Things I learnt from taking on challenges

From half marathons to full marathons. From the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro to the Salkantay route to Machu Picchu. All these challenges have taught me life lessons which I would like to pass onto you.

1 – How to not over pack
I was very much the person who took 3 pairs of jeans for a weekend away and 5 pairs of shoes for a week’s holiday. Ridiculous! After climbing Kilimanjaro and realising that I didn’t wear half of what I took (I felt so sorry for the porter who had to carry that bag all the way up Kilimanjaro!) has caused me to be more ruthless when packing. I now work out outfits for each day and thinking realistically about what I need to take. Writing a list or using a kit list whilst packing is a great way to avoid over packing.

2 – Determination & Perseverance
There is always a time whilst on your challenge that you question “why?”. Why did I decide to put my body through this? Why did I sign up to this? It is the answer to this “why” that pushes you through to the end of your challenge. The last 10km of my marathon two me two hours (stupid ankle injury!) yes there were tears but I was determined to get to the end complete what I started and not let the amazing charity I had fundraised for down

3 – Hakuna Matata
Swahili for no worries. This is a phrase that was made famous by the Lion King but it is repeated on Kilimanjaro so much. It very much describes their way of life. They are so relaxed and friendly. They don’t dwell on problems. 

4 – Celebrate the mini-milestones
here is so much that happens before you reach the culmination of your challenge especially when you are training for a marathon. When you run a half marathon distance for the first time, scream about it from the rooftops. If you get a new 10km PB then order yourself a celebratory takeaway.

Caitlin GrahamComment