Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi”, and “Shira”, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, with its summit about 4,900 meters from its base, and 5,895 meters above sea level.

It is known as everyman’s Everest, the youngest climber to make it to the summit was 6 years old.  It takes about 6-9 days to reach the summit depending on the route taken. About half of those who attempt actually make it to the top.

Climbers attempt this feat for different reasons, some to bring about attention to a particular cause or to raise money for a charity. No matter the motivations for climbing, a strong conviction about why is always a good start. That is what will fuel the drive for one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life.

I am in my mid-thirties and I have always been an adventurous person, i am always one that’s up for the thrill of the ride, I always want to try new things, because of the vast variety that this world has to offer. I am high on life and I enjoy every moment that requires me to try new things.

Due to my boisterous nature, I always seek out and spend money on experiences and less on things. Research shows that experiences always offer a more lasting feeling of happiness than things. It’s better for our mental health that we try new things than buy the latest shoe, bag or watch.

Climbing a mountain of course is a highly physical activity and many people require training for this, at least 30 – 45 minutes aerobic training 4 to 5 days a week. Your fitness levels must be at least above average. This will ensure that your body is primed for the climb. Staying and keeping fit is something I love to do and it helps to keep my body active for enhanced productivity.

The climb to the summit requires about 14 hours of climbing everyday so it’s quite arduous, some of the training required for a successful climb includes hiking and some hill climbing. Places like ikogosi warm springs and Erin Ijesha waterfalls in western Nigeria provide a similar climbing experience that can condition you for the climb.

Here are 5 Reasons I want to climb KILIMANJARO;

  • BUCKET  LIST: Climbing a mountain has always been on my bucket list of things to do and I really want to tick this off my list before I clock the big 40. Most of the items on my bucket list basically revolve around pushing myself to incredible limits and daring myself to achieve things I always set my heart to do. One of my heroes is Sir Richard Branson who is an avid adventurer and Billionaire. He seems to be living his best life and he does this on his own terms despite the odds of success. It defies the norm of how one should live. We are all looking for security but sometimes security is an illusion and it’s a trap to keep us in our zones of comfort. We really live when we let go of the chains that tie us down and keep us small. I want to be remembered as the person who dared and achieved what I set my mind to do.
  • WHAT A MOUNTAIN REPRESNETS:  Any mountain is always a metaphorical representation of a challenge that must be surmounted. Challenges are a part of everyday life, we all have them and surmounting them is what makes life interesting. I envisage being on top of that mountain on the last day and looking down at the world below. That in itself is a great impetus to strive for greater things in my life. As an entrepreneur, will power and mental toughness is very important and having wins in one field alone doesn’t build that. The ability to confront your fears is very important if you will achieve anything worthwhile in life.

I abhor the feelings of regret and that’s one of my greatest fears in life, the things that we do not do. I always prepare myself to take advantage of any opportunity that makes me grow outside my comfort zone.

  • SPIRITUAL JOURNEY:  No one can conquer a mountain; it will always remain unchanged and lasting throughout time. I think there is something humbling and spiritual about that. Like God himself, it doesn’t change, doesn’t waver. We only conquer those mountains within. When confronted with fear and worry, the knowledge that we have conquered a mountain within us drives us forward and higher. When you want to climb a mountain, all ego and hubris must be left behind and each milestone must be celebrated. There may be setbacks but the quest for success means that when we fall down seven times, we must get back up eight. They say hardship introduces a man to himself, so if you feel lost and unsure of the next step. Climb a mountain. The journey from the bottom to the top requires you to quienten all the noise outside and be present within yourself and in touch with who you really are.
  • THE EXPERIENCE: The experience of climbing a mountain lasts till the day you die, it somewhat represents our journey through life and at least my philosophy. One day at a time, no matter how big and grand the idea you have, we all must take that first step. Every hiker must start with one step and just keep going. I love nature and I think people that live in nature tend to live much longer because you become one with the true essence of life itself. I think it will be one of the most liberating experiences ever and that freedom comes from overcoming a fear of the unknown. Fear limits us in our everyday lives and it impacts on our mental and physical health. Fear leads to worry, worry to depression and anxiety. Climbing this mountain is deeply personal for me.
  • TRANSFORMATION: At the cusp of a new stage or level in life we all have to undergo some changes. The struggle of a butterfly escaping its cocoon, serves to strengthen its wings to take flight. Many people climb a mountain to mark the end of a phase in their lives and the start of a new one. Basically they draw the line on their old selves and re-emerge brand new. The few days required to go up and down the mountain will be well worth it if you are able to finish.

Staying active ensures that I can have these kinds of dreams and actually achieve them. Taking care of my health and enhancing my productivity is a very important key to success and living the kind of life I want to live. One filled with adventure and exciting times.

I hope to be able to write another article very soon about the experience of climbing the mountain itself.

I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go,”

                                                                                                Laurel Bleadon-Maffei.

WRITTEN BY : Pharm. Adetuyi Adedipo

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