In 2009, I watched nine celebrities reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, on television in aid of Comic Relief.
Describing the climb as ‘horrific’, ‘agony’ and ‘hell on earth’, I watched these celebrities take the painstaking but highly rewarding journey to the roof of Africa, and felt totally inspired.
This challenge has been eating away at me since then. For almost eight years I have had this desire to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. I kept talking about it, but doing nothing about it. Then something happened. I read a book and knew it was time. Time to be brave and make this lifetime achievement a reality.
The book – Freedom Seeker
Earlier this year I was interviewed by a remarkable woman – Beth Kempton. Beth is founder of Do What You Love For Life, co-founder of many other successful creative businesses and most recently the author of Freedom Seeker: Live More, Worry Less, Do What You Love which is to be published by Hay House and available on April 4, 2017 – exciting! I am truly blessed that this inspiring lady also happens to be my boss.
Beth interviewed me for her book about my situation with Rosie and how it has impacted my life. I felt honoured that Beth subsequently shared the manuscript with me so I could read through our interview, test out the concepts, theories and activities and provide overall feedback on the book.
This book truly helped me to understand my life right now. My self-built confines. My reality and also how it was down to me to see things differently. It encouraged positive change and most importantly it motivated action. Mount Kilimanjaro is just one of the many actions I have taken in discovering my own freedom, celebrating adventure and pushing boundaries. My current role may be to be a good mother and wife, but I am still an individual woman with ambition, passions and a desire to do things for my own happiness and sanity too. If I’m truly happy inside, I can share the joy and lift those around me.
Whilst I can
I watch my little girl struggle every single day with normal activities you and I don’t even think twice about.
These last couple of years with Rosie have given me a renewed sense of ability. I am blessed with a body that works. I have all my limbs, my sight, my hearing and I realise I should never ever take these things for granted.
So now, whilst I’m ‘relatively’ fit, I feel the time is right – otherwise, what am I waiting for?
- In my crazy ‘we need to live in a bungalow so Rosie can get around the house easier‘ moment, Iain and I booked ourselves in with an estate agent and later went to look at a few bungalows. On the dresser in the bedroom of the first bungalow we visited was a certificate for the lady who lived there who’d achieved the Kilimanjaro climb. I pointed it out to Iain and took it as a sign.
- In my job I am fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented designers. I was looking at the lovely work of Mel Smith Designs and came across this fabulous print – I was drawn to it immediately and purchased it without hesitation.
- Then, incredibly, for Christmas I’d asked Iain for a hi-fi (are they still called that?!) with all the trimmings – CD, radio, record and tape player! Mine gave up the ghost a couple of months ago and I’ve been so lost without it (despite Iain’s many requests, I refuse to get rid of my tape collection – my ‘getting ready’ for a night out tapes are, in my opinion, awesome!). I was allowed my present early and last weekend I suggested we go and celebrate the return of music to our home by expanding our vinyl collection! We popped into the local charity shop and started browsing. I was drawn to ‘The Sound of Music’ – random I know! I love the film, it looked well loved and something made me buy it. I got home, put it on and almost fell to the floor when I discovered the name of the last song and listened to the words:
Climb Ev’ry Mountain
Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
Every path you know.
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.
A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.
Mount Kilimanjaro here I come!
So I did it. I signed up. September 2017 Mount Kilimanjaro here I come.
I felt exhilarated and brave, powerful, alive, in control and stronger than ever. That was until my welcome pack arrived. Then I crumpled.
Part 2 coming soon…