On a day when the sun was beating down more than New Zealand did to France, All Things Jabu, in the form of Jabu, Dirk and Taryn (Mrs Dirk) took on the Impi Challenge. This is not the first time an All Things Jabu team had faced off against the original long distance obstacle course. With the bravado of the brave blossoms and the echoing voice of MC Sean Falconer we took on the 30 degree celsius weather. Facing us was a course of thorns, rocks, mud, cliffs, climbs, holes and maybe even daggers. Twelve kilometres of bruising encounters with nature awaited it, almost challenging us to become Impi’s. And challenge is the perfect way to describe it.
Starting off facing a military-like start with a mini obstacle course while carrying a brick that weighed a couple of kilograms. Getting through this and the clothes already started resembling my childhood days in the garden. If you thought this was tough, you didn’t have a clue. I also thought, having tackled the Impi Challenge before, that my new-found fitness would put me in a good stead. The difference though is that Impi challenges both your physical strength and your mental resolution. It’s almost like the perfect storm.
As the kilometres started tick off, the sweat started to pour and the clothes started to increase in weight (They hold a lot of mud), we started gaining a new-found strength. That is the strength that camaraderie brings. Each obstacle is met with a degree of excitement rather than trepidation as you add another tick to the box of obstacles overcome. Two of my favourites were the jump from a rickety cliff into the river (Dirk wont share much about that one though) and near the end of the course when you used a ladder to travel across a muddy pool.
Each challenge presented another opportunity to test your resolve and importantly to get up and go again, something you don’t always feel like doing! As a team we were fantastic with Taryn taking on the captaincy role with the kind of tenacity of students trying to get a statue removed. She almost single-handedly kept our pace up and kept us pushing each other to go further, faster and higher.
As we neared the end we heard a rapturous applause from the crowd, which was quite lifting, it was then more lifting to have heard who that cheer was really for. It was for a visually impaired man who had conquered more than just the Impi Challenge and a reminder that challenges other people are facing in life are far greater than the ones we are.
I ended the day with bruises, scratches and scrapes. I ended the day with a stiff leg and sore knees. I ended the day with sopping wet shoes and a brown cap, that used to be white. But I also ended the day with the knowledge that I had overcome the Impi and with memories that last far longer than any medal could. I got my Impi on!
The greater the obstacle, the greater the glory in overcoming it. Bring on the next one!