Warriors: not knowing each other worked

WOW!!! What an incredible challenge from the moment I decided, “I want to do this!” No Team, no expectations, just high hopes and holding on to that strong saying, “Never Quit”.

I posted on Kinetic’s website that I’m desperately looking for a team or to join a team. Ruan Viljoen, a very keen young man from Tzaneen, with an attitude of ‘for the adventure of being alive’, phoned me three weeks before Expedition Africa. So, our team name ‘Warriors’ was born. Ruan and his dad teach young adults the values of life, all about nature and survival over a seven month camp programme, called the Warriors of which their slogan is ‘for the adventure of being alive’. We did a Kinetic sprint together and both thought, this could work… we just need two more guys.

Guys phoned, then they were in, then they were out and eventually after two weeks it was still only Ruan and I. Word came out and Don from team Merrell quickly arranged two guys for us on the last minute. Bevan Manson from East London and Evan Price from Cape Town completed team Warriors. Thanks Don! I think Saffy had something to do with it to, so just in case, Thank you Adrian!

Evan Price, being the only experienced team member… boy, were we glad to have him!!! Thanks for being the best nav man, teacher and mood neutralisation! Evan! You did an absolute amazing job! Thanks for guiding us through the no path zone. All of us learned so much from you in this race, we really appreciate you joining us three totally inexperienced people.

For Bevan, Ruan and me, this was our first 500km. I have to say, The BEST TIME I’VE HAD IN MY LIFE! Life changing experience. Much more than I’ve expected. It was Great!

Thank you Heidi and Stephan for helping in getting the word out there to get our team completed. Thank you for an incredible experience. Thanks for dedicating your lives towards AR and giving us, the new generation also a chance to experience what life is really about. Just living life, getting out in the wild, trying to find that limit…

In the race, every now and again, Bevan would just say out loud “this is phenomenal”. It was all true… Just being there, walking in the middle of the night, sleep walking on the beach, freezing, being in pain so bad, but just carrying on… all of that… Incredible! Phenomenal! The beach walk… under millions of stars, beautiful full moon. Somehow that just makes you reach deep and find inner strength you never knew you had.

My trainer, Simon, always comes around while you’re half dead busy with the workouts and says “Not that bad hey”… Simon, every single time that something was a bit harder than hard, I found myself hearing your voice “not that bad hey”. I then thought to myself, you know what, it could have been worse, nothing is impossible! You get to a point where you just push through to a place where you don’t feel pain anymore, just enjoying the moment and the experience.

Our team didn’t know a single bit of each other before the race, we only got to learn about each other in the race. We ended up getting along so well. We all had our moments of being in a dark place, but we supported each other all the way! Thank You TEAM!!!

I enjoyed racing with you guys! I enjoyed laughing! We laughed so much!!! I enjoyed living it!

It is difficult to put this amazing experience in words. I hope you, reading this, can get a slight understanding of how incredible this was. I will definitely not miss 2013!

The AR family is one I finally feel where I fit in. A place where I belong… Thanks for all the support. You guys are awesome!!!

So, from East London, Cape Town, Tzaneen and Pretoria… I think we did Great!!!

Author: Charlene Roux | Team Warriors | Expedition Africa, 5-13 May 2012, E. Cape