Pushing the boundaries
Some of the strongest people in our communities are those with physical challenges who are willing to push the boundaries. To challenge the norm. A group from Guts2Glory did exactly that. They decided to take on Mount Kilimanjaro! The results are amazing. They succeeded in finishing the climb. This was very challenging both physically and mentally. It requires focusing on your goal, and your body is challenged beyond its abilities. This means that what others see as a disability, for these athletes, is an ability.
Their beautiful message is that of hope. Never giving up. Exceeding the expectations of others.
The group decided not to give up on their dreams of reaching the summit. These are courageous South African athletes whose goal was to raise awareness for athletes with disabilities. They themselves have physical challenges. That is exactly why they took on this challenge. Their beautiful message is that of hope. Never giving up. Never focusing on what you can’t do but showing off what you can. Exceeding the expectations of others. Kilimanjaro is one of the most majestic mountains in the world. At least 40 000 people a year seek to climb the world’s highest free-standing mountain. The risk when taking on this mountain is very high. Among them are the unforgiving weather, rockslides, and acute altitude and resulting altitude sickness. The records show that some climbers sadly haven’t made it back alive. It is such an amazing story when you get to know some of the disabled people who have taken on this mountain. Understanding the physical challenges they have makes it truly amazing. This is a group of South African athletes from all walks of life with their own physical disabilities. They trained and they persevered and they finished the Climb.
Amongst these great people are two participants. Their life stories have proven that our human bodies can be pushed to their limits and still survive. This is a story of the survival strength of two men, Clifford Martin and Leseba Masela. Clifford is a bench press champion who competes against both able-bodied people and those living with disabilities. He had a car accident that left him paralysed. Leseba Masela was paralysed as a result of a gunshot wound in a violent attack by a colleague. His life may have been changed in those few moments, but he was determined to get better. And he did.
A voice of hope for people living with disabilities
These are very tragic stories, yet something very beautiful came out of them. A voice of hope for people living with disabilities. These two athletes and others accepted the challenges of Mount Kilimanjaro to help other disabled people. It was a sponsored event, and the proceeds from their climb are going towards a fund set up for 1 000 children with disabilities. This fund will assist in motivating them and training them in life skills. They were extremely grateful and excited to receive this amazing gift from this group of South African athletes. Clifford feels that you can do anything in life if you set your mind to it. This is despite having to adapt to a life as a physically disabled person. His condition never made him feel different. Instead, it motivated him to be the best in sports and also to motivate others in the same situation.
Most importantly these were people driven by passion and purpose.
Much mental preparation goes into preparing for this type of climb. It is a very physical one and only determined people with very strong mental state will succeed. Most importantly these were people driven by passion and purpose. They strove to motivate those who find themselves in the same situation, whether by birth or resulting from an accident. These men and the rest of their group of athletes took on this Climb, finished it, and changed the lives of 1 000 children living with disabilities. It taught them that you can tackle any challenge in life no matter how hard it might be. Never to let disabilities to be a limit in life. They all took on one of the highest, most majestic mountains, and they won. Not only for themselves but for the children whose lives will be forever changed by the proceeds from their successful climb. This is something worth #Staying for.
• GOOD THOUGHTS • GOOD WORDS • GOOD DEEDS •
Writer & Researcher for #ImStaying
I love learning new things, meeting people from all walks of life. I’m interested in community empowerment, languages, technology world affairs music and my children. I believe this country has so much potential and we are yet to discover it, we are all in a journey of self discovery and it’s a beautiful one.