250 men walked up a hill. 250 giants walked down.

It had rained for 36 hrs straight, but now the rain had stopped…and it had started to snow instead. Wet men were about to become cold, wet men and with food and fire still some way away, we were quickly losing our built–in British decorum.  There is nothing that can turn strangers into friends (or enemies) more quickly than being cold, wet and hungry.

We were camped up in the hills of the Scottish Highlands, tents in need of repair, feet in need of fresh socks and a body in need of a warming cup of coffee. The camp was hemmed in by a fresh fall of snow and the air was bitter cold.

I had signed up for this weekend full of hope and excitement for a bit of adventure and ‘soul searching’ but now reality was setting in.  It’s these kind of experiences that separate those who want it and those who don’t.

The weekend was labelled as the ‘Xtreme Character Challenge’ (XCC) and it certainly did what it said on the tin. There are no masks and politically correct answers when you are tired, wet, cold and hungry. Barely concealed irritation, angry retorts and blunt responses were equally met with silly banter and laughter.

You are who you are and you wear that on your sleeve.

250 men had gathered to be part of a movement called 4M. Men coming together, escaping the rat-race and embracing a mentally and physically demanding four-day adventure. Men from all walks of life standing shoulder to shoulder, meeting with God in a powerful way and growing in a sense of brotherhood and togetherness. Camaraderie at these times is as essential as water. Not a single man cared if you were a lawyer, a convict, a banker or a student. As long as you were with us, you were included.

For me, the most defining moment happened when I released the pressure of being ‘someone’. Many men are known by their job title. Many men need significance to feel valued. And I was in danger of heading the same way. I released myself from that pressure and in doing so, became a little more free to be who I am – Rob. Just Rob. (More on this in next week’s blog).

I can share many stories of how these men were changed in these four days, but they are not my stories to tell. But believe me when I say, 250 men walked up a hill, and 250 giants came down.

Men who now have a renewed sense of identity.

Men who won’t stand idly by as their world flies passed them in a blur.

Men who have created a completely new value system to live their lives by.

Men who have been broken and re-built in four days, now holding their heads higher.

Men who have become giants.

These men left this experience looking different. They sounded different. And they definitely smelt different!  No BS – honest and open for others to see.

You are who you are and you wear that on your sleeve.

www.4muk.com run these events, and if you have the balls: get involved.

Much love.


Rob Harvie Written by:

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