The Walking Stick


The past few weeks I’ve been away on vacation.  I’ve spent my time away exploring parts of the Southern Hemisphere which for a portion of my travels took me to the jungles of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea.

While in Kimbe, I joined a group of fellow explorers on a hike through the jungle and up to the summit of Mount Gabuna to check out the active volcano crater at the top.

Now…as you may suspect a hike through the jungle presents a collective number of challenges.  These challenges include, but are not limited to:

  1. Navigation
  2. Heat
  3. Hydration
  4. Bugs (mainly malaria crazed mosquitoes)
  5. Wild boars
  6. Climbing with steady footing
  7. Cutting through really thick foliage

Hiring a Kimbe guide with a machete assisted in the elimination of three of these challenges. (1, 5 and 7)

Two and half hours into the climb the only thing most of us were worried about was our water supply and physical stamina.

Then it started raining.

Now to be clear, this wasn’t a gentle summer drizzle. It began raining so hard that it became difficult to see what was directly in front of us.

That’s when a climb that was already fairly challenging increased to somewhat difficult.

Two of my travel companions along with our guide Daniel. (From left - Eric, Daniel, Linal and Bob)
Two of my travel companions along with our guide Daniel. (From left – Eric, Daniel, Linal and Bob)

The jungle floor turned to slippery mud and the rocks and fallen logs we originally used as support became deceptively unstable and unpredictably weak.

After our party of four climbers barely managed to climb a muddy ridge our guide had an idea.  He asked us to stay put under a large tree and ventured off into the jungle.  He returned a few minutes later with four strong bamboo walking sticks, he had assembled with the help of his machete.

These walking sticks were amazing.

It was like having a third leg or a built in safety net.  It provided all the stability we needed to safely complete our climb and return to the base.

The climb up the mountain in the rain was tough enough, however coming back down in that monsoon was twice as arduous.

This got me to thinking about our hike and it’s parallels to life.

When I’m working to achieve a goal…or climb my figurative mountains…who or what is my walking stick?

Having someone who supports me and can help stabilize my climb is so important.

When life becomes demanding, who is my walking stick?

Just like coming down the mountain in the rain was twice as hard, so is life when things aren’t going quite right.

That’s when a coach, a spouse or a team become an even more valuable commodity in our lives.

This brings me to the following questions:

  1. Do you have a walking stick?
  2. Does this person or people know it?
  3. Have you told them thanks for being your walking stick in life…recently?

By the end of the week…make sure you can answer all these questions with a YES!

Stay inspired, it’s lifestyle choice!

p.s. If you want to hear more about recent travels subscribe to my Travel Blog.

2 thoughts on “The Walking Stick

  1. Ash says:

    I have no confidence. If I want to acilcpomsh something, I just torture and berate myself with the thought I am a complete loser until I do it. I’ve accomplished a fair amount this way. I know a few successful people who this sort of works for but the most successful people just do amazing stuff because it is the stuff they most want to do. Plus, they do have confidence. I’ve never known anyone super successful at anything that did not doubt they could do the thing they are trying to do at some point. I don’t know business CEOs or people like that but I do know people who are at the top of their fields. I think self doubt is almost universal.

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