At this point, gentle reader – if you have been following my quest you will realise something is wrong. If I was to run a marathon on each continent, one is missing…Antarctica. That terrible cold wasteland lay beyond my imagination and truthfully, beyond my pocket.
Cheerfully, jokingly I dismissed the whole idea as way beyond my reach. I even argued Antarctica was not even a real continent anyway. To qualify you have to enjoy either civil commotion, a war or corruption. Antarctica fell outside this proper definition. I achieved what I set out to achieve and was at peace with my personal journey. So…no Antarctica. Well until the phone rang a three years later.
“We were inspired by your book,” Charles patiently explained. “Three of us decided to follow in your footsteps, but we wanted to do this a bit differently. In the first instance, we ran one marathon a year on a different continent – not all in one year. That, Tom, is frankly madness. In the second instance, we plan on going to Antarctica.” Charles hesitated. “And that is the reason for my call.”
It turns out that one of these valiant musketeers had a cycling accident and broke his collarbone. He was advised not to run and had to give up his position. The organisers were reluctant to refund the money, but were open to a replacement runner. As Fate would have it, there was a spare berth in the upcoming Antarctica Marathon.
“All you have to do is pay for the return flight to Buenos Aires, all the rest is paid for. Would you like to join us?”
When your heart is open and your dreams are generously expansive, if you follow them fearlessly the Universe will find a place for you. I did run the Antarctica Marathon and the details can be found here. More importantly I found the whole exercise – now with seven continents visited, life affirming. Personal redemption does require you to pitch up at the start line with your dreams. We don’t know if we are going to finish this long and difficult race, all we can do is trust in ourselves and in the Universe. Therein lies our personal freedom.