The power of walking one step at a time
No matter how long your journey appears to be, there is never more than this: one step, one breath, one moment… Now.
– Eckhart Tolle
Many of you who know me know that my family is strongly connected to Africa. We’ve taken school groups to Kenya and Tanzania, both for community service and a trek up to the top of Kilimanjaro. My son Kyle, my daughter Mackenzie, and I have done Kili twice. Joe, my husband, eight times. Each time, leading a group of trusting students.
Park rangers tell us that, generally speaking, half of the travellers who try don’t summit. Our groups average a 98% success rate. Here are some of the things we’ve learned that help:
- Training takes time, and is done in gradual increments. The journey is made one step at a time, one breath at a time. We start in September for a March climb. Early training hikes are short, weight free, and low intensity. Over time we increase intensity, duration and load.
- Working as a team increases the likelihood of success. We train together, walk together, celebrate together, and struggle together.
- No headphones are allowed. By staying connected, we talk and encourage one another. The strength of our team is directly related to the strength of the relationships with have with one another.
- Every hike involves treats: something home-baked and yummy to look forward to.
Trauma recovery is like a personal expedition to Kilimanjaro. I like to think all of the same principles apply. Working together, we can significantly shift the odds in our favour. As the guides say Pole pole (slow slow)…one step at a time.
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong