by Mali Phonpadith of SOAR Community Network
My husband recently went on an adventure of a lifetime when he and his father decided to check off an item from both their bucket lists… to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world.
They were traveling and trekking for two weeks and had very little reception to communicate with anyone outside of their climbing team. Their journey taught me a lot about trusting that their adventure was theirs to experience and mine to simply admire and be inspired by it all. No, I didn’t have to be there in person to do the climb myself nor did I have to be involved in every step or aspect of my husband’s activities. His climb (and his life’s path) was/is his.
While he was abroad my role was to keep walking on my own path, to continue with my own adventures here at home. I allowed myself to calmly sit back, witness from afar and benefit later from the lessons he was being taught as oxygen levels dropped to less than 50% and his body learned to reserve energy; taking in every critical breath and mastering the motions required to make it to the top.
His trip in Africa reminded me that we can shift and be transformed by living vicariously through others’ experiences and the same holds true in reverse. Going after our hopes, living out our dreams and walking in our purpose can and will impact those around us who may currently need to just sit back and witness from what we are being taught, with every stepwe are taking. Perhaps just moving forward with our goals is enough to light a flame that will inevitably ignite someone’s passion for living fully and inspire them to make their own climb one day.
Marriage is still very new to me. It’s wonderful and such an interesting thing. I am enjoying the process and learning that partnership does not take away our independence and individuality, but rather, highlights what makes us so different, allowing us to see how truly special our partners are and what they uniquely bring to the relationship. Watching my husband go after his goals and living out his hopes, passions and dreams is bringing more intentionality, more color, and more vitality to my own.
I believe this holds true for professional partnerships and our work in the world as well.
When my husband made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, having almost passed out several times upon reaching 18,000 ft., his accomplishment not only made me proud of the insurmountable task he had just completed, it reinvigorated me and reignited my desire to keep “SOARing” in my everyday life! He inspired me to want to continue inspiring greatness in others. His accomplishment on that mountain gifted me with validation that anything is possible for all of us!
I am holding on to the metaphor of his climb for my own source of inspiration. No matter how how harsh the conditions or how bitter the cold criticism gets, I must continue to carry up with me on my “mountain” everything I’ve got in order to reach goals, desires and dreams that are absolutely stretched… and yet totally within my reach.
I believe it comes down to wanting it badly enough, believing that we can make it, having great cheerleaders and guides and knowing/trusting that our bodies, minds and willpower will muster up the strength and courage necessary to reach our summit. That summit for me is called my LEGACY and once reached, stretches for infinite miles beyond space and time.
To live a full and fulfilled life is to allow the “work” we do here to outlast our stay. So… up, up and away we go, beyond Kilimanjaro! #SOAR