Thursday, September 29, 2016

Life Lessons learnt during my trek to Mount Kilimanjaro

Thanks to the recent office move, I managed to find the diary I wrote during my trek to Mount Kilimanjaro four years ago.

When I was asked about doing a trek to ‘Mt. Kilimanjaro’ from one of my dear friends, I was not sure as I have never attempted any trek and summiting the world’s tallest free standing mountain scared me. I am sharing some of my learning’s and how I have managed to  integrate the same at work.

Trust yourself - From the thought to the trek I had less than 60 days to prepare. Mapped out my fitness requirements and ensured to give adequate time at the gym to gain physical strength. I always imagined myself walking towards the summit and kept going.  Perseverance, belief in one self and supporting team members are the three pillars to success even at work.

Acclimatize your surrounds - as the altitude increases the quantum of oxygen drops down and respecting and complying to the guides advise is paramount. I still recall my struggle at ‘Lava Tower’. Learn to understand your surrounds at work. There can never be one strategy working for all. Each team is unique and each day poses a new opportunity. Enjoy the opportunities and keep walking.

Take baby steps – POLE POLE is the magic word used during the summit. Take one step at a time and never try to match any ones pace. Every step is different and ensure to take rest. The last leg of the journey often is the most difficult one.  We trekked the whole night on the summit day and when we reached Stella Point

Break the task – the summit took 6 days and our guide ‘Babloo’ met us during morning breakfast and explained the task for the day. Do not look at the final destination as it would look too much to accomplish.  

Celebrate Quick Wins-  Always enjoy the journey and how much you have achieved. Every two hours when looking back I cherished the distance I have covered. Each day posed a new challenge and I

Every pebble counts  - just like every member in your team counts each pebble you encounter makes or breaks your journey.

Day 1 and post summit day delivered the most exhilarating experience. I can still recall the walk through the thick African forest, admiring the green surround and filling my lungs with pure oxygen. Sleeping in a small tent and maneuvering in a sleeping bag and walking an average 8 hours each day and then stretching it with a 14 hour nonstop walk braving the minus degree cold on the summit night, I enjoyed every day and the adventure of it all.

Made friends for lifetime and also learnt to appreciate small things