5 Things You Learn When You Take on an Adventure
Last fall I climbed the tallest single standing mountain in the world: Mount Kilimanjaro (19,588 feet at Uruhu Peak). I climbed with an amazing group of women from Houston, TX. Their inspiration was Becky Pope, a three-time ovarian cancer survivor who climbed to share with others her zest for living. “You feel more alive when you are living without fear and striving to reach the summit of every day.”
This amazing life adventure taught me many things. It taught me about awareness, belief, admiration, persistence, and how becoming more authentic in your daily life can lead to seeing amazing experiences every day.
Awareness is key in making any journey possible. When you become more aware of your present situation, you can assess where you want to go. We started the six day trek in Tanzania. New faces and personalities to encounter and then spend almost a full week of thrills. Immediately we became aware that not everyone makes it to the summit. We were likely to have challenges along the way and we were going to need a plan to reach the peak. Many of our plans are made for us. From education to job requirements. It’s our job to take in daily appraisals of where we are and where we are going. If it isn’t the direction we want to be heading we need to alter our course.
At the very onset of the climb, the mountain snowcapped peak seemed to be so far in the distance that my own belief in knowing that we were heading to walk atop that place in the distance felt surreal. Many times in our lives, we have goals and things we want to accomplish from living a healthy lifestyle to having a balanced career, but if we don’t believe we are worthy or can see ourselves in the dream, we will never reach it. Believing in yourself and your dreams is essential.
Climbing is a day to day slow hike. Approximately six to nine miles are covered each day of the more than forty-three mile ascent of this expedition. That means plenty of time to “get to know” the people on the trip. I found myself in awe of some of my now friends, accomplishments. Finding admiration in their spirit and hearing how they overcame obstacles was empowering. Taking time to applaud others actions gave me new found strength in overcoming my own.
As we hit base camp at 15,000+ feet, the altitude became a persistent worry in the energy and enthusiasm of the team. A few members of our group were experiencing slight altitude sickness. Nausea, tingling and dizziness were the symptoms. The ten hour late evening to early dusk climb on summit day was grueling. Moving through scree (rock fragments) up the increasing grade had your steps sliding backwards. Moving upward in inches rather than in giant steps was tiresome. We kept moving and with persistence, eventually landed us upon Gilman’s Point. By rites, this is reaching the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and certificates are presented for this accomplishment by the park system. However, reaching Uruhu Peak was the goal, so we continued on for more than two hours to trek the last 200 feet to stand on the highest, single standing mountain of the world. Without the perseverance of the group, we would not have made it to the top of the world.
There is nothing to hide behind while climbing the mountain or attempting any adventures. No home, personal objects or material possessions that define your energy. You find how to believe in yourself, become aware of your surroundings, persevere to meet your goals and appreciate the power and strength of others around you. Finding a challenge, be it an adventure, travel experience or setting goals can help you define your authentic self. The essence of each day is there to become aware of, and believe in its purity. Admiration requires self reflection and gratefulness within ourselves. It’s when we persevere and challenge ourselves that we become more authentic and true to who we are, what we want to accomplish and how we want to live our lives. See the amazing person you are.
Have you recently gone on a self-discovery adventure or set a challenge/goal for yourself?
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