After climbing the controversial barefoot to base camp on Mount Everest, 34-year-old Dutchman Anton Nuttenboom began a new challenge on Saturday. He hopes to conquer 2,600 km barefoot between Cairns, Australia and his native Sydney. In this way, the born Zeeuw draws attention to “men’s mental health”.
He says Nootenboom is so happy if we looked back on Instagram his first day couldn’t have been better. “Lots of people accompanied me during the first kilometers. They wanted to be a part of my journey for a while and wished me well. It made me feel incredible. Along the way, I received great responses from people who shared their experiences with mental health. They recognized me from the stations.” The radio station that paid great attention to my trip. This is just the beginning of my journey. I can’t wait to see what comes my way. ”
He left Nootenboom early on a Saturday morning due to the heat (around 30 degrees during the day, ed) but even so, according to him, it was already warm at the start of his adventure. “I feel relieved that it has started. The past few months have been hectic due to the preparations.” He thanked his Australian girlfriend Kate and others for their help.
Five million steps
His goal is to cover about 15 miles a day and reach Sydney in about four months. Then complete at least 5 million steps. The first stage passed without any problems. “I randomly picked a campsite where I wanted to pitch my tent when it was dark, but the owners gave me a bungalow so I could sleep well. They already knew my challenge, they gave me a bag full of groceries and the lady of the house baked me a big burger.
The Dutchman, born and raised in Goes, Zeeland, made an untrained, bare-footed walk and climb in 2019 to the Everest Base Camp, located 5,364 meters from the nearly 9,000-meter mountain. The challenge originated from his early days in Australia. Because of “home debts” in the Netherlands and the secession of his new home, he often walked aimlessly along the beach, but in the end he was able to tackle problems and wanted to mean something to people again.
Through his Everest adventure, he raised money for an institution committed to improving education for the poor, among other things. With his new height, Nootenboom wants to hit the Guinness Book of Records and educate people about men’s mental health.
There is a seriously misconception of what “manhood” means. As a result, men struggle to be vulnerable. I want to help by showing that it’s okay to talk about it and be vulnerable when you need support, ” explains the Dutchman on his The Barefoot Ducthman. In Australia, an average of eight people are killed every day. Last year, 3,328 Australians did so, of whom 75 per cent were male. “I want to help prevent this from happening.”
Army and construction
Nooteboom served in the Dutch Army for ten years, and has gone on three missions to Afghanistan and has worked in construction for the past five years. Both are seen as “extremely masculine environments,” he writes. During my time in these industries, I saw and suffered from men’s mental health issues from my own experiences. I felt the need to make a change, which led me to embark on my own mission in 2019: to walk barefoot to make a difference and help create the world that we have wanted us in throughout life.
Literally and figuratively, his tasks push his limits and force him out of his comfort zone. “I want to use the momentum generated during my barefoot challenges to raise awareness and raise funds for causes I believe in.”
“I want to be the change I want to see in this world, and show that it only takes determination and bare feet to make a difference.”
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