I am Joe Walker aka Joseph Beyanga, a road safety enthusiast raising awareness about saving lives on the road.

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Seven lessons from the Kampala 7 Hills 45km walk 

By Joe Walker

On Saturday, I had the pleasure to do a Kampala Seven Hills 45km walk with the ‘Crazy Summiters’. This awesome eight-hour walk covered some of the traditional hills of Kampala including Mengo, Rubaga, Namirembe, Makerere, Kololo, Nakasero, and much more. I set out with a childlike open heart and came back a rich man with life valuable lessons. 

Follow me step by step

Take up every opportunity to challenge yourself and take your craft to another level.

When a friend told me of a Seven Hills 45km walk, I thought about joining them and was excited but also a little scared and hesitant to jump in. I didn’t feel physically ready for such a grueling walk. I have cumulatively done longer walks but I hadn’t been able to do 45km in a single day. This was a good opportunity however to push myself to move a notch higher and also walk with some of the walking “Subarus” in Uganda. I did and it was fun and probably the fastest I have ever walked over a long distance. 

Network with like-minded people

The Crazy Summiters aren’t just a batch of crazy chaps mounting the next mountain, they’re also doing some life changing stuff through walking. #JoeWalker couldn’t pass up the opportunity to kiss the tarmac with the Crazy Summiters and drink in some greatness, get some inspiration, perspective and have a moment together out in the sun. 

A supportive spouse goes a long way

It was 11pm when I told Carol we were setting off at 6:30am the following day. She worked backwards to ensure everything was set for me to have a great walk. Breakfast was on the table by 5:30am. She dropped me off at the starting point and kept checking on me all through till I was back home into her warm embrace with a delicious meal on the table. If you’re not yet married pray for a supportive spouse. If you’re already married, support your person in all they do. I am sure they will return the favour. Marriage is sweet. 

Have fun

Kampala is a beautiful city, with great scenery, nice people and an awesome terrain. On this particular walk, I enjoyed the scenery more especially atop the hills and then the shade under the surviving beautiful old trees lining roadsides in Rubaga, Namirembe and Kololo. Therapeutic. 

Focus on the goal and never give in or give up

We were almost 20 when we started out. Six of us made it to the halfway mark. Less than a kilometre into the second half, two fell off. A kilometre later as we glided down Rubaga hill, the 4th man announced he was dropping off our group but staying course at his pace. While the three of us left have clocked thousands of kilometres on our feet, the 4th man is yet to build mileage on his odometer. The longest he had ever walked was 20km. We finished our 46.3km walk in 7:56 hours. Thirty minutes after our arrival, our champion called, he was still 6kms away. Everyone was blown away by his resilience. We waited and one and a half hours later, he arrived to wild cheers. We learnt that he had hit a pavement in Wandegeya that ruptured his shoe and “paralyzed” his leg with a sharp pain. This grounded him on the roadside for over 30 minutes. He picked himself up and powered on his beaten body with a gaping shoe for the next 16kms. If pursuing your mission to the end was human, that was our hero. The 4th man was Daniel Joloba.

We all have a personal story

This can inspire you to do greater stuff or simply overwhelm you to the point of giving up. Each crazy summiter I had a chat with has an inspirational story to share. And their stories have had a great influence on where they are and what they are doing to make the world a better place. 

Beware of social media warriors

When I joined the group and its crazy energies, it sounded like we were going to be in our hundreds on the walk, and people would be at the starting point six hours before time, and some guys would walk 45km under four hours. The opposite happened. We were not that many and only two of us were at the starting point before takeoff time. These things will always happen but none of them should scare or make you lose focus. Disregard the noises of life and keep your eyes on the goal and how you will accomplish the mission. If you get good company while in action make the most of it; but remember that no one will win life battles for you other than you.