By running 465km in one month, the Wounded Pelicans aimed to raise awareness for wheelchair bound youth – to bring the struggles that not only these children, but their families, go through to the front of everyone’s mind.

Raising awareness was the motivation that got this thing started. What happened went beyond that, and I don’t think it was expected by some.

Not only was awareness raised for wheelchair youth and an appreciation gained of their lives, but the personal milestones of individuals involved hit an all time high. 

People were tested every day. They used this cause as inspiration to push on running or walking day after day, at distances some had never before thought were possible. As they checked off kilometre after kilometre you could see people starting to believe that it was possible. This snowballed into self-confidence, which turned into a mental toughness and steel determination to get the job done.

They found a strength physically, but more importantly mentally, they didn’t know existed. They found out what they are really made of.

It’s important to challenge yourself and get uncomfortable, because it’s through adversity we can learn to appreciate again.

In this case we appreciate that we have functioning limbs that allow us to walk around so freely and to perform every day tasks easily and without a second thought. When our every little step or movement isn’t a major obstacle we can take that for granted. Without stopping to appreciate what we have, we can get lost in the day-to-day issues and quickly lose perspective on what’s really important.

Doing something for a cause will always draw out the best in people. There’s more at stake. It’s human nature to care and to not want to let people down. Often the people doing the challenge get as much out of it as the people they’re doing it for. For the people who did Project465, we built our ability to rise through adversity.

This builds resilience, toughness, and self-confidence – the tools we need to help us handle challenging situations we’re not prepared for and every day life stresses.

The more we go through, the more of a mental bank of experience we build. After Project465 we have more in the bank to draw from when something is thrown at us that truly tests us. We have the confidence, toughness and resilience to know nothing can beat us.

When things get tough which they always do, remember the people we supported through this cause, and what we learned about resilience and gratitude. Use this to inspire you to push through hard times. Through this process you learn to be grateful (either for the first time or all over again). Gratitude and perspective can really change your outlook and help you look at life with a glass half full view.

So, make things hard for yourself sometimes. The benefits of overcoming far outweigh never trying. Be grateful for what you have and keep the every day tasks of life in perspective.