Holding the World Record for rowing 5,000km in the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race and alongside my mate Kevin Biggar, becoming the first ever Kiwis to trek to the South Pole unsupported on foot, helps me bring my trailblazing attitude to others – stirring them to explore, discover and grow.
My most rewarding campaign to date, The Big Walk, was inspired hundreds of Kiwi kids and the Graham Dingle Foundation.
With groups of Kiwi teenagers we traveled the 3000km Te Araroa trail having learning-based adventures for each group (before passing the ‘baton’ onto the next team). We tested their toughness, challenged their beliefs, and most fulfilling of all, boosted their self-esteem. The crusade ended with participants, Ministers and CEOs spending two days discussing a plan to combat the country’s negative youth statistics.
We’ve also filmed multiple seasons First Crossings and Intrepid NZ – documentary series recreating New Zealand’s pioneering journeys.
This ticked all of my boxes. While the treks themselves proved daring, the settlers’ stories are inspirational. From the terror of abseiling a 90 degree cliff face with nothing but a piece of rope, to the joy of seeing remote New Zealand, brought to life the physical, mental and rewarding challenges our gritty ancestors faced.
When theory comes to practice, these campaigns have helped me weed out what does and doesn’t work. It’s these insights that I now bring to my professional career. Insights that love sharing with others through my motivational speaking engagements, facilitated presentations and strategy planning, coaching and leadership development.
– Jamie Fitzgerald