Here Are Three Powerful Lessons from Cheruiyot Kirui’s Hiking Life

Have you ever hiked a moun­tain? It’s nerve-wrack­ing, extreme­ly tir­ing, yet quite reward­ing and ful­fill­ing. A few years ago, I hiked Mt. Lon­gonot with my son David and fel­low men from CITAM Church. At 2,776 meters, it’s half the height of Mt. Kenya’s 5,199 meters and less than half the height of Mt. Kil­i­man­jaro’s 5,895 meters. Yet, in a real sense, it is no child’s play to hike. As I reached the peak, amidst a heavy down­pour of hail­stones pum­mel­ing my body, I felt the sting of a strong wind slap­ping my tired mus­cles. Despite the pain and chill, a smile unfold­ed deep in my heart as I gazed at the spec­tac­u­lar view around me, feel­ing a pro­found sense of ful­fill­ment engulf me.

“What a tri­umph this is!” I thought joy­ous­ly. Yet, this expe­ri­ence pales in com­par­i­son to the colos­sal dreams of Cheruiy­ot Kirui, a moun­taineer whose aspi­ra­tions soared as high as Ever­est itself, whose peak enjoys the world’s tallest point at 8,849 meters above sea level.

Cheruiyot’s pur­suit, much like moun­tain climb­ing, sym­bol­izes a pro­found truth: “If you’ve got noth­ing worth dying for, you’ve got noth­ing worth liv­ing for,” a pow­er­ful say­ing famous­ly quot­ed by Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Kirui, in his qui­et might, chose to live — and indeed, risk dying — for a vision so stark that it found him scal­ing Earth’s zenith with­out sup­ple­men­tal oxy­gen. This endeav­or not only demand­ed extra­or­di­nary phys­i­cal and men­tal sta­mi­na but also a sub­stan­tial finan­cial com­mit­ment, report­ed­ly cost­ing at least $53,000 USD to embark upon such a dar­ing ascent.

Cheruiyot’s jour­ney teach­es us invalu­able lessons on mul­ti­ple fronts: indi­vid­u­al­ly, cor­po­rate­ly, and nationally.

Indi­vid­u­al­ly, we learn the pow­er of deter­mi­na­tion. Cheruiyot’s final social media posts echoed a spir­it unfet­tered by earth­ly bounds, a reminder that our deep­est pas­sions are worth the pur­suit, regard­less of the peaks and val­leys. Think about your deep dreams, your great pas­sions, and your heart­felt endeav­ors. Pon­der the hur­dles and val­leys that stand between you and your pur­suits. Pour your entire heart and com­mit­ment into these pur­suits and stop at noth­ing until you achieve your goals.

Cor­po­rate­ly, Cheruiyot’s sto­ry urges insti­tu­tions to fos­ter envi­ron­ments where such indomitable spir­its can thrive — where visions are not just sup­port­ed but cel­e­brat­ed. Busi­ness­es, much like moun­taineers, need both strat­e­gy and endurance to con­quer their mar­kets. I urge Kenyan and African com­pa­nies to stand tall and stride for­ward, not to be intim­i­dat­ed by cel­e­brat­ed Amer­i­can multi­na­tion­als, but to work sym­bi­ot­i­cal­ly with them to scale greater busi­ness heights.

Nation­al­ly, Cheruiy­ot embod­ies the resilience required to meet grand visions like Kenya’s Vision 2030 or the glob­al Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. His life’s work under­scores that even the lofti­est goals are attain­able through unwa­ver­ing resolve and col­lec­tive effort.

Inter­est­ing­ly, though Cheruiy­ot achieved much in life, it is in his depar­ture that his impact cli­max­es. Now, more than ever, his lega­cy tran­scends per­son­al achieve­ment, inspir­ing a nation and beyond. It’s a poignant reminder that some­times, our great­est con­tri­bu­tions arise not from the sum­mits we reach but from the trails we blaze.

As we extend our deep­est sym­pa­thies to his fam­i­ly and friends, offer­ing prayers for God’s com­fort dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time, we also find solace in the light of his endur­ing spir­it. This is what I dare call the green life climb—a jour­ney every one of us must under­take, marked by growth, resilience, and the pur­suit of some­thing greater than ourselves.

Cheruiy­ot Kirui’s lega­cy prompts us to con­sid­er our own aspirations—what moun­tains are we will­ing to climb? As we nav­i­gate the tough jour­neys of our own lives, mir­ror­ing the ardu­ous paths of Lon­gonot and Ever­est, we must remem­ber the lessons each step teach­es us.

Let’s hon­or his mem­o­ry by push­ing not only for per­son­al achieve­ments but also for the uplift­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties and nation. In this jour­ney of life, we are all climbers, and grand sum­mits await those bold enough to dream and per­se­vere. Think green, act green!

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Amaz­ing POV! I hadn’t seen it from that Per­spec­tive at all! It’s an eye open­er and te mikey reminder, thanks! This also reminds me to look­ing at things in life in-depth and gath­er the lessons it offers, and applaud­ing those in it rather than blame and shame like oth­ers are choos­ing to look at Cheruiyot’s death.


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