Now I am not an award winning writer neither am I a student of literature so don’t go looking for blunders in my write up. Just enjoy the lessons and I hope you relate to its purpose.
Nine lessons from the seven levels of Olumiri Mountain climb
- The beginning: Ahh! The beginning is always the easiest part, all you have to do is have a plan, decide to begin, have faith, be hopeful, and go! Well we’ll see as the journey goes on. The excitement you get when you envision the top of the mountain, when you see that awesome view from your minds eye. O! that feeling. And so my journey to the mountain top begins.
- The pumped up stage: so 15 minutes into my journey, I was moving with all the forces and all the inner’ “chi” I could muster, it felt good, I bought a bottle of chilled water at the start of the journey thinking that would do. I saw people bigger and smaller, younger and older, embarking on this same journey. I felt comforted. Even if I got tired they’ll boost my spirit, or so I thought. Yes I was pumped up and I was going to see this mountain climb through to the end.
- The realization: did I mention that, this mountain had 7 levels, I was about getting to the second and I was running out of breath and water, but I kept moving. At this point I realized the journey might not be as I had dreamt it would be. Yes I knew it was not going to be easy, but I never expected that I would be this exhausted so quickly, with 5 more levels to go, each steps seeming more difficult.
- The challenge: now with my bottle of water gone half way I decided to sip less, so as to manage my only source of sustenance, I moved on. To make matters worse the weather felt like someone had opened the lids of hell, my back was burning like roasted suya(so I felt). I was losing more water through sweating than I was sipping. I also noticed that a few people I started with had already left me behind, while most of them were already turning back. Now I wanted to join the “turn back gang”. This was just the middle of the level 3. Most times I had to stop to cash my breath as my lungs felt like it was burning. I stopped a lot. I almost gave up, but refused.
Heading towards level 4, I must continue, I’ll not give up.
- The unplanned/unexpected : at this point I realized I was alone and have been walking alone for quite some time. I had to stop more often than usual to catch my breath. My eyes were burning, and I was feeling slightly dizzy. Maybe it was the scourging sun but I started getting philosophical. I realized that every race you go through in life is just with yourself. No need to compete with others eventually others would leave you behind and most would quit, you would be alone at some point in your life, deal with it. Keep moving.
Remember I told you I was sipping my half bottle of water with great caution; well guess what in my more often momentary stops, I decided to take a long break. Some other hikers passed me by, among them were three musketeers still trudging on, I noticed a lady being supported by two guys on each shoulder. She was about fainting. They begged me for a sip of my managed/priceless water, which I was reluctant to give, but seeing the state of the young lady I decided to oblige, little did I know. This lady drank all that was left and threw the bottle at my feet. I died a little. I must quit.
- I have to quit: like life, this journey handed me the unexpected, with my priceless bottle of water gone. I sat and pondered for a long time if I should quit or not, I was till somewhere on level 4. The likeliness to quit felt more appealing. I sat down for what seemed like a week. 70% of me wanted to turn back the 20% percent of me just wanted to sit down there, and the stupid 10% was telling me I could make it without water. 3 levels to go, no water, I was tired beyond description and nobody in sight. I should quit. It’s the sensible thing to do. Do it.
- The Resolve: in my sojourn while sitting down almost deciding to quit, I saw another tired lady, she sat close to me deciding whether to quit or not. We talked. To my surprise I started advising her not to quit, thus I motivated myself to see this journey to the end. So the resolution was made, even if I had to stop a hundred times or crawl. I must get to the top. So this lady unknowingly became my motivator, all though she felt I was hers (motivation) we moved on, stopped and rested for a while, continued moving .
Now am not proud of this part, my new companion became so pumped up she left me behind. But this time I never taught of quitting. I just kept on moving.
- The boosters and anti-boosters: I was at level 5, moving at my own pace. Still wandering how far the journey was, I saw people walking back, some of them of them had gotten to the top and were heading back home. Often I would ask them how far it was, usually they would reply, you are almost there, just keep moving. This made me happy. But little did I know. And being one of the few guys of my size who had made it that far, they’d advise me saying “bros you can do it”, “e no far again”
I meet other group of people who told me that I was almost there, why not quit. They were told by other folks that the view at the top wasn’t so as impressive as expected, so they quit. I couldn’t care less at their discouragement; I kept moving. Move tony, move.
- The top/the journey: at some point I started enjoying the journey. I started noticing the beautiful forest surrounding me, I allowed my mind run wild, I notice the ant nest , millipedes , butterflies, strange insects I have never seen, the trees, and few birds , I started enjoying the journey while moving to the top.
I breezed through level 6 without realizing, singing, shouting and making all sorts of crazy animal noises just to give myself that extra push, oh! I was having the time of my life, I never even realized when the sun went down. People who passed me by laughed at the crazy noises I made, some sang with me. I was enjoying this.
Bam!!! I was at level 7. I saw my travelling companion who had left me. I was so happy. Truth be told the view at the top was not so fascinating, but the journey was worth it. I enjoyed every moment, even the moments I wanted to quit. Sometimes life is not just about your destination, but the journey.
Eventually for me the journey became more important than the destination. I hope we can relate this story to situations in our life and I hope it helps you climb your mountain. Enjoy the journey.