Train Hard, Eat Quick and Sleep Deep by Matthew Slack of Fiennes Tent

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December 6, 2017
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February 5, 2018

Train Hard, Eat Quick and Sleep Deep by Matthew Slack of Fiennes Tent


By Matthew Slack of Fiennes Tent

The turbulence was unreal, the banter was on point and travelling from Johannesburg to Bulawayo with my soon-to-be-brothers was nerve wracking but exciting as well.

The majority of us took the same flight to Bulawayo and shoved our almost bursting suitcases into a massive Quest Truck similar to that of a game vehicle and / or a prison transportation bus!

At first glance, the roads leading to our new home resembled something out of ‘Black Hawk Down’ where the poverty and run-down infrastructure was evident, but not quite as bad as that of Somalia!

After being allocated our new homes in the form of a three-man safari tent with an en suite bathroom, we readied ourselves for the night of formalities at the Bushtick Pub located on the Falcon College campus. The nerves were obviously there but we all finished the evening with some quality introduction speeches and a couple of drinks.

Dazed and confused we were up before sunrise and completed our first “Quest Fitness Test” (QFT) and recorded body measurements to see our improvements later on in the course. We were introduced to GPS navigation which was something new and would prove very beneficial during our time here and specifically during the next few days.

At 2.30am the famous Mr M burst into the tents with a 15 minute warning to meet in the car park, where we were all loaded into the back of a truck with our hiking packs that we had prepared the previous afternoon.  After some distance we disembarked and headed off down the long dirt road in the dark.

One thing I have realised during the short time I have been at Quest is that one does not ask questions, and long walks are more common than mosquitoes.  So far (at time of writing – ed) we’ve spent more nights in the bush than on Quest campus, totalling 4 nights out in tents, survival shelters, on the dirt with nothing but our sleeping bags and mat.

It was hard, I won’t lie, and there were times I wanted to quit, but I kept my mind on the task at hand and split my days into meals.  Train hard until breakfast, work hard until lunch, and work even harder until dinner…. A continuous cycle of muscle aching activities, food rationing, and still pushing on and bonding with my new Quest brothers.

Working so hard with no sense of direction or even how long or how many days we’d have to prolong our food and clothing can strain the mind, but with each passing day, my mental discipline and stamina strengthened and my respect for the Quest Core Program only grew stronger.

“Confortare esto vir” – “Take courage and be a man”