How would you like to look back on 2021?
As the year you explored ubuntu? As the year you created a healthy relationship with exercise? As a year you changed a child’s life by helping them learn to read? By changing someone’s life currently living in a shack? By Changing a communities capability to teach their children by building a school?
These are all possible.
It’s been quite an overwhelming year. I don’t know about you – but the sheer scale of death and economic hardship being experienced sometimes feels insurmountable.
And then I’m reminded about my challenge 3 years ago that 99.9% thought was insurmountable: Climbing a mountain every day for a year. With ‘Ubuntu’ as my guiding principle to create a more compassionate world – 744 people of all fitness levels joined me pushing their own capabilities in the process, and together we fundraised almost R1 million building a home for orphaned and vulnerable children; providing 12 of the poorest primary schools with literacy aids teaching children to read; and created 60 new donors with the Sunflower Fund to help them save lives.
My greatest lesson that year was what we can accomplish when we work together. It’s in that spirit that I have another challenge for us.
It’s called ‘50in50’.
Each week the challenge is to create the outline of each state in America tracking a walk/run/cycle across 50 Saturdays – and you can join! I don’t expect you to do it to scale! (Unless you’re Ryan Sands or Rich Roll in which case crack on) The outlines are the tricky parts as you’ll see below. I’ve decided to start this challenge on the 50th day of the year: 19th February 2021.
50 weeks may sound like a big commitment – but in reality the challenge isn’t about long we commit to something. The challenge is what we do today.
While the pandemic continues to affect the lives of so many, the importance of being healthy, having a bigger purpose to focus our energy on, and supporting each other in the process has never been more apparent. The aim is to build a community around what we can do & control our inputs even while external forces continually change and challenge us. We’re all in the same storm – we just using different boats. The way I see it, if you have space in your life raft, pulling one person in changes their life. This time I’ll be asking people to donate $50 aiding companies already doing great work to build our communities and make them stronger.
Where do these Ideas come from?
This inspiration is thanks to my friend Stephan Pieterse. His charity fundraiser, a biennial event ‘The Gratitude Run’, was hosted virtually instead of at their usual venue Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. This gave me an opportunity to participate in New York, even though it’s 12 525km away. One of the 4 categories was ‘creative’ – so using my sports tracker to create a picture, I tried to create a heart with D4D in the middle (Their charity is called ‘Distance 4 Difference’). I shared this map with our friend here in New York and she exclaimed, “Oh that looks like the map of Ohio!”
Those 8 words made me ponder the fact there are 50 states – and two days later the question ‘what if I created an outline of each state?’ inspired my next ubuntu challenge. I’ve added another element just for some fun to see if I can climb the elevation gain of each state across the 50 weeks –a mere 93 967,7m or the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building 365 times (No I won’t be climbing it every day, unless you have a contact for me to chat to about this??)
The best part about this challenge is just as you can join me from wherever you are – I can still complete my weeks challenge if I travel.
I’ll be going in order of each states ratifying the constitution of the union – starting with Delaware. Fun Fact: It’s the home state of the current sitting president Joe Biden (46th) and he’s the first president to be elected from this state. It got its name in 1610, after the first governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr.
Building Purpose into Each Step
The charities supported by the donations you can choose from are:
- Habitat for Humanity (RSA or East Bay and Silicon Valley area) – building homes.
- One Heart for Kids (RSA or New York) – building literacy.
- Pencils of Promise (Africa or New York) – building schools.
50in50 isn’t just building community to support one another through unprecedented times, it’s building our discipline; our commitment to helping others; compassion for others circumstances; and last but certainly not least – a healthy habit that contributes to a strong immune system.
This challenge is for you IF:
- You’re tired of making New years resolutions about health and/or exercise that evaporate by Valentines day.
- You haven’t been severely affected financially by the pandemic and wish to help others out of their hole.
- Want to use 2021 to create a milestone in your life of positive change.
Not only will it be fun to recreate each states map, but we’ll forever be changing the course of another human beings’ life. That’s priceless. I’ll be working closely with each charity to provide you with interesting facts about what your impact means to children finally getting a safe building to learn in; learning to read; or own their first home that has running water and their own toilet.
Rabbi Tarfon who lived almost 2000 years ago around 73CE said, ‘You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.’ Covid has certainly shown me how we’re only as strong as our weakest link, and why it’s important to do what I can to empower others.
Understanding the essence of Ubuntu means working on two sides of the same coin: personal development & working together for the betterment of mankind. I Changed my definition of how to measure success to support this; to borrow Nelson Mandela’s words:
A beautiful part about this challenge is that, just like climbing a mountain, we all arrive at different levels of fitness – BUT – with consistency and perseverance we can track our progress as we travel through the various states creating our own United States of America.
There’s always strength in numbers so these are the ways to get involved and help:
- You can pick a cause and donate.
- Take part yourself and donate what you can (R50 or $50 a month is great!)
- Take part and invite 1 other friend to join as an accountability partner.
- Join and create your own team to represent your own state/city and see if you can finish top of the leader board.
- Think of people who are looking for a supportive community to build a healthier lifestyle and/or want to empower others and share this with them.
I’ll finish how I started: how would you like to look back on 2021?
Anythings possible. I hope you’ll join me in making 2021 a year to remember (for all the right reasons!)
Head over here to register in 3….2…….1…….