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Colin Ogrady

Ever considered a 12 hour walk?

What about with no other human contact and with your phone in airplane mode?

Me either….but

Just before Christmas I was inspired to do this when I heard adventurer Colin O’Grady interviewed on a podcast – one of his many claims to fame is being the first person to cross Antarctica unassisted and unaided.

In the middle of Covid lockdown, Colin found himself in an unhelpful place because his adventures had been cancelled due to international travel bans.

As he reflected on what he really missed – he remembered the discipline of walking 12 hours each day when he crossed Antarctica.

He decided to do the same near his home and felt transformed by the experience.

This led to him writing his book “The 12-hour Walk” – and establishing a charity of the same name.

The goal of the movement is not to walk the most kilometres (many people in their 70s and 80s have participated) – but to be alone with yourself and your thoughts – with no phone – music – or anything to distract you.

I love bushwalking – but have never been totally alone for that long before.

You can do this anytime – but I chose to do it when 1500 people around the world did it on the same day.

There was a real sense of real solidarity doing this together – and recording a short video at the start and end of the walk with your reflections.

It was wonderful walking in bush in Northern Sydney.

Colin challenged us not to be too prescriptive in what we thought about but maybe to consider one or two questions to ponder.

When I interviewed Mike Schneider – CEO of Bunnings for The Caring CEO podcast – he spoke about the 4 H’s that guided his life: Honest Humble Helpful and Happy.

I’d always loved that – and pondered – how I can create something similar for my own life.

I diverted from total isolation twice.

The first time I passed a coffee shop and said, “Strong flat white please”. As I sat at a table drinking my coffee I had this overwhelming urge to read the news and social media. Somehow I resisted – and was glad I did.

The second time was when I got lost. I allowed myself to activate Google maps – and get back on the right path (thank God for the blue dot).

Long story short – I finished after walking 36 kms and having lots of time for reflection.

I ended up deciding the 5C’s to guide the rest of my life: Caring Centred Curious Constructive and Chuckling

Every week since I have asked myself – am I living my 5C’s? – is there anything I would like to change next week

Would I do it again? Absolutely – it was a truly unique experience. Bernie – a good friend of mine was inspired to do it as well and loved it.

I encourage you to consider it.

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