When Alia asked me to pen my story for Women Who Hike, I initially agreed but took a long time to actually write anything. Everytime I thought about it, I would wonder what to write and how it would be received by those reading it. Don’t get me wrong, its not that I do not want to share my story, it’s just that I’m not sure that you want to read it!!! I will however, let you decide for yourself.

For as long as I can remember, one of my dreams has been to climb Mount Kenya. It always seemed such a crazy unachievable dream for me at the time. I am now what most would call “middle-aged” (honestly I don’t feel a day over 16!! Well, a mature 16?!! J). I was grossly overweight, very unfit and utterly miserable with myself. Through a series of heartache, disappointments, synchronicities,introspection, divine grace and research (not necessarily in that order), I finally found a diet that worked for me. I had always exercised on and off over the course of my adult life (although I do have to admit that I disliked PE with a passion in school!).

After about a year on the diet and following it pretty much, quite faithfully, I had shed a great deal of weight. It just literally melted off me, I was fitter than I had ever been in my life and I felt great. Invincible almost.

At that point, my greatest and closest friend, then decided it was time for us to fulfill our long held dream to climb Mt. Kenya. This is what got me interested in hiking. My friend & I live in different towns so it was impossible for us to train or trek together on a regular basis. I started talking to friends who lived around me and we agreed that we would climb Mt. Kenya together.

Our first training ground was Mt. Kasigau in Taita. It was the first long trek I had ever done and it took us  12 hours up and down. It was a tough hike but I learnt a great deal from that first hike and have been learning ever since. We summited Mount Kenya on 26th February 2017 and it was devastating and euphoric at the same time.

Hiking has brought me much joy since I have discovered it. It pushes me to my limit and tests my endurance, strength and will power. When I am out in Nature, I feel a contentment that I had not felt before. I am at peace with myself and the world and that has made it all worthwhile.

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