In today’s world of branding, self-promotion, constant improvement and ‘selfies’ Brendon Alsop from Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek is a welcome relief. Without all the self-hype and motivational speak he makes you feel that as an ordinary person you can still achieve extraordinary things…
Alsop and his dog Jojo (an 8yr old German Shepherd cross) set off one early morning for a ‘bit of a walk’ – 10 months later he and his dog have covered over 4,000 kms, lost a heap of weight from their bodies and raised over AUS$10,000 for charity. There was no training, no months of preperation or deliberation, and no massive hype – Alsop simply made the decision to make a change in his life and took the first steps with his dog by his side towards an awesome journey.
It took 3 months before his home-town of Geelong picked up his story and gave the walk some publicity. By that time Alsop and Jojo were well on their way to the Queensland border. “I wasn’t 100% sure how far I could go” admits Alsop “There was no guarantee. I was the everyday person that would drive to the corner shop. I’ve never been a walker”
The decision however was clear cut. “You can live a sedentary life,” says Alsop “sit on your butt and do nothing. Or you can live an abundant life, a full life.” After seeing several of his family and friends succumb to cancer, and watching his weight steadily creep up Alsop decided it was time for him to do something about it. He registered a name for his walk, found a charity he was keen to support, bought a ‘Croozer’ to hold all his gear, and set off with his dog for ‘a bit of a walk’.“It would have been harder without the dog,” admits Alsop. Jojo was his constant companion and offered him safety at night when they slept in the tent. “She started off the walk as a Great Dane,” jokes Alsop. Jojo lost weight too – down from 19kg to a trim 15kg. Initially she walked 90% of the way until the final weeks when the tarmac got too hot and rough for her paw pads. Alsop set the Croozer up so she could hop on top when it got too much. “She definitely got more pats than me,” he chuckles.
So with the walk finally over and his goals achieved, Alsop is very mindful that he’ll need to keep the momentum going. The effort now will be to keep the weight off and retain a certain amount of fitness. “I need to keep the routine going – to continue walking a few kilometres a couple of times a week,” he states. For now he’s on his way home with Jojo, driving the inland route back south and enjoying a well-earned break.
What do you think of Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek? Do you know of anything similar happening in your neighbourhood?
This post is also part of the Fit Dog Friday Blog hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!