The Great Wall the Catalyst
China has been the catalyst to many events in my life, events that have culminated in, above all, making a difference in the lives of the youth. As the journeys have inspired me, so have I managed to go out and do the same.
I will never forget leaving China 12 years ago with William Lindsay saying to me.
“David you will be back, the wall will never leave you, it’s going to draw you back”
After the first run across the Great Wall of China, I arrived home in a new, but at times, difficult space. I had undergone so much as an individual. I realised the importance of what I had gone through and how it was going to affect me, not only personally, but in other spheres of my life and the people around me, it was like a massive wake up call to continue to develop and evolve from this initial shift and the realisation that the need to continue was only going to get stronger.
There was a need to continue, on with this process and evolve with it. I realised that the lessons gleaned from the life experience along the wall were endless and that my journey of learning needed to continue. This evolved into many events of thousands of KM’s of running across numerous countries.
The “Back to the Wall” journey now lies ahead of Andrew and I.
It’s up to us to tackle the wall for a second time, but in the opposite direction, this time from the coast into the desert. Once again, it’s not about us, the journey will be bigger than us as individuals. Our run is fuelled by a cause close to our hearts; this will give us the mental strength to carry on no matter what. The aim of the event is to create massive awareness for children suffering with kidney disease across China, letting them know that there are possibilities for a better life out there through treatment.
This journey is going to be a personal battle as well as we constantly fight to keep going every day with all that will be going on around us, but we have been through this many a time. I know what lies ahead, but just to keep focused on running every day is going to be a massive task. With this will come that mental tussle to keep motivated and to feel that what we were doing is going to make a positive difference, despite the sacrifices being made. I know it will…
I remember during Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech in South Africa, 24 years ago, he said that the mind and the body and the soul had now been freed to fulfil themselves. I now engage this process.
This epic run will begin at Shanhaiguan on the edge of the Bohai sea, early on the 28th of March 2018.
After a few weeks of rugged mountains, the route heads inland to the desolate plains of North West China. We are nervous, but excited to see what this journey holds. I feel a strong surge of hope about our journey and the promise of what it could offer our youth and children. I also think of my own children and their lives ahead. This run could change the lives of so many children through the Fresenius kidney project and gift them with a future filled with new beginnings and hope.