3. Gaining momentum – gathering a team

1 Prop 1 - Old Kent Road

human pyramidThe goal – to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. The deadline – January 2015. The means – go with a party of likeminded people, probably all raising money for a charity. The motivation – achievement. And not wanting to wimp out now that I had told people I was going to do it!

So much was known about the trip. However, I wanted to make it easier on myself by having someone to join me on the journey. Someone to share in the fun. Or probably more importantly, someone to spur me on when the going gets tough.

For all sorts of excellent reasons, my wife Christine did not want to come with me. So, who would be mad enough to join me on this exploit?

I asked a number of people, and like Christine they had excellent reasons to thank me for the offer and to politely turn me down. No worries. If no-one came with me, I would still be going.

And then a chance meeting with an old school pal. I see Jonathan a few times a year, and we do ‘have form’. Back in the early Eighties we had a couple of walking holidays together. We have tackled the treacherous paths of The Lake District (i.e. the safe bits by the lakes rather than the high bits near the mountains), and the wilderness that IS Dartmoor. Oh yes – Youth Hostelling didn’t get tougher than this! Well it didn’t for us, anyway. After that, we went our own separate ways, but stayed in touch over the years with the occasional meeting. In fact, my last adventure with Jonathan was in the summer of 2012, when we set ourselves the challenge of going around London in 24 hours, collecting photographs of all of the places represented on the Monopoly board. That was a fun rush around London, but the Kilimanjaro challenge would be in an all-together different league.

I mentioned to Jonathan that I was going to Kilimanjaro and was looking for company. Encouraging, his first reaction was not “well good luck on that one”. Not an instant jump for joy from him, but not a decline either. He said that he would think about it. And think he did. (Jonathan is good at thinking). But after a short time he called me to say that he would take up the challenge.

And didn’t that make me feel a whole lot better! I had someone to go with. Someone to plan with. Someone to hold me to account if I thought of backing out.

And I also had a following. Jonathan took on much of the planning for the trip. And some of the folks who could not come with me wanted to help in other ways. My friend Teresa would end up putting in hours of work, making jams and potting plants to sell to raise money for charities related to the trip. Others offered help in other ways, such as offers of food and equipment. More of them offered advice, or put me in touch with others who had made the trip.

So, rather than becoming a solo effort, I had a team to back me up. And that is my Lesson No. Three. The task is so much easier if you can Get a Team. When I do make it to the top of Kilimanjaro I will have a LOT of people to thank!

Join me next week to find out why there WILL be snow in Africa this Christmas time, despite what Bob and co may say!


1 thought on “3. Gaining momentum – gathering a team

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s