Milestones seem to be raining down on me this week – hopefully a great omen for a water strapped Western Cape this winter.
It’s incredible to think what’s transpired in two years since I started writing my blog; never mind the fact that I pledged to hike Table Mountain 365 times this year and as it stands: just this past week I hit triple digits for consecutive days (none missed) hiked up Table Mountain and successfully hosted my first ever fundraising event. To date:
- 108 consecutive days hiked up Table Mountain
- 53 days alone
- 55 days taking 206 people up with me
- R176 000 raised to build a home; teach a child to read and give someone with leukaemia a second chance at life
- 682 km of hiking with 73km just vertical climbing (equivalent of 20.5 Mt Everest Summits)
- 186 567 Calories burned, the equivalent of 2 248 glasses of wine
That second last stat is the one that doesn’t compute the most. Which leads me to my very first lesson I’ve learned these past few months.
1. One day at a time, step by step
Goals can become overwhelming. Work or personal. What’s important is the daily action you take and thereby focus on. I’m not going to lie – 100 consecutive days hiking still seems daunting and outside the realm of reality; never mind the fact I still have 257 days left. However, now that I have 100 under my belt I have no doubt I’m going to achieve it because I have a formula that’s proven.
Breaking targets down into smaller bite size chunks is what will get you through.
- Be Open to the Unexpected
Rain, Lightening storms, gale force winds, fire, sore throats, people feeling sick (and being sick) on the mountain – there are no guarantees. I have a plan B and C in place for such days and thankfully, haven’t had to execute them.
Ask for the best
Plan for the worst
Be ready for anything
All these three mindsets require one important aspect: planning.
- Swap Expectation for Appreciation.
While training last year I thought anyone taking longer than two hours going up meant I’d have to walk up without them for my sanity.
My perceived value: was getting to the top.
Then I started my challenge and that all changed. I began to naturally fall into a rhythm of walking with whomsoever at the back. That’s when something extraordinary happened to me: incredible conversations flowed.
I understood people donating and choosing to hike up 730 vertical meters for a cause greater than ourselves is the real value of 365 Ubuntu Climbs. THAT’s what this is all about.
Individuals pushing their own boundaries and physical capabilities is the order of the day.
I appreciate every single person that’s joined me on this journey.
Dexter’s (far left) first time and it rained the whole way up – no complaints once!
- Time is not an Excuse
Many people have asked “what do you do???” or “how do you work” because of the perceived time spent hiking on Table Mountain. I even had a gent recognise me on the mountain and proclaim “I wish I was retired to join you”. Simply put, even WITH 40% of my monthly hikes being double the time I’d take if I was always on my own – I’m only hiking 10% of a month.
That’s 3 full days.
Let’s say you sleep on average 8 hours a day that equates to 10 days. That means hiking AND sleeping adds to 13 days combined. We’ll use February which only has 28 days to prove the point. IF you work 8 hours a day that’s 7 days. We’ve just hit 20 days and you still have 8 24-hour days to do what you want.
What I’m saying here is what you prioritise you will achieve.
There are no excuses.
If you have a family, that will be your priority and it will demand your time. Point is – you have time for your family because it’s a priority.
Be honest about the real reasons you not following your gut and passions.
Time is not it an excuse.
- Keep. It. Simple.
Spending time in nature means I observe it. The ability of flowers to grow out of cracks in cliff faces; vegetation staying green through a drought; flowers lasting three days (pink flower to right). If you want to grow – grow!
Life. Finds. A way. You can too.
Fire burns old vegetation so new seeds can prosper. There’s no good or bad it just is.
I’ve subsequently come to the decision on the mountain that, for me, there’s no such thing as bad.
What I thinks ‘bad’ today, in 6 months time becomes the best thing that ever happened to me.
The Sunflower Fund – an organisation designed to help other families not suffer the death of a loved one – was born from one sons death. It’s a tragedy beyond epic proportions for a mother; yet so many families since then have loved ones because she acted on her experience.
The ‘bad’ I see that is disturbing? Is good peoples apathy in life.
One thing you’ll never be able to predict, is the unintended consequences of you taking action. The incredible people you’ll meet – many wanting to help you. The inspiring conversations you’ll have. The lessons you’ll learn along the way, particularly about yourself and how you view life.
Life is a continuous flow whereby we’re constantly developing. No one got to the top of the mountain just standing there thinking about it. None of us have the answers first time, the ones that can share their successes are the ones that took that first step and kept going. No matter what.
The question is – how bad do you want it?
It can be scary as all hell but that’s just because its like standing in front of a dark room before you flip the switch.
I’m telling you from experience.
Flip the switch.