In a monumental feat, a 65-year-old completed his ‘Reverse the Bad’ expedition, becoming the first to solo kayak the Greater Loop spanning Canada and the United States.
Bringing about change in this world we inhabit is undoubtedly a challenge. But for some individuals, it’s not just a dream but a necessity to spread positivity and have some kind of impact on the world. One example of this is people who push their physical limits to perform daring feats of athleticism to raise funds for a variety of worthy causes. For Mark Fuhrmann, a Canadian native living in Oslo, Norway, kayaking was the way to go to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders and Captains Without Borders.
Through an incredibly challenging journey—which he titled “Reverse the Bad”—Fuhrmann sought to spread a message of “positivity for our troubled times.” The man spent a grueling 268 days in his kayak and became the first person to solo kayak the Greater Loop, a 6800-mile journey that goes through the United States and Canada.
The impressive journey involved Fuhrmann having to paddle for approximately 1634 hours, roughly equivalent to paddling for a continuous 68 days. He completed his journey on August 2 and stepped out of his kayak for the last time, hilariously requesting a beer. Speaking to Good News Network, he said, “It’s been a hell of a trip, but worth every minute of exertion, discomfort and pain. Not only to raise money and awareness but also to connect with nature, people and something deep within myself.” He went on to express gratitude to his supporters and said that he would rest for a while before undertaking another trip.
This was not his first long trip on a kayak, having done a charity run from Oslo to Greece in 2017. According to him, he found the last stretch of his latest trip to be brutal. The final 23 days had him paddle through continuous fog, along with rough tides and currents that were present in the Bay of Fundy. His difficulties continued at night when he lacked proper spaces to pitch his tent on the rocky coastline.
Reflecting on some of the nights during his journey, he said, “Some evenings I had to drag my kayak up three or four meters of rock inclines while others I was lucky enough to sleep on moored lobster vessels.” Being in a small vessel, he had to be alert and avoid bigger boats, such as ferries and fishing vessels, to prevent an accident. He said that the journey was “incredibly draining” and he wanted to get some rest in an “actual bed.”
He explained that he opted for these two specific charitable organizations because his deceased wife was a medical practitioner. With his kayaking journey, he has managed to raise an impressive $7000 through his GoFundMe page, “Paddle For Life.”
Doctors Without Borders is a humanitarian organization that steps in to provide medical help to populations in need around the world. Captains Without Borders aims to help the next generation of young seafarers with opportunities that allow them to grow in their field. Fuhrmann’s efforts are commendable and show that anybody can make changes with the correct initiative.