Challenge Yourself

Written by Krystle McGilvery, Financial Controller at Now.

‘I can do anything I set my mind to!’

That’s what I told myself 6 months ago, when I decided to climb Kilimanjaro.

I had failed to research what the hike entailed or the training required, but assumed that as I am generally fit and healthy – lean with a strong core – I’d have a good chance of reaching the summit. I had also climbed Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh with ease, so Kilimanjaro was going to be no problem, right? …Okay, please stop laughing.

Training begins.

So, there I was, naïvely taking my first 3-hour walk home from work in the middle of winter, and I discovered that these boots were not made for walking! My feet burned, I discovered that Raynaud’s is a real thing, and ultimately realized that my ‘can do’ attitude needed to be backed by a solid plan!

More training needed.

A 6-hour walk through London a few weeks later made the reality of what I had signed up to really hit home.

Several months in.

I had given myself 6 months to prepare for my climb up Kilimanjaro, and now March 16th was fast approaching. I had planned to take weekly walks and have regular gym sessions, yet I had only visited the gym once and walked twice!

I should have applied the 10,000-hour rule: putting in 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at walking. However, as I had the great ‘Kilimanjaro’ idea at the age of 29 in celebration of my upcoming 30th birthday, and I work a 40-hour week, such a commitment was frankly impossible. Cramming 10,000 hours into 1 year requires 192 hours walking per week…and there’s only 168 hours in a 7-day period. There are literally not enough hours in a week! It is comforting, then, to read research from Princeton that says only a 12% increase in success is due to practice, which leads me to have faith in success being a result of ‘mind over matter’.


I leave for Tanzania tomorrow, but I am ready. Results will be in as to whether I made it up Kilimanjaro upon my return on the 27th March.

I have been taught to believe that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, and I am a true believer that what we think, we become.

Positive thinking benefits us in a range of ways: physical, social, and creative. It opens our minds, allows us to see more possibilities; which means we try, we experience, we learn, and we become great.

I am speaking prematurely, but confidently. I will make it up the mountain.