Skip to main content

My Journey to the Mountains

What an adventure I had last Sunday! In my quest to be back in shape (I really need it lol), I accepted an invitation for a hike. It's a club that has been doing it every Sunday for thirty two years now. I grew up seeing them every Sunday walking the streets of Bujumbura but I had never been part of any of their activities.The club name is "Les Amis de la Montagne" (Friends of the Mountain)

I thought it would be a piece of cake. Come on, I have been a Basketball champion (at least as a coach lol), I have climbed the CN Tour four times,so walking should be easy. What an illusion!

What I did not know was that, whenever I saw them walking, it was just a forty minutes warm up. After the walk, they go for a hike in the mountains, and that, my friends is something. I learned my lesson. For about half an hour, we were just walking, and I was chatting with longtime friends of the family who are part of the club, and they were explaining to me how things work in the club. I was very much impressed.

They told me that, after a while, there would be separate groups who will take different routes according to the degree of difficulty of the hike. I thought to myself:I will certainly be in the elite group.Remember, I have been a Basketball champion.....you know the story. Then we got to the hills; the leaders showed us the way for the different routes. A and B (the tough ones) would go this way, and the C would go that way. I was definitely an A.

Off we went, A and B together. After about ten minutes of walking, I was sweating like crazy, almost lost my breath. Then something happened. We stopped. I was like, it was high time we stopped. The leader then said: Group A you go this way, and group B you go that way. This time, there was no way I would go with A. No way

Group B took off. Man, it was crazy. By the time we got to the top of a mountain, there was another one to climb. And I was like, what in the world did I get myself into? I wanted to call my wife, my mom, God...., anyone who could help. Needless to say that I was the last one in the group. And all the time I was thankful that I did not go with group A. I would have been dead by this time.

At first, the group members wanted to wait for me, but I told them to keep going because I didn't want them to loose their momentum. I was hopeless. I was stopping every two minutes. I started asking for directions from the people who live there. I was asking them if they saw any men and women with white T-Shirts (that is the club uniforms). They gladly showed me the way, but after a while, there was no way I could get to them. I was done.

Then, a young boy offered to help and show me my way back by taking a shortcut to the main street. I thought it was a shortcut. We walked for half an hour before getting to the street. I was so exhausted man. By the time I got to the main street, I met a club member who took the shortcut as well. He had a meeting to go to, that is why he did not go all the way. I asked him where were all the others and he told me that they were still climbing. I was like, are you serious???!!! These people are machines

I will be honest and tell you that, for years, I thought this club was for old people who could not practice any other sport. How wrong was I! I have never been in any basketball drill that was this hard (maybe it's my age as well). Compared to this hike, climbing the CN Tour is a piece of cake. And these people have been doing it for over thirty years!!!!! That is impressive

How often do we judge people at the first sight without trying to get to know them? So often, we are quick to judge and have an opinion on everything without even trying to understand that person (at least that is my case). After last Sunday, I had a whole other view of the club. It was respect. I had also a great respect for the people who live in those mountains and who, day after day, come down to the city to make a little bit of money and return home, sometimes with nothing for which to show. They are at the heart of our economy (the food we eat comes from there). I learned my lesson

Moral of the story? Do you want to learn your life lesson? Just put on a white T-Shirt and go for a hike in the mountains and you will take a shortcut

Always a pleasure
Patrick
The Journeyman

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Journey with Fidèle

It has been quite a few busy weeks that involved a round trip to Ottawa on Saturday and preaching during a Sunday church service (yes, I was surprised too when I was asked to do it). All this time I was thinking about what I would be writing about on this week’s blog. I had a vague idea, but I did not know how to formulate it.
That was until I received a message on Facebook from a friend asking me to speak at an upcoming event in January. The topic of my presentation would be “The Moment that Defined Your Life”. The person who sent me the invitation did not know that I had been thinking about the same topic days prior to her message.
It all started when I was at a Toronto Raptors game. I have been reporting on the games for almost two months now, but I am still in awe every time I am at the arena. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I have been in rooms with childhood idols, biggest stars of the game, coaches, reporters, you name it. And every time I am saying “wow”. The other day,…

My Journey with a man of faith

Many years ago, I heard a businessman say that if you don’t have a dream, be around dreamers. Now, I am going to add to his statement and say that if you don’t have faith, be around people of faith.
I met this gentleman over sixteen years ago when I first came to Canada. After a few months, we became roommates. It was very fun evenings among friends hearing and telling funny jokes. We didn’t know what we would become later, but I knew this guy was going somewhere. He was a devoted Christian man, playing music in two different churches. He had a picture in his room with a huge crowd on it and I knew he was meant to impact people’s lives. Little did I know I would be, many years later among the people who would be impacted by his life.
We went our separate ways but kept in touch. He later became a Pastor (and I was not surprised at all by that), and I attended his church a few times.
In 2013, I was going through one of the toughest moments of my life and I needed help. I didn’t know wh…

My Journey with the Orange Ball

I have to say that the feedback I received from last week's blog was overwhelming. It made me realize how selfish I was for not sharing my up and down journey. Many of you readers have reached out to share your journeys with me. I was so blessed by each of you and the part of your life journey you shared with me.  I have learned that whatever I am going through, somebody else is going through worse. That helps me put things into perceptive.
    Thank you.
Last Saturday I got to watch the rerun of the Basketball Hall of Fame Ceremonies. It was an amazing show. All the inductees shared their stories; some of them were very emotional while others were simply funny.
It is quite an honour to be chosen to be in a select group of elite players, coaches, executives and many others who have impacted the game in many ways.
As there is little chance for me to be a Basketball hall of famer (the chances are almost zero, but I am keeping an open mind), I am glad I have a platform on which I can sha…