As a professional speaker I often encounter adventurers who continue to inspire and motivate. But to paraphrase Riaan Manser, there is an ocean between saying and doing.
I met Andrew Patterson last year and he immediately struck me as a man of values, integrity and someone I would like in my inner circle.
And then he lost it. Last year Andrew aka The Renaissance Guy had a calling that he wanted to do something of significance this year. It came to him while driving into Cape Town on the N2, when he looked up, saw Table Mountain and thought to himself, “What if I could climb that mountain every day for a year.” I mean EVERY day!
Now it’s easy to talk, it’s another to actually do something. Step by step he started putting it all together. Planning the logistics, doing practice climbs in all conditions and times, deciding on beneficiaries and slowly started putting the idea out there, which quite frankly at that stage sounded just a little crazy.
I remember Andrew being interviewed on Benito Vergotine’s show The Honest Truth and wondering if he had any idea what he was letting himself in for. Not the climbing of the mountain, but the enormous discipline of doing it every day regardless of how he felt, or the weather or a myriad of other things that would make it difficult for Andrew. There was something inside me though that said if someone could do it, it might be him.
Imagine my delight last week in being asked to MC the function on the occasion of Andrew’s 100th climb.
It’s not just talk anymore, it’s the real thing. Supporters from all over and as far as the USA were in attendance to celebrate with him and to draw attention to his chosen charities One Heart, the Sunflower Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, representatives of each of those organisations were there to discuss the impact of what Andrew was and is doing.
Andrew is a man with big dreams and believes he will impact a million people this year and I for one, do not doubt that.
His goal of R1 million rand for his chosen charities is well on track and he has used the crowd funding website BackaBuddy as the vehicle to collect donations to this impressive cause.
As I again listened to his story last week, I was struck by his sincerity. You see, I believe we all have it within us to make a difference. For some of us, it is a small contribution, and for others, like Andrew, the dreams are bigger. At the end of the day, the important thing is to have a dream.
To dream that your contribution helps. That your life has significance and that you make a difference.
I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes of all time by Ralph Waldo Emerson “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded.”
Andrew, we are proud of you. You are making a difference! Looking forward to seeing you at the end of your next 100 climbs and the next 100 climbs and the next 65 climbs.
No talk, just action.
If you would like to walk up the mountain with Andrew, that is very possible. Google 365 Ubuntu climbs and for a small donation, you too could do your part. Every step no matter how small helps.