Location: Dar es Salaam
Time in Africa: 6 weeks
Hindsight really is a beautiful thing. Personally I have always learnt more from my failures than my successes, this is why it has taken me a while to gather some perspective on this adventure.
On day 3 of my run I was really struggling with identifying the true motivation behind me attempting this challenge. It has only been in the last few days that I have come to terms with my inner battles.
I became a coach and a secondary school teacher because I enjoy motivating and inspiring others to achieve great things. I get a real kick out of seeing my students and athletes push themselves and achieve their goals. I have been blessed with messages from people following the climb saying that they feel inspired to get active and chase a dream. I now realise that the thing that really kept me going when times were tough was the fact that I was sharing a story which could potentially change others lives. It was selfish reasons that put this challenge in motion but it was the buzz I receive from inspiring others that got me to the top.
There are many people who I look to for inspiration on my life journey, as intrinsic fortitude only gets me so far. The teachers of the outdoor education program at Rosehill College planted a seed in me, that the AUT D.O.R.L lecturers grew to a foundation of both skills and critical thinking that has guided me on my path to become a facilitator of the outdoors. The collective perspectives and knowledge of these people has made a profound impact on my life, so I understand the importance and privilege of being a teacher.
Sir Edmund Hillary has also been a huge influence on the decisions I have made in my life. Not just because of his mountaineering accomplishments but his philanthropy work with the people of Nepal after climbing Everest. “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” Sir Ed, what a metaphor!
My dad is a school guidance councillor who works closely with the mental health of today’s youth. Bullying is one of the main causes of depression in teenagers and the campaign my father is on to create a bully free environment in schools is a leading factor to why I have chosen the mental health foundation of NZ as my fundraising cause. My dad has taught me that often the bully is also a victim so empowering them to make a change is far more effective than punishment.
I have never been one to force my beliefs on others but during this journey it was always comforting knowing I had someone above looking out for me. Often in the outdoors you must put your faith in other people, so when there is no one else around I reckon he’s a pretty good option.
Now that this chapter of adventure is finished I have already started gazing towards my next sea to summit. For me the outdoors is a vehicle for personal growth, as it helps eliminate life’s distractions and excuses. I know I still have so much growth ahead of me. Once I heard a saying that the definition of humble is to climb a mountain and tell no one about it. This is the complete opposite of what I have been doing but I believe in the distance future I will find my humble mountain. For now my path must continue leading me from the seas to the summits.