On the roof of the world – a story of remarkable strength and hope

with 9 Comments

I met Weronika on an Erasmus+ project in Puglia, Italy. But as you’ll see in the article below, her natural habitat is the mountains. And she’s on a quest to conquer The Seven Summits – the seven highest peaks on each continent. But it’s not just the love for the mountains or the goal to set a record that is driving her – her endeavor has a deeper meaning and motivation. Read the interview below and get inspired to never give up and always follow our dreams!

Weronika on a mission to climb The Seven Summits supporting cancer fight

 

Who is Weronika?

I’m simple human being – nothing more, nothing less.

Weronika on a mission to climb The Seven Summits supporting cancer fight

When did you start hiking and traveling, and what sparked your interest?

Deep inside I was always a traveler – for me, it was really hard to stay in one place longer than 2 weeks. When it comes to mountains, it started in elementary school. My parents were sending me to hiking camps in Polish Tatras. In high school, I started to go on my own. I guess I can call mountains my “safe place”. When I’m on the trail, I feel free, I have time for self-reflection and also to organize my thoughts. Additionally, reaching the goal gives me incredible joy. For me walking in the mountains is necessary for personal development. I can go through the same route, and each time I feel like I’m discovering new roads. I have also a great respect towards mountains because I know that they cannot be underestimated. You need to know when to let go and be able to do it, that’s why every expedition is also a huge test of character.

 

When you’re not in the mountains, where can we find you, what do you do?

My mother says that right now my car is more like a home for me. It’s hard to say where I’m going to be in the nearest future. I’m quite spontaneous. 😉 I have some other hobbies like climbing, biking, traveling, but they don’t require from me staying in the same place. Movement gives me freedom and freedom makes me wanna move. The perfect circle of my life.

Weronika on a mission to climb The Seven Summits supporting cancer fight

 

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Do you have a favorite country and a favorite mountain in the world?

I have a special place for Armenia in my heart. From the very first moment, I knew I will visit it more often. I fell in love with this country because of kind people, wild landscapes and not so many tourists visiting it. So far there is no better place for me. Also for 3 years already I have family there, so the connection is even stronger.

When it comes to mountains it’s a bit different. Every mountain has its own magic, story. I can not compare them.

 

What is your current project?

My project is to climb The Seven Summits – the highest mountain peaks from each continent. 

The Crown of the Earth (as it is literally translated from Polish) is a collection of the highest peaks from each of seven continents. In English, it is called “The Seven Summits”. We shouldn’t judge by the name, as there are 9 summits recognized. Differences in the number of „qualifying” peaks are the result of disputes between geographers and climbers regarding the highest summits of Europe and Australia and Oceania.

The Seven Summits map

 

So, The Crown of the Earth includes:
Mount Kosciuszko, 2.228 m.a.s.l. (Australia) / Puncak Jaya, 4.884 m.a.s.l. (Oceania)
Vinson Massif, 4.892 m.a.s.l. (Antarctica)
Mount Elbrus, 5.642 m.a.s.l. / Mont Blanc, 4.810 m.a.s.l. (Europe)
Mount Kilimanjaro, 5.895 m.a.s.l. (Africa)
Denali, 6.194 m.a.s.l. (North America)
Aconcagua, 6.962 m.a.s.l. (South America)
Everest, 8.848 m.a.s.l. (Asia)

 

Elbrus or Mont Blanc? 
Elbrus, located in the Caucasus, is considered among climbers as the highest summit of Europe. When it comes to geographers, opinions vary – there’s no consensus where exactly the border between Europe and Asia is. Depending on its location, the highest European mountain is Elbrus or Mont Blanc.

Let the journey take you to  Cyprus - the road to Paphos

The highest mountain in Australia and Oceania is…
The highest peak of Australia is undisputedly Mount Kosciuszko. However, the continent of Australia also consists of thousands of islands in Oceania, whose mountains should also be taken into account. Therefore, most climbers recognize the much more technically difficult and higher Puncak Jaya in New Guinea as the highest peak of Australia and Oceania.

