My only resolution for the year 2021 was: do hard things!

- John Nasio

John Nasio - Class of April 2021

I came across the #beginnertomtkenya program in December 2020, at a time when the pandemic had brought my business to its knees. I badly wanted to sign up for the program amidst these mixed emotions. I decided to not wait for things to get better, so I went ahead.

My family and friends expressed concerns about how I would make it for hikes, granted I needed to travel more than 600km every other weekend from Malindi, where I live and work. However, I was all fired up already and could see myself on the great outdoors taking on every other mountain life threw my way!

The logistics cost me more than the program, but that wasn't enough excuse for me to turn down my desire to take up this worthy challenge.

Each hike came with an essential life lesson for me; there is so much I learned from my fellow hikers — most of whom were first-time hikers, just like me.

My first hike was excruciatingly difficult; my knees were in pain. Halima, one of the hikers I met on that first hike, gave me invaluable tips on how to care of my knees; she inspired me, even more, when we both made it to the summit, despite our knees being on fire.

Adam from Outdoorer always encouraged us to keep active with cardio workouts but it never got easier.

My only resolution for the year 2021 was: do hard things!

I teamed up with a special friend whom I met in the program and we committed to being each other’s accountability partner. We were too exhausted to work out on some days, while we just didn’t feel like it on others. Somehow, we still managed to be there for each other, despite the physical distance, and I will forever be grateful for having met her.

My accountability partner unconsciously taught me that in life, it is neither about how fast you run nor about getting there first; it is all about sticking to your lane and running your race, regardless of how slow you may be. Only getting to the destination, and the lessons learned along the way count.

I proudly made it to Point Lenana, 4985m ASL, but the Outdoorer team prepared me to go higher than that. I will continue to push myself further.

I got to summit Mt.Kenya, and the experience was surreal!
- Ruth Wangari