Earlier this week I was standing in line and couldn’t help but overhear a young man complain about walking a mile to work. He apparently missed his ride and begrudgingly opted to walk it out. It was annoying enough that he spoke into his cell phone as if it was a megaphone, but even more annoying to hear a healthy young man complain as if one mile was a trek around the world.
Ironically, as I was beginning to lose hope in the human race, I returned home that evening to find an email about two individuals who were polar opposites to the young man I had seen. The two individuals that I speak of are Dave Heckman and Marshal Ulrich. These two men recently circumnavigated Death Valley on foot during the hottest time of the year. Their journey lasted over 16 days as they covered over 400 miles with temperatures soaring well past 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
A related story about their journey can be found here.
Two related videos can be seen next. Both are brief yet well worth a look. There is some incredible scenery seen within each.
In summary, Marshal Ulrich and Dave Heckman are prime examples of what the human body is capable of performing. When prepared properly, we are a tough, resilient, and enduring creature. These qualities seem to be less common in today’s softer world, but such qualities are still within everyone’s reach. And while not everyone will attempt to circumnavigate Death Valley, it can be useful to occasionally test yourself physically and mentally. Doing so will often teach you about yourself and the world around you. The knowledge acquired by overcoming rigorous challenges cannot be delivered in any other way. These lessons aren’t found in a video or book.
Get up, challenge yourself, and find out what you are made of. The answer may surprise you, as we are all more capable than we’ll ever realize.
“When you strip away all the luxuries we’re accustomed to in day-to-day living, you realize how little you really need, how distracting a lot of that stuff is, and how it gets in the way of a certain peacefulness you can find within yourself without it.” – Marshall Ulrich