Damo’s Challenge

Life can be something you just coast along with. You know what I mean – you find your groove and then you kind of just let things happen. Why? Because it’s easy and there is nothing uncomfortable to deal with.

But where is the fun in that?

When was the last time you asked yourself a question that you weren’t 100% sure you could answer?

I had the fortunate experience of being involved with a major challenge set by one of my childhood mates last year. He decided to help a charity in the simplest way he thought he could – by doing something, shall we say, challenging. Another mate goes to Cambodia and assists ophthalmologists restore sight to those less fortunate. Damian decided to help by running from Brisbane to Sydney to raise awareness and put his personal contribution to what is an amazing cause. He thought by doing it in 18 days would also raise the stakes somewhat. Now that is just under 60k’s a day!

I want you to keep in mind that ‘Damo’ was 110kg when he laid down the gauntlet. So six months later and after many pre-work early morning runs and a significantly improved diet he set out to do what not many people have done before. Now, I don’t care how much training you do, it is difficult to truly prepare for something like this. Throughout the 18 days, Damian fought hard both mentally and physically to cover the distance. If you could have seen his feet and the blisters he suffered you would know that he had to overcome some serious pain to get the job done. The thing I didn’t mention is that he turned up to the start line – limping! Even before he started, the whole event looked in doubt. He had developed some severe knee pain on a weekend run just before he was due to set out on the 1,000k run. Thanks to some great physio treatment and probably a stroke of luck in terms of the nature of the injury, he did in fact get to the starting line.

I can’t explain exactly how he ended up doing it. Sure he dropped around 25kg and put in the hard yards in the months leading up to the run, but successfully scaling that mountain of a challenge did some amazing things to his psyche and view on life. He told me there were many times over the 18 days where he doubted he could do it, but something kept pushing him forward. I am here to tell you that ‘something’, that attitude, has created something special that he will carry with him for life. He achieved something that his grandkids will hear about and wonder how it was possible. This stunning feat which raised over $60,000 to change the lives of countless people in Cambodia.

Now, ask yourself what you can do or more importantly what do you think you might not be able to do and then go for it anyway. The positives that can come out of such an undertaking are the sorts of things that makes life worth living.

For more information on Damo’s run or to donate, go to: http://personalchallenge.gofundraise.com.au/page/jogoutoffog

Anthony Gillespie


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