Submitted by : Johann van Coller
Johann van Coller, extreme sportsman and adventurer, is preparing himself for his greatest adventure yet.
He plans to walk every walkable step from Antartica to the Artic and has called his project #0Sto0N, which references the starting point and destination of this journey. He estimates that the trip will take about three and a half years. Johann has always been an admirer of people who do ‘firsts’, and this arduous trip he is in the throes of planning is going to be, as he describes it, an ‘epic adventure’. He hopes to set off in November 2020 in time for the summer months in Antarctica.
This 31-year old Alberton man has not had an easy life. From being a young A-grade student, he admits to getting involved with the wrong crowd which led to a serious drug habit and his subsequent multiple expulsions from various schools. Thankfully, he managed to turn his life around and, with the support of his young wife, Marna, he completed his matric at night school, as well as his tertiary studies, and slowly built his success.
Sadly, Marna passed away a few years ago. “Marna was an incredible woman, kind and caring”, he says. “She always carried new socks in the boot of her car to give to the less fortunate because she maintained that there was nothing better in the world than the feel of a clean pair of socks!”
His hope is that, on his return from this epic trip, he will be able to impart to his audiences the many messages of hope and life skills that he receives along his journey.
Far from feeling sorry for himself, Johann says that he has come to appreciate the second chance at life that he has received. The purpose of this journey is two-fold. First, he intends to visit organisations along the way that care for the needy and for rescue animals to share a message of goodwill and to learn from their experiences. Second, he hopes to witness the lights of the aurora borealis when he reaches the Artic region because his wife had loved pretty lights, especially the stars in remote places, and her dream was to experience this phenomenon.
Johann is currently training to be a motivational speaker. His hope is that, on his return from this epic trip, he will be able to impart to his audiences the many messages of hope and life skills that he receives along his journey. “I love the #ImStaying Movement because of the platform it has given South Africans to express their care for and respect of one another.”
He would also dearly like to involve a university in this trip, not only to share valuable information along the way, but to provide students with an opportunity for a project in any applicable field of study.
His planned route will take Johann from Antarctica across to Chile, then up the west side of South America, through Mexico, the United States, Canada, and on to the Queen Elizabeth Islands before reaching his final destination. There is still much to do before Johann can leave and he is appealing for assistance from service providers and sponsors who can help ready him for this strenuous trip, in exchange for marketing opportunities, including radio and television interviews through his association with two online and digital marketing companies that have offered to assist him and any sponsors.
He would also dearly like to involve a university in this trip, not only to share valuable information along the way, but to provide students with an opportunity for a project in any applicable field of study. Johann will consider someone accompanying him after the Antarctic trip is complete but says that this person would need to be extremely fit with the mental stamina to survive in all conditions.
Johann is seeking the following :
– A Spanish teacher so that he can communicate adequately in South America right up to Mexico;
– A Krav Maga teacher for self-defence training as he was attacked on several occasions on his walk between Cape Town and Johannesburg in preparation for this new adventure;
– A nutritionist that can help him develop the required sustenance for crossing Antarctica;
– A personal trainer at a gym to assist him in preparing to face some of the harshest and extreme conditions of Antartica;
– Clothing and gear for the varied climatic conditions he will face on the trip;
– Dentistry to ensure that his teeth are in the best possible condition;
– An optometrist to advise on the best solution for eye wear in below freezing conditions. Due to the dangers and complexity of the trip, Lasek/Lasik would be optimal. Johann can offer a comprehensive explanation if necessary;
– A specialist in visa applications for countries like Antarctica, Columbia, and Canada;
– An instructor – and suitable location – to fine-tune his skydiving and BASE jumping skills as he plans to do much of this along his trip;
– A sponsor for quality foods and supplements while he is still in training.
Johann says that one of his greatest fears is not doing what he could, while he could, and having to say “I would have, I could have, I should have.”
Find Johann on Instagram and Facebook as Barefootmagicman.
Final Editing for #ImStaying
I’m a lover of words, of mentoring, networking, and helping my fellow man to ‘learn to fish’. Driven by a hunger to never stop learning, I have a passion for adventure and travel, sundowners and laughter with good friends. At the end of the day what brings great delight to my life are my young adult sons.
Quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela