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Running for a cause: Find out why this lawyer is lacing up for India

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on December 4, 2015

running for a cause

In a time when the word “idol” is synonymous with sleazy celebrities who proudly sport malfunctioning wardrobes, there is Samantha Gash. Her determination, endurance and humanitarianism have allowed her to literally run across the globe. She has trail blazed through the world’s driest, windiest, hottest and coldest deserts in support of different charities, achieving unparalleled results. In 2010, she smashed the “Four Deserts Grand Slam,” being the first woman to enter and complete it, as well as being the youngest person at the time.

“I don’t think I have any special power to have done that, I just happened to be the first woman to think it was possible,” Sam laughs.

Her success as a runner allowed her to start speaking to large crowds, especially in the corporate sphere.

“It was a way to give back to the organisations that had supported me, as I had found immense parallels between ultra marathon running and the lessons that I learnt through it and how they applied to particular corporate audiences.”

Sam’s experience as a charity runner has allowed her to revolutionise herself mentally and spiritually, to the point where she has been touching and changing lives far beyond her intentions.

In 2013 Sam appeared in Desert Runners, a film that documented the incident of her assault while running through Egypt. After the film, a young lady approached her, and then reached out privately online, telling Sam how she had been beaten and assaulted in her own home by someone she knew, and how empowering Sam’s part in the film was.

“She didn’t get the support from the people around her in the way that she thought she would and watching the film and the reaction to my incident made her realise that she was still treating herself as the victim,” Sam explained.

“It made her realise that that she could lead the life she wanted as she had the capability of being in control of her own destiny. She now does obstacle racing and has sent me photos of her achieving great results, so for her it was about becoming physically empowered and mentally strong.”

Sam’s message is simple. The power and the ability to control your mind will ultimately change your physical and mental performance.

“I always talk about stepping outside your comfort zone, which is where the real magic happens.”

Sam explains that self-limiting beliefs are “the biggest reasons for why people are afraid to try, and hence afraid to succeed.” The fear of failure, the fear of letting people, including ourselves down and not surrounding ourselves with the right influences in our lives are all holding us back.

“Whenever we are experiencing something new, whether it’s physical or even just something in our work lives, we seem to characterise it as pain or something that legitimises us to pull out, mostly because it is not familiar and we want to give ourselves the easy way out. But if we allow ourselves to endure the experience we will deepen our capabilities and push our boundaries.”

And there’s no stopping Sam now! Her next project will take her to India, where she’s partnered with World Vision to raise funds for quality education for children. She will visit development programs across the country during her run, which will be approximately 4000km.

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