remote parts of the world. And I've come to realize the most important aspect of the journey isn't the actual physical distance I cover. It's the emotions I uncover. Because when we're struggling, any of us, and on our own in the middle of nowhere, the facades--what we put on while others watch--come crashing down.
Adversity brings out the truth. It exposes the most raw, vulnerable and honest version of us. It can be unsettling, though, to look that deep into our soul and see who we really are. But it's also profound. In fact, I think it's necessary, because it's where we find our real voice. So we'd better come to peace with that version of us; and learn to respect and trust it. In the end, it's the only journey that matters.
South Africa, and the Kalahari Desert in particular, will always have a special place in my heart. It reminded me that there is beauty--so much beauty--in the struggle. I needed that reminder.
The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon is a self-sufficiency run held over six legs in seven days with set distances for each day, ranging from 28km to 75km. Participants must carry all their supplies, clothes and compulsory safety/survival equipment for the duration of the event.