Before love joined us, we had always been a spontaneous and adventurous couple. Not so many ladies own motorcycles and not so many guys love to cycle. Anyways, one of the things we set ourselves up to do before we got married was to climb Mount Kenya. Some of you are thinking how cool it must be to pack your bags and climb that goddamn mountain. Of course, some simply cannot understand why in God’s name you should strain and risk your life climbing rocks while you could be using the same budget on a beach. In this blog, we shall try to convince we believe there are parallel lessons in mountain climbing and in marriage.

The lessons we will draw here come from our firsthand experiences when we climbed Mount Kenya as a dating couple and Mt Simiens in Ethiopia as a married couple. In hindsight these two experiences wrapped up what pre-marital classes tried to teach us. Here is why we think mountain climbing should be an activity for all couples to consider seriously .

Planning and preparation, unless you are a damn fool please don’t wake up and go climb a mountain, well, unless you plan to die or fail. To succeed, you need to be physically and mentally prepared. We used to train separately for the mountain, Nyamu walked everywhere and Joe rode his bike a lot. We went to the Ngong hills and mount Longonot a couple of times to test our progress. We had to cut back on our expenses to save for the experience. More importantly we had to buy the right gear and equipment.

Marriage is the same. Getting into marriage unprepared is recipe for failure. Go for premarital classes and find a mentor couple to walk with you. Do what it takes to be fully prepared.

The Ascend: We got to the Mt Kenya Gate pumped like a ball. We were ready to run up that  mountain. Bring it on! We had the right attitude and we looked the part. The gear was on point. Other tourists gave us the respectful nod. I mean, we looked like seasoned mountain climbers. We even impressed our porters whom one was a lady. We embarked on the great climb, finally we are dwarfing Mt Kenya in style.

The first few kilometres of Mt Kenya are steep, you feel like you are climbing a 90 degrees slope. Soon the chit chat becomes less and reality checks in that for the next 5 days, all we will be doing is hiking. Our focus shifts from the aesthetics to getting to the top. It became serious business, the guide, slowing down periodically, ensured we were hydrated all through.

At your wedding night you are probably thinking yaaaay bring it on, this is going to be awesome. Then you realize it’s not all you thought it could be. Our first year of marriage was quite hard. We had to make lots of adjustments and we soon discovered, marriage is not a game or a bed of roses, it requires the highest level of maturity and comes with a lot of thorns.


The Experience: Climbing a mountain is highly over-romanticized. Believe us its dirty, and tiring. You don’t shower for 5 days, your clothes are the least flattering and the mental and physical torture you undergo, makes you question what you are doing 3000 ft above sea level when you could be home watching a movie. The movie title “why did I get married” sums it up pretty much. So many times, we wondered what are we doing and why. Same is with marriage, you will ask yourself why did I get married? And especially to her/him.  You have no idea how many times we have each asked that question when things get rough. Truth is mountain climbing demands perseverance, resilience, grit and patience, and caring for one other, so does marriage. The values needed for climbing any mountain are essential to the success of your marriage.


Climbing a mountain together will reveal things about your partner you didn’t know before, we discovered quite a few things about each other; 

Joe is a talker and Nyamu is the silent kind when things must get done. When it comes to getting things done, she likes to focus her all on it. Joe on the other side, talks throughout, this dude had things to say the whole way up. And it was pissing off Nyamu, she yelled at him to shut it.  He kept his distance after that and has learned to give her some space when she needs it.

What is easy for one of us would be hard for the other person. If you as a couple have ever taken an inventory of your weaknesses and strengths you will discover that what is your strength is your partners weaknesses. This was clearly demonstrated, ascending for Nyamu is quite a challenge she has to muster everything she has, while Joe cruises by her. Interestingly descends are difficult for Joe, it’s a mystery we are yet to figure out. What we have learned to encourage each other in those times and to appreciate each other differences not just on the mountains but in life as well.

Mountain climbing is an amazing experience to enjoy together, there is such beauty to behold along the climb the landscapes is breathtaking but there was also we saw graves of other climbers who had lost their lives along the way, we made new friends and created moments to be treasured forever. And as such is marriage, you will revel in its beauty, cry in its tragedy, but the journey is always worthwhile.

The simplicity of the whole experience teaches you to enjoy the little things in life; Mountain climbing requires only basic clothing equipment, there is no network so no gadgets please. Practicality here is everything, if it doesn’t assist in the climb it has to go. Having the same attitude in marriage will help you so much. We live in a generation where what we have is more important than who we are, a sad reality indeed. Some experiences however remind you what matters in life and mountain climbing is one such experience.

Celebrating at the Top: If you have gotten to the top of any mountain, you know the feeling, it’s exhilarating, you feel on top of the world both literally and figuratively. You have gone where few have gone, you are now part of an elite club, you made it!!!!. We cannot describe the feeling. We wanted to hold onto our celebration for hours but as nature should have the snow came falling down and down we had to go.  Celebrating together deepens your relationship, you share a success now and knowing that if you can climb a mountain together there is nothing you cannot do together.

To sum it all up no matter how hard it is, keep going and keep pushing limits.







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