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Toastmasters Magazine Article: Vincent Kituku: Overcoming Life's Buffaloes
Toastmasters Magazine Article: Vincent Kituku: Overcoming Life's Buffaloes
Meet Idaho's Latest Exports

Dr. Kituku Elected Grand Marshal of Boise State University Home Coming

The Race for the Cure  |  Year II: Racing for More Than Cure
Racing for the Cure While Praying for Sue  |  The Road to Conquering Robie Creek
Dr. Kituku featured in the Idaho Statesman  |  Claiming Idaho's Highest Summit
Leading Amateurs to Success  |  Robie Creek Vs Everyone (2006)
When Robie Creek Race Calls, You Participate (2006)   |   Doing Robie Creek as a Non-Kenyan Marathoner   |   What makes the Robie Creek Race Less painful
 

Claiming Idaho's Highest Summit
By Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku


"We must travel the direction of our fear." John Berryman

A wave of shock hit me when I should have been nursing my exhausted body at Mt. Borah's summit. That shock could have spoiled the deep sense of excitement I needed my heart to experience after such a memorable mental and physical accomplishment.

I realized that I was a minority on top of Idaho's highest peak at 1:45 p.m. of the 19th of August 2006. Please don't think of skin color, gender, religion or age. A quick glance and I had completed the survey I needed to make an undisputable conclusion, of all the people at the peak at the time I was there I was the only one whose stomach was easily noticeable. The rest had flattened theirs through years of exercises and conscious eating.

Some human desires and the timing of those desires are better left un-described and viewed with a non-judgmental spirit. How would one explain where the desire to climb mountains or dive in shark infested waters comes from? Or why someone in their mid-late forties gets the desire to challenge natural features that few dare to conquer?

I just had to climb Mt. Borah, get to the top of Idaho. The knowledge that seven people have died trying to reach Idaho's highest summit, the notes on the difficult part of the climbing or Chicken-out Ridge didn't diminish or deter the desire.

To climb to the top of Mt. Borah, the weight of your backpack matters, so is you body's ability to adjust to quick elevation changes-a distance of about 3.5 miles with a 5,500 foot climb. The Chicken-out Ridge is the portion to prepare for. You need to know how to climb rocks, scramble using both hands and feet--maintaining a 3-point contact. You can't be scared of exposure of free vertical drop-offs and be prepared to maneuver your ascend and descend through small loose rocks. There are some large boulders to cross, too.

Then you need mental toughness to finish the unbelievable 900 feet of very loose rocks and challenging solid inclines.

One thing to know is, even if you are scared of vertical exposure, reaching the Chicken-out Ridge point provides you with one the greatest views of nature and a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

After my initial acceptance of reality, the only fat person at the summit of Mt. Borah, I posed for a photo with my wife's best meal in my hand while unable to hide my obvious display of achievement, by the way I positioned my smile next to the Mt. Borah flag at the summit.

It was during the descent that thoughts of how I had gotten myself to that peak with my extra body weight flooded my mind. It was a combination of several factors including the desire to trim some of the noticeable "blessings."

The key factor was conscious the decision not to be discouraged. A great friend had tried but turned back after about two hours last year. He talked of the challenges with animated gestures that could have knocked out any ounce of hope from me. At the beginning point of the Chicken-out Ridge, I witnessed many people turning back. But I relied on an incident that happened in 1979.

Two of the top students from my community failed in the University Entrance Exam. I had to do a similar exam in 1980. One of the students had never gotten any grade lower than an A. The other had been selected by his high school to participate in an international student exchange program because of his outstanding academic abilities. That is when I learned never to judge your own capability against the performance of others.

Just do your best. Thinking you can is essential for the courage you need to accomplish your goal and it is a great foundation for true progress. Never let fear keep you from where want to be.
 

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