Podcast transcript, Nov. 27, 2020
A – Hello and welcome to WoW!, the positive podcast! Showing kids that there’s a lot more to the world news than bad news.
I’m Alastair. As a journalist, I’ve often written about things going wrong. But people also need to know too about what’s going right.
This week, with Clarisse, I’m going somewhere very cold and snowy…
Alastair – Hello, Clarisse!
Clarisse – Hello, Alastair. How are you? You’re not at home at the moment?
A – Hi there. No, Clarisse, I’m not. I’m in Scotland this week, where I grew up.
C – Ah, and is it snowing there yet?
A – Not yet, Clarisse, but it’s getting cold. And it’s windy. In fact, the weather here has really put me in the mood to talk about our subject this week.
C – Oh! You’re taking us somewhere cold for Christmas?
A – Well, hang on, Clarisse, it’s not Christmas yet! But yes, come with me to some of the coldest places on Earth – the Himalaya mountains, between India and China. They call it the Roof of the World, 8 kilometres high. Up there, it’s icy all the time.
C – Brrrr! Why would we want to go there, Alastair?
A – Ha, well, I’m not sure I do, Clarisse. But I know a man who does…
C – Hm, and who’s that?
A – Well, his name is Nirmal Purja, or Nims to his friends, and I’ve been reading the book he’s just published about an extraordinary thing he did last year.
C – Oh? He climbed to the top of the Himalayas?
A – Yes, he did, Clarisse. But not just some of them. All of them. He climbed all the mountains in the Himalayas which are over 8,000 metres high. Actually, there aren’t any mountains that high anywhere else in the world. In the Himalayas, there are 14 mountains over 8,000 metres – including of course the world’s highest mountain…
C – Mount Everest…
A – Exactly, Clarisse.
C – But people have climbed these mountains before?
A – Yes, they have Clarisse. But only about 40 people have ever climbed all 14 eight-thousanders. It’s very hard. It’s not just cold but there’s so little air that mountaineers call it the Death Zone. Once you’ve climbed one you need to recover.
C – Hm, it sounds really hard.
A – Well, just imagine. The shortest time that anyone had taken to climb all 14 of these giants was over 7 years. But listen to this: Nims, who grew up in Nepal where Everest and many of these other mountains are, he told people he would do it in 7 months. Most told him that it was impossible – and some people thought he was joking.
C – Hm, but he wasn’t?
A – Not at all. Nims was really fit and strong. Since he was a teenager, he’d been in the army and he had discovered that his body was really good at dealing with not getting much oxygen. And he loved going up those huge mountains, really fast.
C – So did he succeed?
A – He did Clarisse. He did do all 14 summits in less than 7 months. He finished a year ago and since then he’s been writing a book, which has just come out. I’ve been having a read and I really want to share what Nims has to say about his adventure.
C – OK, it’s amazing what he did. But he sounds like a really special person. Is there really something for the rest of us to learn from what he did?
A – Well, Clarisse, that’s a good question. Very few people have a body able to do what Nims does– and most of us probably wouldn’t want to. But Nims says we all have our own mountains to climb. Not real mountains, of course, but we all have things we want to do that we find difficult to do.
C – And so he has some tips on how we can make our dreams come true?
A – Exactly Clarisse. Nims called his bid to climb all 14 peaks in under 7 months Project Possible. He wanted to show us that we can all make our impossible possible.
C – Hm. But is it really that simple, Alastair?
A – Well, Clarisse, of course it’s not easy. But Nims says this. If we’re wondering what we should do with our lives, we should first of all take a look at what we’re good at – we all have things we find easier to do than others.
C – Ah OK, so for me that might be drawing and designing how things look?
A – Exactly, Clarisse. Something that comes naturally to you. In Nims’ case, it was climbing mountains. Then, he says, we should also listen to ourselves, spend some time quietly and try to feel inside what is it that gives us a really big smile?
C – Hm, well I also really like drawing and designing…
A – Then you’re in luck Clarisse! Nims had a moment when he was powering his way up a mountain in the snow, faster than the others, and just really enjoying himself. That’s when said to himself, “This is MY thing!” He’d found something he was both good at and enjoyed. If you can find that, it gives you lots of energy in life.
C – Yay, I find I can work all day practising my design skills, I just love it so much!
A – Well that’s brilliant Clarisse! That’s exactly what Nims says, if you love what you do, then if you give yourself the time to do it and get better at it, you too can do amazing things.
C – Super! That’s already giving me energy and ideas…
A – Brilliant, Clarisse. Everyone finds their energy in different ways. If we listen to ourselves, see what it is that we do well and what it is that makes us happy, then we can find the energy to do things brilliantly – no matter how hard it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other to go up our mountain. And that mountain, well it could be anything that we want to do – taking an exam, say, or perhaps making friends in a new school
C – OK! But what about the things we don’t like doing so much?
A – Ah, well, Clarisse, the energy you get from doing things you love helps you do other things too. Nims, for example, says the hardest thing he’s ever done is to write his book, not climb the mountains. For me, I’d choose writing a book over climbing mountains any day! That just shows how we’re all different.
C – Hm. I see. You mean if we find our own strengths and what we have fun doing, that gives us the energy to do the things that aren’t easy or fun? Well, I need to do some cleaning in my apartment now – but I know if I do it quickly I’ll soon be able to get back to work on my next design project. Yay!
A – Very good, Clarisse. I’ll let you go. See you next week – and just listen to a bit of Nims Purja as you go…
C – Bye!
VOICEOVER : I hope people will find their motivation to climb their own mountain … Do not let anybody tell you that it’s impossible. You believe in your vision, you believe in yourself and just go for it.
A – That was Nims Purja, man of the mountains. I hope you enjoyed meeting him as much as I have. Do you have some thoughts on things that you’re good at – and things that you really love doing? We’d love to hear about them – you can contact us via our site at wow dash news dot eu. I’ve been Alastair and I’ll be back soon with Clarisse. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, find out more about WoW! at wow dash news dot eu. Join us again next week! And in the meantime, beeee positive!