We love staying active to maintain a balanced lifestyle. It's something we do for ourselves, and what most people do it for in most cases. But some feel like the change they see in themselves- may it be fitness gains, weightloss, happiness or just healthiness- is just not enough, and end up going above and beyond to do something more. They tend to yearn for greater satisfaction in the activity they do or want to feel like the change they make is BIGGER and GREATER than just within themselves. This is how an Active Changer (literally) is born. We may have made up that term, but if it get's viral and goes big, we'll coin it. ha!
Here are our 5 fave Active Changers running (also literally) around the world today
1. Samantha Gash- Running 3800km across India to break down global education barriers
At the age of 31, she's done more than some of us will ever do in our lifetime. In 2008, she raced in the 4 Deserts Grand Slam which involved running 250km ultra marathons across 4 of the hottest, driest, windiest and coldest deserts in the world (Chile, China, Sahara, Antarctica) and became the youngest and first female to ever complete the feat. Coming from a completely non-running background and hanging up her heels and robe as a lawyer to do so makes it even a bigger achievement! In 2009 she ran 222km non-stop at 6000m+ altitude in the Himalayas. From 2012-2015, she partnered with Save the Children to help protect children from harm worldwide. She's run 379km non-stop across the Simpson Desert, almost 2000km in 32 days across South Africa and does regular ultra marathons for things that she believes in and change that she would like to see in the world!
In August she sets off to run 3800km in 76 days across India in an attempt to raise $800,000 for Word Vision education initiatives right across India, addressing barriers to quality education. She's super inspiring a completely whole person, inside and out, and in our eyes a superhero. Her life is dedicated to making a change, no matter how big or small, in the world and THAT's why she's our No.1 pick.
Check out her Run across India and donate here
Fangirl/Fanboy on her website here
Samantha's run across the highest motorable pass in the world. See if you can spot our Mama and Papa, Sarah and Nic in this vid!!!
2. Martin Strel- 40,000km swim in 450 days around the world to raise awareness about water pollution around the world
Nick-named the 'Big River Man', Martin Strel is currently swimming around the world to promote education around sustainable management of water around the world! He's 61 years of age and still going out to achieve the unachievable (or what the rest of the world things is unachievable). He too has done some amazing things- in 1992, he swam 101km (63 miles) for 28 hours in the Krka River, 1997 he became the first person to swim from Europe to Africa and took on 68 days of swimming the length of the Mississippi river. He's been pretty much eaten alive by piranhas, had life threatening infections and even went into dialysis to recover from extreme pollution levels.
He's planning to start his swim any day now- 40,000km in around 450 days! That puts our 25m waddle/swim in the year 7 swimming carnival to MAJOR shame.
Click here to keep updated on the event
Read more about his passion against water pollution here
3. Craig Percival- 8 Ironmans in 8 days for JMF foundation
In the triathlon world, completing Ironman is probably the biggest achievement in a triathletes life. It's everyone's 'bucket list' thing to do. Craig Percival is not only a seasonal triathlete and 3 X World Ironman champ, but also a hero in the triathlon world, completing 8 iron mans in 8 days in all 8 states/territories of Australia earlier this year. He raised over $80,000 for The John Maclean Foundation- an organisation that works to help children in wheelchairs to stay active and continue to inspire others. That's a 3.8km swim, followed by a 180km cycle leg and finishing with a 42.2 (marathon distance) run to the finish line. All consecutive. Without breaks. 1 a day, for 8 days! For those like us who struggle to just finish that 3km jog around the block, this sounds IMPOSSIBLE. But where there's a will there's definitely a way!
Check out the story here
4. Alistair Humphreys- Cycled around the world for Home and Hopes for Children
At only age 24, Alistair embarked on a 4 year journey, cycling around the world. He crossed seas and several continents on 2 wheels to help raise funds for Home and Hopes for Children- an organisational that aims to ablish institutional care for children, giving them the chance to live and grow up in a loving family, something that we all take a little bit for granted! He won National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year in 2012 for his 'microadventures' including the epic 74,000km (46,000miles) bike ride around the world- what a legend!
Alistairs route around the world, from http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/roundtheworldbybike/
5. All fun run athletes!
It's all fun and games with these runs but most of the people that do it are passionate about change and progress. If not within themselves, in the world! In the wake of last weeks Run Melbourne event,where we saw our runners- old and new- set out to do the 5km, 10km and the Half Marathon for their chosen charity, we were reminded about how many people sign up for these events and run them on a daily basis around the world! Running amongst these athletes (every single one of us can don the term 'athlete' now) reminded us of the strength of the human emotion and connection to an object, place, thing or event and how it's powerful enough to spark change. Many ran for a lost loved one, some ran to raise awareness for an issue close to their hearts and others ran to inspire others. It's not always about changing the world, but as Amanda Campbell (real life superwoman) once said 'Nothing changes, if nothing changes'.
And with that, we would like to acknowledge and appreciate everyone that has attempted to change or make a change in their life and in the world, for the better! From us to you, THANK YOU!