The 18 Life Lessons Learned on Mount Kilimanjaro is READY!

Robby LeBlanc on Top of Mount Kilimanjaro DVD CoverThis film project, "The 18 Life Lessons Learned on Mount Kilimanjaro"  has been in the works for almost 2 years is FINISHED!

Two months after returning from Africa and Kilimanjaro I was in a car accident and it set me back about 1 year. Then I finally started on it again, almost finished it, then my honey Vickie got ill. Just like climbing Kilimanjaro, it has taken persistence to finish this project.

This video was intended to be a gift for all my Kilimanjaro Sponsors. I wanted to be able to show them what my experience in Africa was like. And YES, all my SPONSORS will be getting their copy shortly. Then, in the process of editing this project, and showing a rough cut for a few audiences, they asked if they could purchase a copy. So here it is !!!

Climbing Kilimanjaro was a LIFE CHANGING experience. I am so GRATEFUL for Werner Berger, for INSPIRING ME to THINK and DREAM BIGGER! A man truly of service, has inspired so many and now I can say, I am among those that climbed with him!

Thank you Werner for what you do and all that you have done it for! You Are AWESOMENESS in MOTION!

Keep Being Brilliant!
Robby LeBlanc

BELOW THIS IS THE  DVD COVER FOR ROBBY'S DOCUMENTARY...

"The 18 Lessons Learned on Mount Kilimanjaro"

To Purchase a Copy Click on The Buy Now Button! $14.99 + shipping.





Robby LeBlanc on Top of Mount Kilimanjaro DVD Cover

That is a photo of Robby on top of Kilimanjaro, way above the clouds and with Mt. Meru in the background.

Rough Cut Showing of My Kilimanjaro Documentary

Robby LeBlanc in SerengetiI Had The 1st and 2nd Showing of My Kilimanjaro Documentary!

I would've posted about this sooner, but as many of you know, my Vickie went to the Hospital on March 3rd and was their for 22 days. She is on the mend now! Thank God! I'll write another article on her progress in the near future...

On Friday, March 1, 2014, we had the first showing of my documentary tentatively called " The 18 Life Lessons Learned on Kilimanjaro." This was in rough cut form, which means there is still some editing to do, but all in all the showing went well.

This movie showing was part of an activity our church facilitates once a year called "Gourmets For God". Vickie Pieper and I offered to present a dinner and a rough cut movie! People from our church paid upwards of $50 dollars per person and ALL THE MONEY went to the church.

An Inspiring Act of SELFLESSNESS!

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” Dalai Lama XIV

Let me introduce you to my friend Dan Belhassen. We met in Africa for my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb this past June.

We bonded early in the climb because he saved  me from falling off a 100 foot cliff in the very first hour of our climb.

We started our trek into the jungle toward Mt Kilimanajro on June 26, 2012. It was the tail end of rainy season. The roads we had to travel by truck in order to get to Kilimanjaro were still pretty muddy. So muddy in fact that our truck got stuck in the mud 3 miles short of our starting location.

Yes, we had to walk 3 miles in the slippery, sloshy, green and bushy mud jungle just to get to the starting point of our Kilimanjaro hike. It was a fairly hot and humid day. As I recall, it was about 90 degrees and wet dripping humid!

About 10 minutes after we started hiking from the offical start point, I got caught in a mud slide patch. It's hard enough to walk in the mud, but with the added backpack made it all more challenging.

Suddently, I slipped, fell and started sliding. I began to scramble, trying to grab onto to whatever I could to help me to stop sliding and more importantly, to stop moving. As I was sliding, I realized I had no idea where I was sliding into...

In an instant, I found myself going over a ledge that had a 100 foot drop into vegetation, that God only knows how far down that drop actually went. In a lightening moment, my fellow climber, Dan Belhassen from Canada, reached out and grabbed me by my shirt collar. As I recall he fell to the ground and someone held onto to him as he was holding onto me.

Here I am dangling 100 feet atop this ledge, backpack on, Dan holding onto to me by my just my shirt collar. It's not like I weighed just 85 pounds. At that time I weighed 280 pounds! That's a lot of weight to hold onto, one handed, on a ledge! Not an EASY feat. Dan's ability to hold onto me allowed me time to grab some tree roots that were sticking out of the ledge.

As I was dangling, still not sure if I was injured from the fall, I remember praying silently, "PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE GOD, don't let me break a bone!" Werner Berger yelled down to me, "Robby, Are you hurt? Can you move?" As I was holding onto the roots with Dan still holding onto me,I re-affirmned that I was ok and just needed help back to the path. So Dan and Michae,l our head guide pulled me back up to the path.

It was an intense first 10 minutes! What a way to start the Kilimanjaro journey!

But honestly, what was most AMAZING was the SPEED, and MANNER in which Dan Belhassen risked his own safety to help me. He didn't even know me. We just met the day before at the hotel.

