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The Journey to Mount Kilimanjaro at Age 65

Mary Crafts went from 284 pounds to hiking Kilimanjaro at age 65. Mary says that it’s something we all do, and we all participate in it; it’s called our journey. Everyone has a different one. Everyone has a different timeline in their life. Mary has come to love and appreciate her timeline. It would be easy for her to say, “I wish I had gotten this information or understood this about me at age 30 or age 40.” Mary didn’t open her eyes until age 50. It has given her such compassion and insight for those women who are in their older years.

Finding Happiness After Fifty

At age 50, Mary thought about the decisions that she had made in her life that were based on fear. She wanted to be safe and didn’t want to make a fool of herself or be rejected. That kind of thought process can drive you to competitiveness. It can encourage you to be very customer-oriented because you never want to disappoint anyone. So, that allowed Mary to be successful but not happy. The first step to happiness is looking at the things that are holding you back and think about how you could make decisions based on love. The first change that Mary made was losing her weight. She no longer needed it to protect her. Mary is a successful woman; that is enough.

Set a Goal

The easiest way to keep your eye on the prize is by setting a goal. Mary set the goal to climb Kilimanjaro. There are ‘Seven Summits.’ They are comprised of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents of the Earth: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Mount Vinson, and Carstensz Pyramid. Although Kilimanjaro isn’t the shortest peak, out of the seven, it is the easiest to climb. A climb up Kilimanjaro will take you around seven days from equatorial forest to glaciated summit, from one extreme of weather to the other.

Summiting Kilimanjaro

At any age, you can summit it if you want to. It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing physically and emotionally that Mary has ever done. There were eight people on the hiking team, but she didn’t know any of them. The team was so experienced; Mary was fifteen years older than the next youngest person. During the trip, Mary never could keep up; she felt like she hiked alone, and she lived alone. That took a toll on her – Mary never had emotional support on the journey. However, it did create more value for Mary than if she had been with people she knew. Where did Mary have to turn for that support? Mary turned inside and dug down deep. For once in her life, Mary realized that she was enough.

Your Past Means Nothing

The mountain does not care if you are a badass in Utah. The mountain only cares about what you bring every day on the way to the peak. Your reputation, your past, your accomplishments mean nothing. Mary brought that lesson home. All that matters is what you’re doing today, not what you did in the past; that’s what makes a difference. More importantly, what are you going to do next? How else can you make a difference while you’re still on this planet?


“What Are The Seven Summits”. Link

“Stand On Top Of The World” Link

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