Pole pole – take things slowly and get to the top

‘Make it short & snappy’

Got a mountain to climb? The best way to tackle it is one footstep at a time “pole pole” slowly slowly, piece by piece at a steady rhythm and taking your time. J’s off to Kilimanjaro and raising money for Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, demonstrating a rather literal manifestation of this concept in action!

‘Just the facts please’

  • The route they’ll be taking: Lemosho with an acclimatisation day (slow and steady wins the race).
  • With these guys
  • Twitter: @Actionchallenge
  • Kilimanjaro is known as “the roof of Africa,” it’s the highest free-standing mountain in the world, at 5895m high.
  • The air pressure at the summit of Kilimanjaro is just 40% that of sea level, and over one-third of people who attempt the climb do not reach the summit. It therefore represents a substantial physical, logistical and psychological challenge for all three of them.
  • Pole means slowly in swahili (pronounced pol-eh)
  • Here’s a song – warning the photos might inspire you to take a trip to East Africa!
  • Aesop’s fable The Hare and the Tortoise in case you don’t know it, in kiddy video format or text.

‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’

Today marks the day J flies out to Africa with his brothers and achieve his goal of climbing Kilimanjaro. Having discussed with a friend who lives in Africa and has climbed it himself his number one piece of advice was simply “pole pole” which means “slowly slowly” in swahili. In this case it seems the tortoise definitely does win the race, as is usually the case. Time and time again he saw young whippersnappers overtaking and racing past, just to be overtaken whilst they lay in a heap struggling to get their breath and feeling queasy from altitude sickness.

So here’s a post to mark the beginning of a brave journey of taking a goal, preparing and going for it. The best of luck to the boys and I look forward to hearing about all their adventures when they return. I’m very proud of their vision, determination and hard work whatever the outcome.

Here are some photos of their previous practise treks gaining fitness and experience by getting out there and having a go.

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Do you have any mountains you want to conquer? Try thinking about the slow and steady rather than using the hare’s race mentality.

If you are interested in contributing to a worthy cause, their fundraising page is linked here. All donations are gratefully received.


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