Kilimanjaro – It’s the Climb

Summit GREWE
Fanie Greeff, myself and Leonie, Anneke Greeff – Best-man and best friend. Thanks for a lifetime of friendship, so far the journey has been awesome.

The “process” starts the moment you decide to climb a mountain… When you climb Kilimanjaro, it is the climb.

It’s a journey to reach the top and it is the journey you should embrace.

That way, irrespective of whether you reach the summit or not, you would have been enriched by the experiences collected during the journey.

Our Kilimanjaro Climb

What is important to you is probably not that important to others – and it should not bother you. I invited eight people to join Leonie and myself on our Kilimanjaro trip. None of them made it onto the mountain with us.

It is only now, with the advantage of hindsight, that I can look back and recognize the mistakes I made. It takes a lot longer than you think to really know someone. What’s the cliche – we’re all different, and therefore our priorities will differ and we’ll commit differently to a cause.

You don’t have control over someone else’s priorities. So it shouldn’t upset you if what is no.1 on your list does not make it into the top 5 of someone else’s. All you have control over is who you invite. Not how they will respond. And to allow yourself to get upset by something you can’t control is a waste of time.

With Kilimanjaro, it is the climb that matters

It’s the climb that matters, not the summit.The adventure starts the day you make the booking. Saving and planning for the trip is as much part of the fun as reaching the summit. Preparing and training for Kilimanjaro was fun. In the process we climbed Table Mountain in Cape Town, an experience I can highly recommend.

We reached Namibia’s highest peak, Konigstein on the Brandberg Mountain – something I wanted to do for years but only managed to do once committed to climbing Kili. All part of the process and therefore the process really is the prize.

Staying committed

Being committed for the long haul delivers the ultimate rewards. This holds true for just about anything in life whether it be a physical challenge, a business venture or a relationship. It’s very easy to say “yes, I’m in” when the invitation comes or the opportunity arises. It’s a whole lot harder to stay committed throughout the process.

There were many times (during the process) where I thought about abandoning my mission of reaching Kili’s summit.

  • Our business burnt to the ground a month before the trip was due to start.
  • Our new house was being finished and the project was at a stage where it demanded my daily attention.
  • The kids had to be looked after and we struggled to get the grandparents to commit to looking after them while we were on the mountain.

If I wanted to find an excuse I didn’t have to look very hard to find one. But now, looking back I’m glad I was able to stay committed because the journey to Kili’s summit rewarded me with a life-changing experience. It made me appreciate my wife more than words would ever be able to convey. It made me believe in my own capabilities. It motivated me to take on the next challenge.

Commitment leads to freedom

Ultimately, commitment leads to freedom. As Mark Manson says: “But while investing deeply in one person, one place, one job, one activity might deny us the breadth of experience we’d like, pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience.” Depth of experience can only be experienced if you see through what you started, if you stay committed to the process -a summit photo is not a requirement.

Whatever your Kilimanjaro looks like, keep on climbing, keep on believing, stay committed to the process, the rewards will leave you speechless.

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Professional dad, prone to accepting random challenges of endurance. Novice writer and would-be mountaineer. Firm believer that you can burpee your way to hapiness. I'm not taking myself seriously and neither should you. Trying each day to make less mistakes than yesterday.

2 thoughts on “Kilimanjaro – It’s the Climb”

  1. Baie dankie vir n goeie opsomming van jou avontuur. Dit oortuig mens om op te hou droom en vir Kili aan te pak!
    Iets wat ook al lank n begeerte is!


    1. Dankie Frans. Soos jy gelees het, het ek Jagged Globe gebruik om die berg te klim. Kry ‘n goeie “outfit”. Dit kos ‘n paar rand en dit vat ‘n tydjie en mens moenie geld en tyd mors deur ‘n fly-by-night company te gebruik nie. Ek het ook die berg saam met my vrou en goeie vriende geklim. Gebruik die regte mense en gaan saam met die regte mense en die trip sal ‘n sukses wees – of jy nou by die summit uitkom of nie!


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