This weekend I made 35,183 steps, exactly counted on the “digi-walker”. Why on earth would someone count his steps and try to make as many as possible in one weekend? To understand the answer to that question we have to go a few weeks back in time, one early morning in the office. That morning Laura told me enthusiastic about the Oxfam Novib Trailwalker: a team of 4 Walking 100 kilometer in 30 hours. “What a great event” was my first reaction, and 25 kilometer per person on a day should be easy. I held the event for a sort of rally walk, but that was a mistake. We discovered quickly that it should be really 100 kilometer per person in 30 hours. And yet it is the perfect challenge for three reasons.
First of all, the event is for a good cause. I would like to help people who are less fortunate , by helping them on the spot, but that is rather impractical. Oxfam Novib can make the difference at site, so helping them is the best we can do.
Secondly it is a hike, a serious one, but still a hike, and I love hiking since I was a kid and went to the Austrian and Italian mountains with my parents. Since I joined KEEN it is even more fun, although I do not know whether that is caused by the enthusiasm of my colleagues or by my Targhees.
Finally it is quite a challenge, and challenging myself is probably my only addiction in life. Smoking? No! Drinking? Hardly. Trying to push the envelope and looking for some (relatively safe) adventure? Yes please! Again and again! And attending the Trailwalker will push the envelope. Some people I told my plans used words like “insane” and “mental”, and all too frequently they also said that it fits me. However the Trailwalker is not about an individual, it is about a team, and I am absolutely confident that our team is great. Probably every one of us will regret the decision to join the Trailwalker at some point in time, but the support of the other team members will bring magic to life.
And probably that is the best word to use for this event, so many people supporting the cause of Oxfam Novib during a 100 km walk; it is magic!
– Jeroen Maes
P.S., the 35,183 steps mentioned in the opening sentence is the equivalent of some 25 kilometers, my first serious training, so now you know why I am counting my steps.