So many times in life we give credence to others’ wants and
dreams, yet so easily dismiss our own. But everyone is entitled to their dream.
And when one person lives their dream, it gives permission to others to go
beyond their boundaries. HaKadosh Baruch Hu gave each and every one of us the
power to achieve our dreams. This was my dream.
You Can Do This
I never intended to really climb a mountain; I wasn’t brave
enough and was more of couch potato. Then I started going occasionally to the
gym. Then I started going six days a week.
One day I mentioned to someone, just in passing, that I’d
love to climb
Kilimanjaro. But after I heard myself say it aloud, I davened, “Hashem, if you
really want me to do this then let me know.”
I’m a teacher, and the next day I went to work, and one of
my students told me, “My father’s going to climb Mt.
Kilimanjaro; it’s called a kosher climb.” Was this the sign I was looking for?
But my friends thought I was out of my mind. Everyone kept
saying, “You can’t do this,” and I kept answering, “You’re right, I can’t do
I asked one of the trainers in the gym to train me for the
climb, but she said, “No, I can’t train you for that; you really need to train
right.” She pointed me to another trainer who got me running up and down stairs
holding 44 pounds. When I’d be ready to faint, I’d get a short rest, and then
go back to do ten more repetitions. My coach kept saying, “You’re much stronger
than you think you are; you can do it. Don’t quit.” These words gave me the
courage and the belief to go on. I did three months of intensive training. I
had to get stronger in every area, if my strengths weren’t balanced, I’d fall.
All the women I asked to climb with me said no. But I saw
this as a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I took my husband to a meeting about the
climb. At the meeting my husband was horrified, but he saw my sincerity. He
said, “This is my wife’s dream, this is what she needs, and she needs me to
come with her or her dream won’t happen.” We’ve been married for thirty-three
years, together since we were children. My husband wasn’t training; he simply
showed up for me so I could live my dream.”
To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.