Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Favourite Thing...

At the risk of sounding a little self involved, my favourite thing are my legs, not because they resemble the perfect pins of Heidi Klum (good job, saves me another insurance premium!), nor do they offer the speed Tommy Bowe’s do when he sprints to the try line. Instead they have quite simply taken me from the back roads of Cavan to the rooftop of Africa.

In June 2010, I donned my hiking boots, and headed to Tanzania, to take on the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Taking the Rongai Route I trekked through rainforests, lunar deserts, glaciers and to the crater of a dormant volcano over a period of seven days. Spent 16 hours of one day on my feet in a bid to reach the infamous signpost well placed on Uhuru Peak at 5,895 metres. Resultant of which was an exhilarating feeling which left me feeling on top of the world, and rightly so, I almost was; for my legs, weary as they may have been, had taken me to the world’s fourth highest point.

In May 2011, whilst the majority of the province were in Cardiff, witnessing a triumphant Leinster bring back the Heineken Cup, I was climbing up the rafters of the Aviva Stadium in Dublin (don’t worry I didn’t turn up at the wrong arena!) there was method to my madness! I instead had challenged myself to abseil down the Aviva Stadium courtesy of Dublin Dares You.

So why my legs? They make me stand tall in times of weakness, enable me to unwind in times of stress by carrying me that extra mile when out running, and most importantly, guarantee a fun filled night out when I hit the dance floor in killer heels with my mates (You bet we too move like Jagger!).

I’m no Dean Karnazes, Bear Grylls, or Ginger Rodgers... but it is the times we strip ourselves of all material possessions that we truly see what matters to us in life. When asked what my favourite thing in life was I immediately turned to my laptop and iphone; possessions that can virtually take me anywhere I want to go, but was reminded that it is when my two legs take me anywhere in this world, it is only then the experience truly is extraordinary.

In the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder ‘I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all’... even if I did turn to my iphone to tweet that ‘I’d just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro’!

As published in the 21 October 2011 edition of U Magazine.

- The Forgotten Irish Graduate, October 2011