CLIMBING MOUNT LONGONOT- BY LINDAH ATING’AH
I hiked up Mt.Longonot with a group of hikers belonging to Women Who Hike-Kenya on 8th October 2017 and that it was my best experience yet for 2017 is an understatement. Apart from testing my physical strength and endurance, I learnt other things not related to hiking and made a bunch of friends as well.
As I sat atop the second summit at Mt. Longonot marvelling at the beauty in front of me, the following dawned on me. These short lessons relate to life and reaching personal goals :
- The top will always look far when you are at the bottom-the top here being that goal you want to reach. The journey will seem long and you’ll wonder if you really need to climb. But once you set your sights on the target and you start climbing and you inch closer and closer to the top, you’ll realise it wasn’t really that far and the dread was all in your head.
- It’s not a race. Some people will get to the top before you. And that’s okay . The only person whose pace you have to worry about is YOURS. Climb at your pace. Don’t worry. You’ll get there.
- Rest if you must. Getting tired isn’t a weakness. Rest. Breathe. Rejuvenate. But don’t rest for you long. Keep your eyes on the prize.
- As you climb, don’t be too focussed on the top that you don’t take time to see the sights and marvel at how far you’ve actually come. Remember the alchemist? The secret to happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.
- You are going to want to give up as you climb. DON’T. It’ll hurt and you’ll want to just sit. Don’t. It’ll bend you but it won’t break you. You’ll find out you have strengths you didn’t even know you had. It’ll bring out the fire and fighter in you. It’ll make you grow.
- It’s in shouty capitals for emphasis. No man is an island they say. You may think you know all there is to know but getting the support and input of other people even if not that much knowledgeable than you will not only make the climb to the top easier and less tiresome, it also makes it fun. They give you strength when you want to just sit and tell you “Look. It’s just here. Let’s go. Keep moving”.
- They keep telling you about the view at the top? They are right. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Everything up there looks different. You even breathe different. And that relief that washes over you knowing you set a goal and actually made it- it’s inexplicable. It’s almost like a warm hug from your mother saying “you’ve done well my child.” When you reach there, savour the moment. Memorize it. Enjoy it….then set the next goal and start the climb!
“The struggles I’m facing, the chances I’m taking, sometimes knock me down, but no.im not breaking. I may not know it but these are the moments that I’m gonna remember most. And I, I gotta be strong, just keep pushing on. There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. Ain’t about how fast I get there , ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side-it’s the climb! “