THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH…ONE MILE?

Well, that’s not quite what the familiar Chinese proverb says; it is much more forgiving of effort and says, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. We’ve just coined the phrase in reference to the recent accomplishment of AESA’s Midmar Miler, Theuns!

Our Team Leader & CEO, Theuns Pauw, decided late last year that he would take on the challenge of swimming in the 2024 ‘Midmar Mile’ in a campaign to raise funds for our 2024 Foxfire Youth Program. The Midmar Mile is the world’s largest open water swimming event; it takes place annually at Midmar Dam, which is a tad more than a stone’s throw away from AESA – some 20kms up the road.

The Midmar Mile

In the interim, Theuns fractured his forearm and his training could only begin three weeks prior to the day of the event. So it was on the Sunday morning of the 11th February that Theuns (still nursing a forearm on the mend, and with minimal training) took to the open water, braving its’ chill and navigating its choppiness and the thousands swimming around and about him, to successfully complete the 1.6km challenge. Well done, Theuns!

The medalist with his fan club (his children)

The moral of the story: ‘If you want to raise money you’ve got to do extreme sports’…right?

That could work I suppose, but NO…the moral of this story is ‘perseverance’! It’s not so much about the success at the end, that of course is the desired outcome; rather it’s about the journey. It’s about negotiating the obstacles, overcoming the challenges, maintain focus on the goal. This experience mimics our life journey, the struggles, the effort, the setbacks. We must persevere through it all holding fast to our faith; holding fast to our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ Hebrews 12:1-3

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