Mount M.O.M.

I embarked on a new journey unknowingly. It was February 26th 2018 when I knew that I was heading towards the biggest climb of my life.

Day 1 – 3

The moment I found out, there was nothing short of excitement. I had been waiting for this for some time and realised that my journey had already begun. There was a long way to go as I was still at the base. I pondered how it would be when I reached the summit and what would happen after.

Hike to Hell’s Gate just before starting my climb

There was no way of knowing since this was the first time I was climbing this Mountain. Many others told me, that the leg to the summit would be the toughest, but there was nothing else like reaching the top of the mountain. I didn’t want to spend too much time thinking about the end, but instead focused on the actual journey as the days unfolded. I was taking it easy, polé polé as we say it here in Kenya. There were lots of stop overs, but there was no turning back. The end would come eventually and I would enjoy it when it did. Instead, I took in the sunrise and the little joy’s of Nature. I spent time with the crew that mattered.

I rested daily, as I was getting tired. Sometimes I couldn’t even get up to continue. I couldn’t believe the amount of energy I needed to climb when I normally did this effortlessly. This was a new experience and I did not know the territory.

I am grateful that, for the first 3 days, I didn’t fall sick. Many others who have climbed this mountain encountered mountain sickness from the beginning of their journey. I still took it easy as I didn’t want to upset my balance. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to start practising mindfulness, to really notice everything around me and to notice my feelings in depth. I got in touch with the constant needs of my body as I continued my trek forward. I listened to me as that was the only way to successfully reach the top. I breathed in deeply, and in my mind drew a picture of me in the place I am most comfortable in – the forest.

Day 4 – 6

When the night set on day 3 and the morning rose on day 4, I felt different. I felt re-energized and alive. The last 3 days could have been a dream. I wanted to run up the rest of the trail and reach that summit quickly. But of course that couldn’t happen so I let myself go into what we call the present. I was carrying a bit more weight but that was good practice as I got closer to the summit. I embraced what I was feeling and the needs that came with it. I enjoyed the people walking beside me whose destination was different than mine. I listened to their tales of adventure and shared my thoughts of my journey. But mostly, I spent time loving me.

I walked in nature – the place I can count on to calm my soul. I took a step every day and listened to the birds sing and looked at the peaks in the distance. I learnt a lesson that I would carry with me once I reached my summit, that Mother Nature would always look after me – I felt safe and happy.

So I ventured out on my own and discovered new terrains. But eventually I was always led back to my chosen path.

Day 7 – 9

As I enterest the next phase of my journey, the first two days of it, the trail became awkward. The ascent was steeper. I felt heavier with my load. I had just gone through an easy patch where the colours of the flowers were deep, the scents of nature were strong, and I was flawlessly doing what I did best – exploring. Now all I could feel was me slowing down as I took each step forward.

My toughest moment was that last day. Day 9 – I couldn’t sleep at night, I was exhausted and uncomfortable. This change seemed to have happened over night, and it seemed the only thing keeping me subdued was a bowl of cornflakes (literally)! Everything hurt. I had come this far and there was no turning back. I had written down each and every moment so that I could reflect back upon it one day. The butterflies that had started, the wavy motion I had felt, even the occasional stumble that eventually turned into the daily rumbling inside of me. This day made the other 8 days of climbing feel like a hill. It was steep and it was hard.

As the sun started to set on that last day, I counted down the last few steps left to reach my summit. It seemed to take forever. I took a deep breath and trudged along. I was exhausted but knew the end was near.

Photo credit – Remzy Photography

Then, it was Time. I was reaching the top. I visualised myself at the very top and propelled myself to take those last few excruciating steps. Oh it hurt! I screamed out loud because of the pain. It was mind numbing. I had never experienced something like this before. My guide told me I was close, and that it was just around the corner and to just keep on going. Of course I had to keep on going! I had no choice! My head felt like it would burst, and the tears flowed hard and fast.

It felt like forever. I could see the end but it didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere near it. I was told just one more step…that I could do it, one more step…I went within and found that guiding light which caressed me with its softness, the voice that said “you are there”…and finally, it was that last final push that took me from feeling like the world would end to the climax of my climb! I had made it! The pain had disappeared as if someone had flicked off a switch. I was washed over with overwhelming relief, nervousness and joy. I felt vibrant and alive and exhausted all at the same time! I couldn’t believe it. I was here. I had finally reached my summit and I knew, there wouldn’t be another mountain like it. I stretched my arms out and cried. There was a distant wailing in the silence that followed my summit. I thanked God for my incredible journey and paid my respects to Him, as He had blessed me with nothing less than bliss and contentment…I had just summitted the biggest mountain of my life – Mount M.O.M.

Photo credit – Remzy Photography

* The 9 days in this blog reflect the 9 months of my pregnancy *

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