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David Grier

travels from South Africa

Chef, Dedicated Athlete and Adventurist

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Keynote speaker David Grier is a chef, dedicated athlete and adventurist. One of his most recent challenges was a multi-disciplined solo event from Africa to Madagascar. Here, the aim was to paddle the Mozambique Channel, run the length of the island and then paddle and Kite surf back to Africa for a total distance of some 4000 km and a time span of more than 4 months. This being only one of many challenges David completed, his talks are full of examples and offer an unique insights into motivation, passion and endurance.

Another of David’s recent challenges was the solo run from the most northern temple in Kashmir India to the most southern temple in the ocean at Kanyakumari a distance of some 4008 km and a time span of 93 days becoming one of the first people to complete this deemed to be impossible feat.

David Grier was born in South Africa on the 16th of January 1960 into a Cape wine farming family. Here his love of the outdoors, food, wine and adventure began. He set out to take all his passions to the extreme and explore the limits of the human mind and body.

After studying Hotel Management, David Grier set out into the industry, starting the first of a string of successful restaurants. Always pushing the boundaries in the food industry he slowly began to make his mark in the industry culminating in his most recent restaurant being rated in the top 100 in SA. This led to television, brand exposure and his own range of food products.

To date: David Grier has run The Great wall of China 4200km in 93 days, Run the entire coastline of South Africa 3300 km in 80 days, paddled from Africa to Madagascar 500km in 12 days, run the Island of Madagascar South to north 2700km in 67 days and run the entire length of India 4008 km in 93 days.

David Grier is a trustee and ambassador for the ‘Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation’, raising funds through adventure for Operation Smile,South Africa, who perform corrective surgery on children born with cleft lips and palates.

He has shaped the experiences of the last four challenges into a series of inspirational talks. His message is of hope and ‘making a difference’ in peoples lives through change, positivity, the right attitude, recognizing opportunity and never giving up.

See keynotes with David Grier

    Keynote by Speaker David Grier

    Courage and Rice

    • This is an inspirational account of David’s journey along the Great Wall of China, achieving a world first record-breaking run of the entire length of the Great Wall, pushing his body to the limit, reaching deep into the inner strength of his mind.
    • Through this run, David had to personally deal with life-threatening situations and life-changing decisions, ultimately realizing that in order to continue with his journey he had to embrace change and evolve.
    • He found out how important it is to be able to change as we travel our personal journeys through life, to ultimately meet with success.
    • We all have this ability, but must make the personal commitment to want to embrace change, in order to move forward.

    Keynote by Speaker David Grier

    Hope in Thyme 

    • This is an inspirational 60 minute account of David’s journey around the coast of South Africa.
    • A journey running a smile around the foot of the African Continent, which he dubbed ‘Miles for Smiles’.
    • As the run began to unfold, the whole journey became a personal search and a continued strive to find the answers to questions that David suspects is on the mind of many a South African, “What does the future hold for us?  Is there hope in the future of this country?”

    Keynote by Speaker David Grier

    Burnt Vanilla 

    • In March 2010 David returned from a 4 Month solo adventure, where he paddled 500km from Africa to Madagascar across the Mozambique channel and then ran the entire length of the island from south to north a distance of 2700km.
    • An adventure that has by far been his most gruelling event to date.

    Keynote by Speaker David Grier

    Spices tea and Philosophy 

    • Starting in Kashmere, in the foothills of the Himalayas at the most northern temple I began this epic run down India, travelling through 10 provinces which in the end felt like 10 different countries.
    • A journey that I felt that I was so prepared for, taking in all that I had learnt from my previous runs, only to find it was to be a journey that nearly got the better of me.
    • From day one it became an internal mental battle, struggling to remain focused and positive.
    • Every day was a fight to take a negative situation and turn it positive.
    • Plagued by injury, sickness, doubt and overwhelmed by the demise of humanity all around me, each day became a search for some straw of hope to hang onto for that day.
    • In the end as a team we managed to turn it around by lifting the bar, pushing me harder and harder, finally running 50km a day for weeks on end through this physical achievement I began to believe that I could do it and managed to shut off the world around me.
    • There was never a time that I could get into a rhythm and just run because of the mass of people around me all the time, the continuous barrage of questions and just plain honest interest in what in was doing.
    • I finally reached the southern tip of India, 93 days later after covering a distance of 4008 km
    • A country of beauty, friendship, spirituality, flavours and chaos, “don’t go looking for India, India will find you “
    • Once again a journey bigger that me as an individual, its was a journey to make a difference in the lives of children born with facial deformities, cleft lips and palates.

    Keynote by Speaker David Grier

    Lessons from my journeys – A combination of 3 journeys in one

    • The run of the Great Wall of China was such a turning point in my life as it taught me the importance of change in ones life, in many a way this, I think, is one of the most important factors that I have had to come to terms with, the realization that every thing and everyone around us are evolving and changing at such a rapid rate. The sooner you manage to come to terms with this, the better.
    • Next, came the 3300 km run around the Coast of South Africa. The more I look at this journey, the more I believe that change on its own is not enough, unless one has hope for the future that we and our children can strive for, and that, through our actions of internal and external change, we know that there is still a greater goal to aim for.
    • The reward for change is that, through the process, we hope the future will bring something better – otherwise why change?
    • The solo paddle to, and the run through Madagascar, was about circumstance, and ones’ attitude to life.
    • This has been the biggest single hurdle that I have had to overcome and, ultimately, has had the biggest effect and impact on this challenge. But sitting back and reflecting, is it not circumstance that is ultimately the biggest hurdle that we all have to face, deal with and ultimately need to have the ability to adapt to?
    • How one handles the circumstance that you find yourself in, I feel, has the biggest bearing on the final outcome of life.
    • Your interpretation and ability to react in the correct way, that decision will ultimately have the biggest influence on your life.
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Keynote topics with David Grier