The Gobi March is as much about determination as it is about achievement.

In an age where the attention span of an average 20 year old is measured in characters, let alone minutes, one should think long and hard about those individuals that not only manage to keep their focus but keep their focus on a long term objective with a seeming ease of determination that the rest of us only dream about.

As I started this commentary on the 4 Deserts Gobi March, I had little doubt the individuals that have committed themselves to months of training, research and strength of purpose are fairly unique - a very elite group by most persons standard.  Not only did they decide to subject their bodies to running 250km in 7 days across a landscape that could easily be considered ‘God forsaken’, they also decided to forgo much of their ‘normal’ lives in preparation for the event.

The Gobi: A Lesson In Determination - The Gobi March - The Wise Traveller

Take for instance the need to actually run, on a regular basis, somewhere approaching 250km in a week.  Let’s say on average you run, on a good day, 8-10km per hour over a long distance – forgetting the ridiculous efforts of marathoners who do 42 kms in just over 2 hours. The regime translates to approximately 25 hours of training in a week – one full day (plus) per week.

Now remember there are only 168 hours in a week. If we presume most of us work a 40-45 hour week (maybe a lot more depending on your career choices), we need at least, on average, a somewhat evenly spread 50 hours sleep a week. Then we all need time to do those little necessities in a day - like travel to and from work, a bit of shopping, have breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst maintaining some semblance of personal hygiene. Lets say that’s another 40 hours a week.  All tolled this equates to approximately 155-160 hours in the week, give or take. Leaving a very measly 1-2 hours per day for things like - heaven forbid - a family! If that’s not commitment, what is?

The Gobi: A Lesson In Determination - The Gobi March - The Wise Traveller

Personally I have attended, throughout my life, many a course and training session designed to assist the supposed business leader in focusing and working on achieving an objective.  All I’m sure stupidly expensive for the company paying. Today I watch and listen to a select few who have decided on an objective of marching across 250 kms of the Gobi Desert, forsaking a fair amount to do so and can’t help but think of all those days I spent in a conference room being talked at by some that actually have no idea, in comparison, was a load of rubbish. I have learnt more in the past 2 months about commitment than I have in the past 30 years. So I say send your management team out to volunteer on one of these events and get them to learn what real determination and commitment looks like – it’s cheaper and will be a far more valuable education.

I will maintain this is not just a 7 day, 250 kms trek - it is a commitment of heart and soul to an objective few of us could manage but should at least understand can be done.

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Richard Batka is CEO of The Wise Traveller, a some time writer, regular traveller and someone always humbled by the wonders of the world.