Why did you decide to climb The Seven Summits?

I have gone through a lot in my life in terms of health, but each time I did not even think about giving up. I always fought until the very end. In high school, I went through several knee joint surgeries, and then they diagnosed me with cancer. It is known that after such a diagnosis it is difficult to shake off, but I was repeating to myself “Weronika, you are still alive and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”. It may sound naive, but I know that many people who hear the word “cancer” interpret it as a death sentence. Through my project, I would like to change this thinking and show everyone that they are the only ones responsible for their future. In the case of treatment, the patient’s optimism is half the battle. I hope that by telling my story to people with oncological problems, I will motivate them to fight for life and bring them back to the serenity of the spirit.

Weronika on a mission to climb The Seven Summits supporting cancer fight

 

Do you have any fears about The Seven Summits project?

I do not know if I am afraid of something at this point. As long as everything is good, I do not want to think about black scenarios and be negative.

 

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What is the message you want to send to every person out there?

To not give up on your dreams, because you, only YOU create your own destiny.

 

Na dachu swiata logo

 

 

You can share my story – maybe someone who is sick will be more motivated to fight for life because of it.

You can donate some money during fundraisers on Facebook which I create together with Rak’n’Roll Foundation.

You can start volunteering to help people who suffer because of cancer or any other cause (even talking to them can improve their situation).

You can help by following my Facebook page and spreading the idea of the whole project – “On the roof of the world”.

 

 

 

 

 

After you successfully accomplish The Seven Summits, what next? Any dreams, plans, hopes?

I’m open to everything that future holds for me. Usually, I don’t like to make plans, just to not be disappointed in case something goes wrong. I would say that I will try to live in the moment and appreciate my future as much as possible.  😃Hope it will not be boring!

Weronika on a mission to climb The Seven Summits supporting cancer fight

 

Thank you, Weronika, for inspiring us and hopefully many more people to be in charge of our own lives and never give up our dreams! We’ll be watching the progress with your mission and looking forward to seeing you conquering your summits!

You can follow Weronika on her blog (Na dachu świata), Facebook and Instagram. Show her your support or share your ideas with her – and hopefully, these endeavors will inspire even more people to be happy!

 

9 Responses

  1. Kevin Wagar
    | Reply

    What an awesome story. There’s something so magical about climbing the seven summits, and going after a goal of this type is going to create limitless stories!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      We think it’s one of those “once in a lifetime experiences” – we look up to people like Weronika, who do it with a purpose!

  2. Bob Bales
    | Reply

    I have met a couple of people that have done this. My hat’s off to anyone that attempts it. Maybe i could do a quest for beaches, that would suit me better.

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Hey, beach hopping is not an easy job, too. Can’t imagine the amounts of sun you’ll have to deal with, not to mention the sand getting in everywhere… 😉

  3. Antonina
    | Reply

    What an ispiring story! I often think what I would do if I’m diagnosed with cancer. Recently I watch Julio Medem’s movie “Ma ma” where Penelope Cruz’ character loses her battle with cancer leaving two kids behind. This movie spoke to me. It’s wonderful to hear that Weronika had courage. All the best to her with this inspiring goal!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Totally agree! We shouldn’t wait till we receive very bad threatening news to make our dreams come true. That’s why we follow our hearts and live in the present. We’ll check that movie out. Thanks!

  4. Tracie Howe
    | Reply

    How inspiring! That would certainly be an amazing feat to climb the 7 summits!! I wonder if I would be in better shape for mountain exploring if I were sent to hiking specific camps as a kid? That sounds like a great childhood!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Thank you, Tracie! Well, we think if you start doing something as a child, it’ll be much easier to do it when you grow up. But everyone can start hiking, no matter the age or physical fitness. We believe it’s all in our heads!

  5. Alexa Meisler
    | Reply

    Climbing the seven summits is a huge accomplishment. Not sure it’s in my future, but loved reading about the experience.

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