In 2014 You’re Going To Do What !?!?

Following on from my post regarding New Year’s resolutions, a plan for a challenging adventure later this year has started to form. More on that in a moment. But first, a pop quiz:

Question 1. Have you ever completed a marathon, or would be confident that you could?

If you answered yes, proceed to Question 2. If you answered no, thank you for playing our game.

Question 2. Do you think it would be possible for you to run a marathon every day for a week?

If yes, please move on to Question 3. If you answered no, please select one of our lovely parting gifts.

Question 3. If you think it would be possible to run a marathon everyday for a week, do you think you could do this at altitude (2000-3000m above sea level)?

You know the drill. If answering in the affirmative scroll down to Question 4. If no, you’re clearly more sane than I am.

Question 4. Do you think you could do all this in a desert environment where temperatures reach >40 C?

For those still with me, I give you the 2014 Atacama Crossing, courtesy of the fine people at  4Deserts ( ).

The Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert, Chile

Earlier this week I was asked by a friend if I would enter this event with him. The smile on my face gave the answer without having to speak.

So, in 268 days time we will be setting off on a 250km crossing of the Atacama Desert. To acknowledge that this will be a challenge is a massive understatement. There is much preparation required, so it’s a good thing we have 9 months to plan and train. It is with the usual mixture of excitement and terror that I take this step way, way, way, way outside my comfort zone.

There are so many aspects to account for. Physical preparation; fitness, altitude. Equipment. Nutrition. (The race is self supported, so competitors must carry all of their food for the week with them.)

There will be many, many hours spent on Victorian trails and late nights discussing the merits of various backpacks, footwear and freeze-dried ration packs in the months to come. Stay tuned.

I am wondering if anyone reading this has ever attempted a similar physical endeavour. What was your experience? What lessons can you share?

Oh, and we’re also taking submissions for our team name.

Blue Question Mark


Author: Steven Macek

I learnt a long time ago that in order to grow it is necessary to step outside one’s comfort zone. As a person who craves growth and change this has led me to continually seek out opportunities to make myself uncomfortable, whether physically, emotionally or psychologically. The (Dis)Comfort Zone blog is a vehicle for cataloging those experiences.

6 thoughts on “In 2014 You’re Going To Do What !?!?”

  1. Amazing (and perfect) news, SM! Obviously a fat old slob like me hasn’t had any similar experiences, however I DID use to be a Venturer (!) and Nescafe In A Tube worked a treat… 🙂

  2. Wow! Good luck with this Steve – not my idea of sanity but clearly right up your alley. Look forward to the updates…

  3. a couple of quotes which might lead into a suitable dialectic:
    “There is no perfection of materials; there will always be errors and weaknesses, and the man who wins through is the man who manages to carry on with a defective engine.” – Crowley
    “I would rather you did the thing ‘wrong’ by yourselves, and learned from your errors, than get it ‘right’ from the teacher, and atrophied your initiative[will] and your faculty of learning anything at all.”.- ibid.

    Team Honey Badger – THB

    And lastly, build a ‘mental yantra’ to keep the mind stably supporting the body functions in times of weakness and breakdown. Will over mind over body(matter). Required to be completed during training, prior to the event.

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