Here Dan is, risking his safety and life to help someone he didn't even know.

That's what I call COURAGE, CHARACTER and a pure act of SEFLESSNESS. To be on the receiving end of such CARING is indestribcable gift.

I know Dan does not want, nor does he have a need for acknowledment here, but the FACT is, he put my life before his own, without hesitating. It was a NATURAL REACTION.

There are only two types of people I know of that react in such a way in similar circumstances:
1. TRAINED Special Opps Milatary type personell. They TRAIN for emergencies.
2. UNTRAINED Spiritual Warriors of life that think about others before themselves.

I started this article with a quote by his Holiness The Dalai Lama: "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”

Dan Belhassen you are an AWESOME example of the human spirit in ACTION. Thank you for being being part of my journey.

Keep Being Brilliant,
Robby LeBlanc

LIFE LESSON # 13 From Kilmanjaro

LIFE LESSON # 13 - FORGIVE and LET GO ASAP!

"Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me". --Anonymous

Treking on a Mountain like Kilimanjaro brings with it the opportunity to express one's  best and worst qualities.This was a FIRST TIME Kilimanajaro climb for everyone in our group with the exception of Werner Berger and our guides and porters. So it was only natural that nerves and energy levels varied, depending on the what aspect of the climb we were experiencing.

Tempers can run short for anyone when stress levels are pushed and physical and mental boundries are pressed.

For Instance:
On this adventure Werner Berger and our Master Guide Michael Kamilli led our group up Kilimanjaro.We truly had the best of two worlds from a GUIDE standpoint.

Werner Berger has successfully climbed the 7 Summits of the World including Mt. Everst. Michael Kamilli has climbed Kilimanjaro over 150 times! In my eyes both are ELITE athletes.

These are the kind of guys you want on your TEAM! I was with TWO MASTERS of the mountain! How cool is that???

By Day 2 it was no secret that I was going to be in the slow group and that was really fine  by me. My goal was to finish, not WIN. Finishing for me was WINNING!.

I noticed if I went a hair too fast on our trek I would get out of breath. Normally I'd depend on my heart monitor to measure my heart rate and adjust my tempo, however, I lost my monitor during a fall I had on the first day of the climb. When I'd get out of breath my guide Micheal would say "Pole-Pole Mr. Robby." So I would just slow down and take it at a slower pace so I could go without breathing hard.(Pole is pronounced Polay)

Then other times, while treking, if Werner Berger was near me he would say "Robby do the POWER Breathing", which was a fast set of deep breaths. Then when Werner would walk away Micheal would say, "Don't breath like that. Breath Pole pole, slow and easy."

It was just a matter of time before a conflict would ERUPT...

Sure enough...
We were going thru a particular steep passage and I was starting to breath too hard and Werner yelled to me, "Robby I don't hear you breathing". I yelled back, Michael
said not to breath fast and hard but slow and easy". Then Werner yelled back, has he climbed all the 7 Summits of the World?" I replied no but he has climbed Kilimanjaro over 150 times!"

And the STRESS was on!
It felt like I was between a Republican and Democrat debate or a soon to be divored husband and wife arguing over who gets the kids this weekeend! I was extremely torn and confused. Here are two MASTER CLIMBERS giving me TWO VERY DIFFERENT sets of guidence and instructions.They were both givng me the BEST they had to offer.

Werner called up to me one more time, "Robby I'm going to suggest you do the deep fast breathing any way". I responded, " It makes me dizzy to breath fast and hard the way you want." 

Neither of them raised their voices to each other but I could feel the TENSION in the air. It was not a yelling type of argument. The reason Werner was yelling was because he was behind us on the trail calling up to me.

The STRESS Increased....As we were climbing up this rocky steep passage Werner noticed I was struggling and he said, " Robby you are not trying hard enough". And I said in a loud voice,"FREAK YOU!"

OUCH! The TENSION Was THICK...
About 10 minutes later we got to the top of this steep rocky passage and I was already over it. Werner comes right over to me and says,"Robby I mispoke. I am so sorry. I realize you are working your BUTT off. I just got a bit frustrated with you not taking my advice. I now know, you have to decide what's
best for you and I'll assist you however you need me." This may not be word for word, but this is close to what I recall.

I looked Werner in the eye and said "I LOVE you man and we are totally cool." Forgiveness was INSTANT! We were only on Day 2 and still had 6 days to go...

In reality, the exchange of words with Werner was not a big deal. We shared a HUMAN moment. Yes,when stress levels are pushed and physical and mental boundaries are pressed HUMAN moments can occur. I would expect nothing less on such a challenging adventure. Having a bit of tough skin doesn't hurt while experiencing such a challenging journey.

This experience made me relfect about my own ability or lack thereof to FORGIVE and LET GO quickly for things past that has wounded my heart and spirit. This has no doubt been one of my personal lessons to overcome. It's one of the reasons I became obese.Food had been my drug of choice and have used it
to numb or medicate painfull feelings.

