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Life and the Barkley Marathon

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching a movie called the Barkley Marathon on Netflix. I felt that the film dragged on too long for such a simple message, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

The film is about the Barkley Marathon held in Tennessee where participants try to complete five 20-mile loops through the wild bush under a certain time limit. It is quite an intense experience with participants’ legs covered in scratches and their feet completely mangled by the end. They also have some particular quirks that I quite enjoyed, like having to hand in a number plate from your state or country and giving things like T-shirts, flannel shirts, socks etc. on top of the $1.60 entry fee (the guy’s obviously not in it for the money). But also they play a song on the horn* whenever a participant pulls out, which is actually quite common.

Well, at one part of the film they talk to one participant about why anyone would do such a mentally and physically-challenging race and his answer was surprisingly similar to my own when it comes to simply doing stuff.

Like me, the participant had lost his father suddenly right before retirement. The story was that you don’t know when you’re going to die, so you might as well do stuff. It’s the same realisation I have had and since then I have been trying to do stuff just for the sake of it, and always look for new things to try.

Honestly, I think with enough preparation I could complete that marathon, but I think I’ll stick to Yamabushi training instead. That I know I can do.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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