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Dealing with Obstacles in Life: True Grit

Mud. Sweat. Tears. Sunshine and Sangria! On Saturday 13 May, 10 of SACARE’s staff, teamed up to tackle the True Grit challenge in Cadell, South Australia. True Grit is a course 10-12km in length with 30+ army inspired obstacles. We met at 6:30am at HQ, looking as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as can be and feeling pumped for an adrenaline fueled day ahead.

Let’s just say that the coffee pit stop was absolutely essential! Two and a half hours later we arrived at the beautiful vineyards of Caudo alongside the Murray River in Cadell with only 15 minutes to spare before the fire guns went off to signal the start of the race. Some of us competed last year and had an absolute ball, a few of us, however, were newbies and just realised what we had committed to. “Is that a 5-meter tyre wall? OH, right, remind us why we are here again?!” Because we’re daring, adventurous and determined, that’s why! Later we asked ourselves “How did we do it?!”. It was all about having the right attitude and giving it a go.

“I truly believe True Grit emulates the SACARE philosophy in pursuing every obstacle that presents itself and problem-solving a way to overcome each and every one, no matter how crazy or out of the box the solution may be. We encourage our team to participate in events like this to work together to overcome physical and mental obstacles and push ourselves beyond our boundaries, much like individuals living with disability face every day.” – Chloe Kempe, General Manager, SACARE

There were 5000 other True Grit enthusiasts, the music was blasting, the energy was frenetic and the sun was starting to heat the earth. You could feel that it was going to be a beauty of a day! After a group photo, warm up movements and team cheer, we gathered around the start line and were ready to go! The countdown began from 20 and the fire guns exploded just after 1. Off we went as a team eased into a jog with grins on our faces. There were 32 obstacles… most of which we were all able to help each other through. From climbing walls to crawling under barbed wire, we did them all… well attempted to, at least! Whilst we were jogging through the beautiful landscape of South Australia, it actually felt like we had rose coloured glasses on. It was a glorious day of 21 degrees and with the blue sky, orange dirt, and green vineyards, everything looked absolutely stunning. For an army inspired challenge, it was prettier than we imagined it to be. Long and behold the most challenging obstacles approached where we had to jump into freezing cold water, and wade through thick mud (fully clothed) and swim under bridges. It was so cold and that some contestants couldn’t help but cry! The sudden change in scenery from merrily eating grapes and oranges from the orchards to being confronted with this mess triggered an interesting reflection on life itself. Life throws obstacles at us when we least expect it. Quite often life can be going along so smoothly and quickly that we become blind to the simple pleasures. Then, out of nowhere, a nasty barrier appears and life is put to the test. How do we tackle it? Well, as much as we’d like to stay grounded on the other side of the barrier, watch the world continue around us and pretend that life is fine, this is not reality. The only option we can do is to go through it. You can feel terrified, anxious, inexperienced, and sometimes alone. However, you can overcome obstacles no matter how big or small as long as you follow these habits:

  1. Take little steps because little by little, a little will eventually become a lot and you’ll be so proud to see how far you’ve come.
  2. The deeper you find yourself in the obstacle the more you will learn how to manage it.
  3. Keep in mind that you’re not alone and there are more people out there than you realise who will help get you through who will help get you through.
  4. Don’t doubt the unbelievable strength of your mind.
  5. Remind yourself that the obstacle won’t last forever, you will get through it and once you do, you will be stronger and more confident than ever before.

You’ll look back at the version of yourself before the obstacle and look at those wide frightened eyes and scared little body, and you’ll compare yourself to how you are now and almost feel grateful that you were presented with this struggle to tackle. Obstacles in life are needed in order to help us grow, make us stronger, and to remind us what truly matters in life. The simple things that we can appreciate, including the people and even strangers around us that helped us through. Whilst there are no markers in life like “5km to go”, the support is always there to encourage you to keep going. Witnessing this level of support on a daily basis at SACARE is inspiring, “The camaraderie that each team member shows one another is something that fills you with pride, knowing that we have such awesome individuals who are working together who share the same values, vision, and goals for life.” - Chloe It is important not to allow obstacles to overpower you and steer you away from your life vision and goals. When we put our mind over matter we can become one with the obstacle. To put it lightly, for example, being afraid of heights was not an option for us during the True Grit challenge, we knew that if we told ourselves that we were afraid of heights (which some of us were), we wouldn’t have been able to climb the wall. So we climbed up the 5-meter tyre wall with determination knowing that we could use our strengths to get us over, our positive mind, and attitude! Well, life is like a box of chocolates True Grit obstacle challenge, you never know what cha’ gonna get! With only one obstacle remaining, the SACARE team tackled the big ol’ mighty 20-meter slide together. Alright, let’s do this! We slid down the plastic covered wooden frame with arms in the air and a big smile on our face and slid into the freezing River Murray. Oh. My. Bodies froze, there were moments of panic, some of us stopped breathing and muscles cramped. Did NOT expect that. Saved by our teammates, we helped each other back to shore where we were greeted by a choice beer or sangria. Sangria, please! Cheers team, we rocked it, what a brilliant day!


By Milly Toovey


(Digital Marketing Coordinator)


Some of the obstacles from True Grit!