Man raises over R300k for char­ity with 365 hikes up Ta­ble Moun­tain

The Witness - - NEWS -

WHEN­Capeto­nian­An­drew­Pat­ter­son­was­re­trenched­it­seemed­his­world­had­come­tum­bling­down­around­him,­butin­stead­of­curl­ing­up­in­a­heap­of­de­s­pair,he­walked­up­Ta­ble­Moun­tain­ev­ery­day­for­ a­ year­ to­ raise­ money­ for­ char­ity.

Speak­ing­ after­ he­ had­ taken­ some­time­ out­ after­ his­ fi­nal­ walk­ onDe­cem­ber­31,­ Pat­ter­son­ told­ News24that­when­he­heard­the­axe­was­go­ingto­fall­at­his­job­at­a­big­bev­er­age­com­pany,­he­was­ter­ri­fied.

“It­ was­ nerve­ wrack­ing.­ It­ was­ the­worst­ time­ of­ my­ life,”­ said­ Pat­ter­son.

Deep­down­he­knew­he­was­not­get­ting­any­more­sat­is­fac­tion­out­of­the­cor­po­rate­world,­but­he­was­stuck­in­a­cy­cleof­just­work­ing­to­keep­his­salary.

To­fill­his­soul­he­had­started­vol­un­teer­ing­for­char­i­ties,­and­had­spent­thep­re­vi­ous­ three­ years­ lead­ing­ small­groups­ up­ the­ moun­tain­ in­ his­ spare­time.

Stuck­in­traf­fic­near­the­Good­HopeCen­tre,­with­eight­days­left­to­fi­nal­sev­er­ance­in­2017,­he­had­an­epiphany.

He­de­cided­he­was­go­ing­to­walk­up­Table­Moun­tain­ev­ery­day,­and­he­was­go­ing­to­get­peo­ple­to­spon­sor­him­for­char­ity­ while­ he­ did­ it.

“I­ am­ pas­sion­ate­ about­ fit­ness­ and­char­ity,”­he­said.

He­was­also­go­ing­to­try­and­get­peo­ple­to­see­South­Africa­and­each­oth­er­with­out­neg­a­tiv­ity.

Be­cause­ he­ had­ worked­ for­ a­ long­time,­he­re­ceived­a­re­trench­ment­pack­age­and­ had­ sav­ings­ that­ he­ could­ live­off­if­he­man­aged­his­money­care­fully. “I­ also­ got­ rid­ of­ a­ lot­ of­ things­ —­ you­know,­those­things­around­the­house­ that­ you­ carry­ around­ ev­ery­ time­ youmove­but­you­never­use,”­he­said.­

He­also­changed­his­life­style­to­keep­him­self­afloat­fi­nan­cially.

“I­thought:­‘If­you­squan­der­all­your­money­you­will­spend­your­life­in­deb­tand­you­will­never­be­able­to­do­it’.”

And­so,­from­Jan­uary­1,­2018,­he­walked­up­Plat­tek­lip­Gorge­ev­ery­day.

He­set­up­a­Back­aBuddy­page,­and­so­licited­do­na­tions­for­three­char­i­ties­frompeo­ple­who­wanted­to­walk­with­him­—Habi­tat­ for­ Hu­man­ity,­ the­ Sun­flow­erFund­and­One­Heart­for­Kids.

By­ the­ end,­ he­ raised­ R367­000through­ his­ chal­lenge­ which­ he­ called“365­Ubun­tuClimbs”­and­even­though­his­one-year­quest­has­stopped,­peo­pleare­still­do­nat­ing­to­wards­his­goal­of­rais­ing­R1­mil­lion.

Back­aBuddy­ said­ that­ so­ far,­ book­shave­ been­ pro­vided­ for­ three­ of­ theWestern­Cape’s­poor­est­schools,­in­Stel­len­bosch,­Klap­muts­and­Kaya­mandi,­forthe­One­Heart­for­Kids­pro­gramme.

Through­ Habi­tat­ for­ Hu­man­ity,­ 10fam­i­lies­liv­ing­in­shacks­in­Ba­phumelele,Khayelit­sha­had­their­homes­up­grad­edto­be­drier,­safer­and­warmer.

Pat­ter­son­was­also­in­volved­in­two­donor­drives­for­the­Sun­flower­Fund­thatadded­30­donors­to­their­reg­istry­of­stem­cell­donors­to­help­peo­ple­fight­ing­blood­dis­eases­like­leukemia.

He­ walked­ through­ rain,­ scorch­ingheat,­and­the­pump­ing­Cape­Town­wind.

He­also­kept­a­video­di­ary­which­hep­osted­on­Face­book­de­tail­ing­his­phys­i­cal,­emo­tional­and­spir­i­tual­jour­ney.

He­said­it­was­heart­warm­ing­to­seep­eo­ple­from­all­walks­of­life­and­lev­els­ of­fit­ness­make­their­way­up­the­gorge­with­him,­and­he­very­quickly­found­thathe­ had­ be­come­ less­ judg­men­tal­ and­more­ac­cept­ing­of­peo­ple.

He­watched­peo­ple­push­them­selves­be­yond­their­own­ca­pa­bil­i­ties,­which­hefound­very­hum­bling­and­in­spir­ing.

­ He­ said­ that­ he­ also­ ex­pe­ri­ence­dubuntu­ in­ abun­dance­ from­ the­ peo­ple—­ from­ an­ eight-year-old­ to­ a­ 73-yearold­—­who­walked­with­him.

A­ high­light­ was­ walk­ing­ with­ Li­faH­longwa,­who­had­been­told­he­would­n­ever­walk­again­after­a­rugby­in­jury.

Hlongwa­proved­his­doc­tors­wrong­by­work­ing­hard­at­the­Sports­Sci­ence­In­sti­tute­and­walk­ing­on­his­crutches­with­Pat­ter­son.

Pat­ter­son’s­motto­on­his­blog­is:­“Ifyou­have­the­op­por­tu­nity­to­do­amaz­ingth­ings­in­your­life,­bring­some­one­with­you.”

In­ one­ of­ his­ vlogs­ (video­ blogs)­ hesays­the­key­to­suc­cess­is­self-be­lief­an­de­ven­though­there­were­days­he­did­not­think­he­would­make­it,­he­put­one­footin­front­of­the­other­and­car­ried­on.

So­what­now­for­the­man­who­call­shim­self­a­“deep­thinker”?

He­plans­to­spend­time­with­his­girl­friendJessie­ Smith,­ who­ is­ from­ SanFran­cisco­in­the­U.S.,­and­hopes­to­trav­elthere­to­share­his­ex­pe­ri­ences­and­the­life­les­sons­he­learned.

He­ will­ con­tinue­ with­ the­ talks­ hes­tarted­giv­ing­at­schools­and­clubs­and­will­write­a­book­based­on­his­daily­walk­ing­jour­nal.

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

An­drew Pat­ter­son on one of his 365 hikes up Ta­ble Moun­tain.

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