"We must live our dreams not dream our lives" was the message from Brigitte Muir, the first Australian woman to climb Mount Everest.
It was so inspiring to hear Brigitte's story tonight at the Bendigo Loddon Rural Women's Network dinner. Her story was one of following your dreams, never give up, and learn everything you can along the way.
Brigitte said when she decided to follow her dream at the age of 15 she started with caving then rock climbing in Belgium. She was living her dream, but as the years went by her dreams got bigger and bigger until she ended up dreaming to climb the highest mountains in the world.
"Once you know what dream you want to follow just go and do it, who cares what other people think."
Brigitte shared passionately the highs and lows of attempting to climb Mount Everest. It took Brigitte four attempts and a lot of determination to make it to the peak. Each time she attempted and failed there was a valuable lesson to be learned.
"We all climb mountains in one way or another and we don't always get to the top. That's ok because of what you learn along the way".
Brigitte said it's important to get out of your comfort zone because it's a great way to learn and grow.
One of the things Brigitte learned, in rather an extreme way, was the importance of working with your team and being ok asking for help. During her third attempt to climb Everest, she was walking with her team in the dark and getting closer and closer to making it to the top. Her head lamp stopped working and instead of getting help, she tried to work it out herself. Before she knew it she was alone in pitch black 8000m high and freezing. Her mistake very nearly cost her her life, but luckily she made it through until 3 hours later when it started to get light so she could walk back down to the camp site alone. That mistake meant she missed out on making it to the top that year, the rest of her team made it.
Brigitte's make happen approach to life is extremely inspiring. She said that in order to make something happen you really have to believe in it first.