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Pushing the limits

It is such a time of the year where everyone is talking about New Year resolutions, barely two days before we usher in 2015 and there is every temptation to follow what everyone is doing. What is not told is how different caliber of people takes this exercise; my assumption being, for those who have always seen the glass half-empty will have all intent to have something in the glass while those who have had the glass half-full will have all the intention to make the glass full. The second caliber of people are aware that there is something they did achieve within the year and their dream is to push a bit harder to surpass where the glass reached the last time.

In reality, the two sets of people above will ordinarily have two different types of New Year resolutions based on ambitions, their perspectives on things that matter and what they deem to be a possibility in their reach.

My reflections took me back to 2010, the year I decided to do what everyone would have thought to be impossible for a person who has a disability. Together with a team of colleagues, we set off to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of creating awareness on disability and raising funds for the work my organization does here in Kenya. This is one of the daring decisions I have ever made in my life that not even our team leader believed in its possibility, but I soldiered on knowing that there is always a first time for everything and Doubting Thomases exist everywhere on this planet.

Fred climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro

Fred climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro

In my mind, it was clear that trying out something is worth than just sitting around and wishing that it actually happened! Nobody could therefore deter me from taking this journey up the mountain and for a cause that is close to my heart, even if it meant some level of discomfort to my body that was indeed a welcome inconvenience because creating new pathways in one’s life cannot be achieved while in those comfort zones with a swinging boardroom chair in an office.

I got into shoes that would command a grip up the mountain so as to avoid sliding back, I however didn’t know that there are also elbow crutches that can help you climb steep ground; I have only made this discovery 4 years down the line and maybe it would be another reason to be interested in climbing another mountain. One of the philosophy employed to get me up the mountain was doing my stuff at my own pace, no amount of orders from the climb leader was going to spoil my plan. After all, I had witnessed many people who had no challenge fail to make it up, it became clear that one`s attitude contributed a lot to a successful climb.

My porter was the most helpful company up Mt. Kilimanjaro, he ensured that I had enough water to keep me hydrated and walked behind me just in case I slipped because that was a possibility with this kind of assignment. As we were on our journey up, he kept on re-assuring me that it is possible to make it to the peak, and informed me of the many climbers who had failed to reach even certain levels of the mountain yet they did not have a disability.

My Porter during the climb

My Porter during the climb

I knew this wasn’t going to be some walk in the park, and had prepared psychologically for any eventuality. True to it; my hand was full of blisters given the pressure exerted by the elbow crutches as I climbed Mt. Kili and this required constant stops to take a rest before continuing with the climb.

Why did I go to 2010 to find my inspiration for 2015? Many of you do agree that our society has often put some limits to what a person who has a disability can or cannot do thus stifling the creativity, the urge to dream big and presenting uneven level playing ground for them to thrive in whatever they set their eyes on.

These are the lids that my 2015 is all about, I want to be able to dream however weird my dream appears to someone else, I want to be able to push the limits in whatever field I set my eyes on in the coming year just as I did in 2010 by my historic climb of Mt.Kilimanjaro.I want an environment that supports everyone to achieve their goals, since I have seen my glass half-full for the year ending 2014;I challenge myself to push my glass` limit beyond my imagination because I know it is possible with the right company of friends and colleagues committed to the same agenda.

Wishing everyone a prosperous New Year 2015 where all lids of limits are pushed off