Are You Ready?

Simphiwe Fiddy Ngcobo profile picture
Simphiwe Fiddy Ngcobo
Mar 15, 2017

They did not believe that what I was about to do was an achievable fete. Death was often the common conclusion by most. “Just because you reached point A does not mean you will reach point B,” was another piece of advice given to me by negative Nelly. To be quite honest all this negative talk was silenced by one voice within me. This was the echoing voice of my mother. As a lad, my mother would always say, “whatever you do in life. Whatever it is, you are only doing it for yourself. And no one else”

Mom’s advice was evident in this situation. The fact is that there are two charity organizations, that they set to benefit from this adventure. Before we could get the ball rolling there were hurdles put in our way. Apart from our personal anxieties there were still people getting into our ears about our possible failure. However, it was not all doom and gloom. With every 7 people who claimed it could not be done, we met the 3 odd who saw what we saw or even possessed a bigger picture. People who saw an opportunity to escape their day to day life and go on an adventure. We openly invited them to tag along but wanting to and willing to are two different things. Soon it became as clear as daylight why so many people saw us a failed cause. The reason was simple most people were content. When they said we were doomed for failure they were actually projecting how they saw themselves if they were to be on our shoes. So what? Did we have a fool proof plan that guaranteed us that we were going to walk from Pietermaritzburg to Mozambique and back. The answer to that is no. We did not and to be frank we did not even know how the first day would be like. Were we scared? As for me, I was not scared but I was nervous. We were about to venture into the wilderness. Although Bongani, who happens to be my partner in crime, had that travel experience to a foreign country. This was something different for the both of us. We are going to walk from Pietermaritzburg to Mozambique and back to Durban without using any form of transportation. Nothing was guaranteed, not a place to sleep for the night or even if we were going to reach our destination. So the question loomed, are you ready? At times I felt like snapping at whoever was posing the question. What do they mean about being ready really? How does one become ready for such an expedition? As part of our preparation we ran around the block almost every morning and at times we tackled the Hilton hill when the sun was at its highest… We occasionally had a beer or two in different social gatherings that turned into a mini Q and A session. Yes, yes! Am I ready? I finally got enough wit to actually answer that question. Despite the dangers predicted by the different oracles, who one by one gave their predictions of the different outcomes for our Expedition. Which 70% percent of them predicted nothing but failure and gloom. My answer was in a form of a question. Cheeky as it may be but are you but my response was, “honestly are you ever for what life is about to throw at you?” The John Ross Challenge is no different from the challenges that life throws at you on a daily. Whether, you live your life in a well mapped out routine or you just go with the wind without a clear direction. Either or one thing is certain and that is if you do nothing, absolutely nothing will happen. Therefore, come morning, Bongani and I will do something and that will be starting the first leg of our John Ross Challenge. So for whatever challenge that you might be faced with or you are about to tackle. There is only one way to know for sure if you are indeed ready to tackle that challenge and take the first step and just do it.