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Eve of our Kili Climb

September 17th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

September 16, 2012

Anticipation has us all about to pop! Sharing three reflections of the day. Final briefing meeting in just an hour, dinner, bedtime, the last of the showers for six days and then time to "get it done".


1. Climb your own mountain- wise leaders always know that when facing challenges or new territories, seeking good counsel is a success differentiator.  However, there is a time to "let's roll" and wise leaders act on what they know. A group arrived last night just finishing their climb and I noticed myself going into investigative reporter mode. How cold was it at the top, how painful were your hands and feet. Did you get sick? And how sick was that? Did you get any sleep?  None of their responses gave me new information. I reminded myself I am on purposes, I have prepared and it is time to let go.  All of this additional and redundant info was the wrong place to focus.    When I woke up this morning, I made a conscious choice to Climb My Own Mountain. And, in that, I will have the peace that I have gotten good counsel and will act on what I know a day at a time, step by step.

2. Dance with the date you brought-  A good golf teaching professional will talk about this phrase when their student is playing competitive golf. Once you are warmed up and begin, whatever game you brought to the course is the game you must play.   We never gain a performance edge trying to change our swing or try new tips on the golf course.  Today when I lay out on the hotel bed all of my clothes, my gear, equipment, fun snacks, etc another emotion kicked up.  We will be in five different climates starting at 95 degrees at base camp with the Summit temperatures dipping below zero. While I spent days packing judiciously, the "I wish I had brought..." crept in. That Patagonia blue gortex jacket didn't make it into the duffle and now that was on my mind.  We counted out at home the number of hand and feet warmers and now it seemed that there would never be enough of them.  Then the phrase, dance with the date you brought settled me down. We had arrived in Moshi, Tanzania, Africa and our climbing expedition had begun when we arrived. Focus on dancing with the date I brought to the dance!

3.  Expect the unexpected- how would I personally handle myself if I traveled halfway around the world and my two duffles packed with essential clothing, equipment, diamox for altitude sickness and personal comfort "stuff" was lost as I was about to attempt Mount Kilimanjaro.  Would my attitude plummet? Would I call it quits?  Well this father/daughter team has given us infectious inspiration as this exact thing that happened to them. And, it has been a real gift to me.   I have been able to deepen my appreciation for the two above lessons and see how we as a climbing team could share and help secure resources to back fill their equipment needs.  Additionally, the grace and courage they have demonstrated is fuel for my heart.  I will expect the unexpected in the days to come with two role models for personal leadership.

Today's African Phrase Hakuna Matata- there are no worries

-Joan O. Wright, MSW, Master Certified Coach