Physical fitness has become part and parcel of my life now and therefore it matters less where the wind blows. So if it sounds like fun and will help me burn those calories, you can be assured that i will be interested. Of late i had been seeing friends of mine in different groups going mountain climbing and i naturally showed interest and got an invitation a couple of days ago. DESTINATION: DEDZA and the day was today, the 6th of June, 2020.
The team had agreed to meet at the foot of the mountain at exactly 7am and that meant leaving Lilongwe earlier to make the time.
We arrived a few minutes after 7am, exchanged pleasantries, met our guide and soon we were on our way. Believe me when i say conquering a mountain the size of Dedza is not as easy as it sounds, however, the whole journey was not without significance both physically and mentally to a mind that’s open to new learning and challenges. A few minutes after we had just started our ascend, i literally felt jitters in my legs and i was beginning to lose my inner morale and motivation; but at the same time, i was defiant to keep up the pace with the team. I quickly disabused my own thoughts against the task ahead; it had to be done, whatever the cost.
As i pondered on what to do, i looked up and saw my teammates advancing at a considerable distance, struggling, yet smiling and chatting nevertheless. We also met a group of young people from a Catholic Church going up the mountain for prayers.
It was fascinating to see their youngest team member aged 7, taking large strides and not giving up. When i saw all of this, I was fired up, and i knew then, that the fact that they are moving faster than i was, did not mean that they did not feel what i was feeling but that they were determined to go on, after all we had travelled all the way from LILONGWE for this. A friend took a video of me struggling to climb up with an aid of a stick…..it was a trying moment.
We made it to the top some 2 and a half hours later. The trip down for me was a bit harder as my shoes, not being the approved hiking ones let me down on most occasions.
I have written the below take home points from the entire experience and you are free to quote or use them as you please:
- Every person has been given the power to make choices and design plans for themselves. However, the ability to make good on those plans is sold differently and it is very much a matter of attitude than it is of resources of any kind.
- Once you decide on a course of action, have the decency, that is, if you want to be worthy of self respect, to follow it through regardless of the trials you may face on the way; after all, nobody said life was a walk in the park.
- Always keep your eyes on the ball, if they aren’t crying, it does not mean they are not hurt. Looks can be deceiving, do not follow people who have mastered the art of handling their pain..nothing in life is simple, if it was, we should have all been successful
- When you fall, it is incumbent upon you to rise up, but if you can’t, never be ashamed to ask for help
- You are never too old to take charge of your mind and command your body. If you really think about it, your body is the one thing over which you can practice autocracy…if a 7 year old child can take a 2 hour journey up a mountain, what stops you from taking that 15 minute walk??
- The shortest route from point A to B is a straight line, however, sometimes, most times in fact, the line may not be as straight and may actually have a few bends here and there. Its ok to go through such and appreciate what lies therein
- As you climb up your journey, some people will be going up with you while others will coming down, do your best to mind your business, your goals may actually be different even though you may use the same path. And sometimes those closest to see, seeing your hassle may actually mistake you for a failure and encourage you cut your losses and fold up, steer clear of such, they are toxic and a menace to good progress
- It’s not about who gets there first, it is about what you become as you take that journey. There are always lessons on the way, both positive and negative, it’s on you regarding which ones you pick
- There will be moments when you will feel like you have had enough, and believe me these shall be many, the first thing you must do is not to feel guilty, rest if you have to, but after a while get back on track and move on.
- You have power over your body. Most times it will command you to rest it and convince you that tomorrow is another day..when that happens, remember that, in life, it is not the duration of a single occurence that matters the most, but the frequency of the same
- Last but not least, never be cheated, MALAWI IS BEAUTIFUL!! I took some breathtaking photos of views from up the mountain. But what was surprising was that apart from the money we gave to our tour guide, we went up and down the mountain and PAID NOTHING. Why can’t Ministry of Tourism or Forestry or Natural Resources collect something from hikers? Why can’t the Beautiful Dedza Mountain be advertised as an amazing destination for hikers and campers?? And while we are at it, can we have some entrepreneurs set up some stores in which we could buy our water, beverages and snacks?? Carrying water up the mountain aint child’s play…..