Thinking further about my interactions with Werner after I got home from the climb, I dug deep to try to discover why I was able to FORGIVE and Let Go so FAST on the mountain.

In regards to Werner I knew for sure that he genuinly CARED about me and my SAFETY. I knew his intention was to help me and not hurt me. There was no question about it. It was undeniable. He really wanted what he felt was best for me and EVERYONE in the group. And we felt the same about him.

It was a HUMAN moment in EXTRA-Ordinarty Conditions...

He LOVES me and I LOVE him. All is forgiven...
The experience with Werner created an even stronger bond between us. I am in AWE of this man. He saved my life a few times on this trip. No joke!

I still struggle at times at forgiving those that have wronged me in one way or another, specifically those that DO NOT care about me.

To Quote Voltaire...
"We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies"

At times this is ALOT easier said than done!

Keep Being Brilliant,
Robby LeBLanc

LIFE LESSON # 7 From Kilimanjaro

On Sunday September 9, 2012 at Unity Las vegas Church, I had the WONDER-FILLED Opportunity to play my guitar and share my Mount Kilmanjaro journey.

It was a full energetic house with about 150 people present...

The title of my talk was called "The 18 Life Lessons Learned on Kilimanjaro".
Today I'll share 1 of those Life Lessons.


 LIFE LESSON #7 - SERVICE:

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." Muhammad Ali

Climbing Kilimanjaro was such a unique experience. During that climb I had the privialge of witnessing many examples of  SERVICE In ACTION by ALL the members of our TEAM. Here are just three examples.

For me Day 3 was the first of many LONG days on Kilimanjaro. On this specific day I got into camp really late at night. My guide and I were so late they sent out a rescue party looking for us. Sure enough I came walking into camp with my guide Michael and the rescue TEAM about 9PM.

By then I was totally exhausted. All I could think about was just going to bed. Then as I was walking toward my tent I remembered I still had to set up my sleeping mat and bag for the night. The thought of that was depressing. I was so EXHAUSTED I didn't feel like lifing another finger. As I opened my tent I noticed a MIRACLE! My mat and bag were all set up.

Turns out my tent buddy Wade set it up for me. This was AWESOME! I was a complete stranger to Wade a few days ago and here he is setting up my bag for the night! WOW! I still TEAR up when I think about it. He will never know how much that meant to me that night. Thank you Wade!

Let's talk about Werner Berger. He truly is SERVICE in Motion! This guy is SERVICE to the core of his soul.He has a deep caring for people that can't be taught. It's genuine, sincere and LOVING.

It was no secret that I had my challanges on Kilimanjaro. I believe it was Day 5 when they sent out a search TEAM to look for me and Michael once again. Who was with the search TEAM? Once again, Werner Berger! He had already made it to camp for the day and then he came back to find me! So he added another 2-3 hours to his climb day just to make sure I was ok and would make it to camp!

 Werner OVER-DELIVERED Day After Day! Why did he do this? Werner SERVES people because that's who he is! This guy is truly one of my HERO'S and ROLE Models!

Which brings to Imisi, one of our Porters/Guides. These guides and porters that help people on the mountain are TRUE WARRIORS! They carry other climbers equiptment as well as their own equipment. And at times probably well over 100 pounds of equipment.I had two porters helping me. There is NO way I could've clmbed Kilimanjaro without their assistance.

Well it's DAY 8, the last day and a group of us are hiking down Kilimanjaro. As one of my fellow climbers, Linda said "We were like horses heading home". I believe the group included Linda, Jim, Brenda,Tom and I think Anita. We were about half way to the finish line and I was pretty tired. Keep in mind this last day is an ALL down hill hike! Lot's of pressure on the toes!

Sure enough Imisi, one of the assistant guides came up behind us on the trail. He saw me resting. Imisi asked if I was ok and I shared I was tired. He then asked; "Mr' Robby would you like me to carry you the rest of the way?" I looked at him in SHOCK and then in AWE! Imisi weighs maybe 140 pounds dripping wet! At that time I weighed 275! He was genuinely SERIOUS!

I declined Imisi's offer. But his offer did inspire me to get back up and keep going. Imisi was looking out for my best interest. Not because of the money we paid to be on this trip, but to make sure I was SAFE! This too is SERVICE at the highest order.

There were a number of other powerful examples of SERVICE on Kilimanjaro that I will share in a future article.

This was just one LIFE LESSON of 18 Lessons and just 3 of many examples of SERVICE that I witnessed on the mountain.

I am not sure SERIVICE at this level can be taught. Though maybe it can be caught to some degree. It was amazing to experience and what FANTASTIC Role Models to learn from. Once again climbing Mount Kilimanjaro does not change you, it REVEALS you!

Be on the lookout for some future LIFE LESSONS LEARNED on Kilimanjaro!

Keep Being Brilliant,
Robby LeBlanc