The advertisement read:

Adventure TV Show. Could you go back to basics and take on one of the world’s toughest terrains, east Africa?
Me: “Yes!”
Are you willing to go toe to toe with nature, animals, and fellow competitors for a life changing challenge?
Me: “Yes!”
This is not for the faint hearted, so if you’ve got what it takes, if you can run with the pack and are truly fearless, then this could be the opportunity for you! Contact us for a chance to do something extraordinary.

Wow. I can’t explain the feeling that came over me when I read the words in that ad. All I remember saying to myself was “I’m doing that!” I just knew deep in my heart, no deeper than that, in my soul I knew I was going to Africa for this adventure. It’s like it was part of my life’s purpose. It was calling out to me. I guess it’s that same gut feeling when a man finds his soulmate and he says “I’m going to marry her.”


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A tsetse fly torments my face as I walk across the Serengeti.

This all started one day while I was wasting time on Facebook. I came across this ad from a UK based production company, and they were in search of 20 people who would use their expert survival skills to navigate without a map or compass, alongside 1.3 million Wildebeest on a physically and mentally punishing 200 mile, six week journey through the Serengeti to the Mara River. 7500 people applied for this adventure show. I was one of 20 chosen and the only amputee in the group. This truly would be a challenge on so many levels. Our only supplies would be the clothes on our backs, very little food and water, and limited gear. We would have to live somewhat organically off of the land. As the migration progresses, the human “Herd” made up of ex special forces, survivalists, athletes, zoologists and others, will thin to a hard core elite group as individuals tap out due to exhaustion, hunger or injury. The remaining group will have to fight their way to the finish, encountering mountains, deep ravines, impassable bogs, scorching plains, raging rivers and countless apex predators. Some people would think that this is crazy. Well it kinda is. But I feel that this was a calling on my life. God wanted me to do this and He prepared me for it by allowing me to experience some lean, hard times in my life. Times that would be extremely useful in such a vicious and equally beautiful place as the African Serengeti. The message that a person like myself, a double amputee, will send to the world about the incredible power of the human spirit will be immense. People will view my efforts and say “if he can do that, then I have no complaints in my life!” At least that’s what I’m hoping the viewer’s takeaway will be from my contribution to the show. This is real. This is dangerous. Every year millions of wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti plains to Kenya’s Maasai Mara River. Tens of thousands won’t make it. How will we do? You’ll have to watch the show. This is the ultimate survivor experience complete with wild uncaged dangerous animals whose only job is to eat other animals and make babies. These predators will kill you, and then eat you. Mygrations will debut on National Geographic on Monday May 23rd at 9pm EDT. 6 one hour episodes will follow our journey across the harsh Serengeti. This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. God gives me strength!

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College Park Soleus feet navigate the harsh Serengeti.




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