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CHAPTER 6 (PART 1)

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Photos: Lina Retzlaff

ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF LEAVING OUR COMFORT ZONES:

“THIS IS FOR THE WORLD AROUND AND WITHIN US”

My name is Fritz, I am fascinated by adventures, and I am convinced that people are great!

At the age of 26, I feel like I’ve lived many lives already. From starting my “career” studying business to becoming a private equity investor, an Ironman triathlon finisher, and a start-up founder in Berlin and Los Angeles, my life has been full of transformations. Rather sooner than later curiosity and an inner need to explore have always made me change and challenge myself in new forms and ways. However, I made a life-changing decision that turned my world upside down and set me on a path of professionally seeking adventures to inspire those around me.

After some years of working in the world of business, I wanted to take a break, sensing that there was more to life than I had discovered up until that point. I left the office to go on a solo adventure and cycle over 10,000 km across southern and eastern Africa. This journey not only exposed me to incredible nature and landscapes but also introduced me to the diverse cultures and wonderful people who call Africa home. During these ten months I truly understood the power of leaving my comfort zone and tapping into the unknown.

Many people expected me to have bad experiences, to be robbed, to be taken advantage of. Europeans warned me against Africans. People in Africa warned me against people in their neighboring countries or other areas of their homeland.

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Yet, wherever I went, people approached me with genuine generosity and warm-heartedness. There was trust, hospitality, and positivity where a stranger may have expected the opposite. This made me realize that human beings are good at heart. That we are loving and caring beings. That there’s nothing wrong with us but with the narratives in our minds.

"PEOPLE ARE GREAT"

It has become my motivation to show the Western world that people are great. That despite all the negative news we consume every day there’s reason to believe and trust in each other. Unfortunately, we grew up with the belief that mankind is selfish, so we must explore and experience the opposite ourselves.

Therefore, I aim to inspire others and to show them the beauty of leaving our comfort zones.

I have never been a great athlete. I swam and played water polo in high school and only started running in university. I never ran to become faster or more competitive. I would step out of my front door, start moving and listen to nothing but my breath and my feet pounding on the tarmac or gravel. It was my way of escaping a stressful life. Leaving my to-do list and worries behind, running gave me time and space to think clearly and to calm down.

It was only when a friend asked me to train for an Ironman that running became an area that I wanted to explore further. That I wanted to challenge myself in to see how far and fast I could get.

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Today, endurance sports have become a tool for me. A skill that I’ve built over years, that I know I’m good at and that I enjoy intrinsically. Now, I use sports as a platform for adventures which are extreme and meaningful enough to draw people’s attention.

Just like my next adventure.

"THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I CANNOT FORESEE"

I plan to run 11,000 km across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. I will run 60 km per day attempting to set a new world record on this route. The magnitude of this undertaking truly excites me. There are so many things I cannot foresee, so many experiences to be had, so many doors to be found and opened. My true mission, however, is to showcase the inherent goodness of humanity. To show the positivity and generosity I have experienced before to a larger audience to build trust between cultures and nations.

Preparing to run 60 km a day requires dedication, discipline, and consistency. My training routine involves over 20 hours of running, cycling, and strength training every week. However, my fitness is only the basis for this adventure, the true challenge will be to mentally deal with all the pain, the discomfort, and the exhaustion.

For me this gets easier when I’m less involved in projects, when I’m not overly invested. Therefore, I take time to connect with friends, reflect on life, meditate, enjoy good food and coffee, and occasionally immerse myself in Berlin’s party life.

So far, my life has been a tapestry of diverse experiences, each shaping my perspective on the world. Through my various endeavors, I have come to appreciate the wonders that arise from stepping into the unknown, the new perspectives you gain from experiencing completely different ways of life and, most importantly, the beauty of human connections.

In October I will embark on my journey from Cairo to Cape Town. I invite you all to follow True Motion and me, to join us in embracing the unknown – and exploring the world around and within us.

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