Name: Max Erasmus
Sport: Extreme hiking
I’m just a normal person who went on an adventure and now just can’t seem to quit!
I was born in South Africa, but moved with my parents to the UK when I was 4. I went to school just around the corner from Kondor in fact, then I got my BA Journalism Degree from Winchester University, so I’ve always loved living close to both the sea and the forest.
Although I don’t consider myself disabled, I was born with the use of only one arm, but it’s never stopped me. If anything it’s always been my motivator to push past boundaries, and to do everything and anything people didn’t expect me to: from tying my shoes laces to completing my first Triathlon and gaining my Advanced PADI Scuba Diving qualification. My disability has always been the reason to try, not an excuse not to!
I’ve always been a creative person, with an eccentric artist for a Mum it’s hard not to be! I wanted to study English, she encouraged me to combine it with Journalism and I loved it!
I met Tom, my fiancé and fellow adventurer at University, he’s always inspiring me to try new things and push myself further. In April 2014 we left the UK and travelled for 2 and a half years, visiting 19 amazing countries and doing some truly unforgettable things, including trekking to Everest Base Camp, an eye-opening experience from start to finish.
How long have you been into sport?
All my life; when I was little, I spent every summer playing outside, climbing trees, playing football, and throwing the rugby ball back and forth with Dad (he was always a huge influence in my love of the outdoors). At school I loved netball, football, and P.E was the best lesson (I think I was the only girl who thought that actually).
Now I love hiking, running, yoga, skiing, scuba diving, and just being outside!
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to have an adventure in the pipeline. We would love to do another ‘Thru-hike’ but maybe not such a long one. To be honest in 5 years I just hope we’re adventuring, camping, hiking and exploring more than ever. I would also like to do more cycling and triathlons, so maybe by then we will have completed some sort of cycle challenge – maybe London to Paris, who knows!
Who inspires you?
My fiancé Tom! He is the most driven and motivated person I know. I wouldn’t have done the amazing things I’ve done without him. He trained for a year to compete an Ironman distance triathlon and did the whole thing with 100% enthusiasm and a smile on his face! (I may have promised him I’d do one too one day – oops!)
What has been your biggest achievement and biggest fail to date?
In 2017 we completed a ‘Thru-hike’ of the Appalachian Trail in the USA. 2189 miles, through 14 States, and we completed it in 5 months – it was the hardest, most wonderful thing I have ever done.
Biggest fail? Not having the confidence to adventure sooner. Tom calls me a ‘reluctant explorer’ because I love trying new things but I am also a worrier, and I just wish I had worried less when I was younger – now I just want to say yes to as many adventures life throws in my direction!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get in to boxing and martial arts?
Whether it’s hiking, running, triathlon, or travelling, just go for it. Everyone starts as a beginner, and you don’t have to be an expert to try anything, so start out slow, pace yourself, and see where it takes you.
What are your favourite and worst parts of the sport?
Being outside in the sunshine is the best, but being outside in the rain, isn’t always, but can be the worst, especially when it’s freezing and you have to set up camp on the side of a mountain.