This week I feel like a student who is going to sit their mock exams. You know that feeling when you’ve studied diligently, tried as much as possible to do all the class and homework assignments, followed the tips taught by the teacher, when you know that you have done all that is within your means to prepare for the exam? And now, the week just before the exams is a week to take it easy, to rest and relax your brain as you wait to take the exam – that’s how I feel.
Next week on Monday, a few of my friends and I are going to climb Mount Elgon. Mount Elgon is the mock exam before the final exam; the final exam being the Rwenzori climb, which we will do in July. We have prepared long and we have prepared hard. We have done all manner of exercise routines with all manner of coaches in all manner of venues at all manner of times. I have worked out harder than at any other time in my life. I have pushed my body further than I ever thought possible, given my couch potato status for the last twenty years of my life. I have stayed more consistent with exercise than at any other time in my life. I have sweated more this time than I ever thought humanly possible for me. I have done all I can. I have done the best I can. Now the first test, the mock exam, is next week.
Climbing Mount Elgon is a way to break our climbing virginity, since none of us has ever climbed a mountain. The Elgon climb will also enable us experience high altitude and how to deal with it. The climb will test our endurance since we will have to walk for four days in a row – three going up the mountain and one day coming down. We have done long walks, but we do them bi-weekly so we get to rest. But now, doing the mountain climb means we have to walk every day.
I feel anxious and excited all at the same time. I have traveled to Mbale many times before and once in a while I contemplated climbing Mount Elgon, but only as a very remote possibility. But now, to think it’s actually going to happen in a week’s time feels surreal! As I thought about our impending climb, this is what I wrote in my journal yesterday:
“Thank you Lord for bringing me this far. I could not have done this without You. Thank you for enabling me get through the crazy drills. Thank you for enabling me walk long distances. I give this climb to you. I don’t even know what to expect because I have no frame of reference. The world of mountain climbing is totally alien to me. Yes I have read about other people’s experiences of climbing, but it’s still foreign to me experientially. And so I am grateful for the opportunity to climb because I know that despite there being so many mountains in Uganda, not many people get the chance to climb them. So I do not take this opportunity for granted.
Thank you for all the lessons along the road of preparation. Thank you for all the experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank you for the opportunity to share my experiences. Thank you for the opportunity to grow. Is not been easy, but I can’t imagine my life any other way. It’s all You and I give You all the glory and honor. I am looking forward to experiencing a moment with You on the mountain top. Lord I can’t thank you enough for bringing me this far. And I know I have further still, because Your plans for my life are great. I look forward to a life lived to the fullest.