Courage is Who I am 3



We had maybe two hours sleep when our Balinese driver came to pick us up at 1am.

We traveled down bumpy roads huddled on the seats of the bus trying to stay asleep.

Arriving at the wide-open space of rural Bali, the darkness hid the volcano we stood at the bottom of with only a star lit sky lighting our faces.

The guide motioned us in the right direction and we began to walk, mostly in silence, wishing there had been a coffee van parked at the bottom!

An hour in to the hike we could see the torches of those who had gone before us, showing us just how far we still had to go and just how steep the incline was going to become.

This may have been the moment that silent tears started to roll down my face.

This climb was my life right now. I felt completely exhausted yet I could see it was about to get harder. The climb was about to get steeper.

We continued to climb and fifteen minutes out from the top some of our team were ready to quit – people were slipping over trying to get grip on the rubble, patience was low and coffee was definitely nowhere in sight.

Some took the role of cheerleader, whilst others stood behind and pushed others up and some just held hands tightly.

And then all of a sudden, we were there.

It wasn’t a let’s high-five and shout about our achievement. It was a let’s huddle together in silence and breathe in deep the glory of this sunrise.

Sometimes in life it feels like the road gets steep and rubbly, we find it hard to get our grip and the journey to where we know we need to go can feel completely overwhelming.

In August 2014 I wrote a blog about innovation: “We all like those who innovate, we clap our hands and we give standing ovations, but we rarely see the journey it took to get there”.

My truth then strongly resonates as my truth today.

Sometimes it feels like we have lost our brave and we’re actually not sure if it will come back.

But the truth is this, brave is still in us, courage is still who we are.

Sometimes it takes a little while to find it. And sometimes you find yourself on the side of a volcano at 3am with silent tears rolling down your face. But the sunrise is coming.

We just need to learn to rest not quit, to humbly and tightly hold the hands of those who believe in us and find once again in the depth of our being, our courage.

The bigger you dream the steeper the climb. The sunrise awaits those who fiercely fight for it.

Courage is who you are, keep climbing friend.

About Karina Chicote

Karina Chicote is a strategic leader for an international child’s rights organisation and writer and presenter on radio for Kin Women. She has a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and has designed and led award-winning programs for Aboriginal children and young people. Karina has worked across the globe on campaigns in London, asylum seeker centres in Papua New Guinea, the UN General Assembly in New York and now leads strategic projects across Western Australia. Karina was a finalist for the WA Youth Work Awards in 2015 and 2016, recognising her leadership and commitment to creating change for the most vulnerable young people in our communities. Above all Karina is a wife to Lance and lover of their Pug Brixton, who amidst the seriousness of changing the world make her laugh, a lot.

3 thoughts on “Courage is Who I am

  • Elaine Fraser

    I’m sitting here today feeling like I’m climbing a mountain and I’m not sure what mountain it is or why I’m doing it or even if it’s worth doing. This post made me cry. Such a timely reminder to rest, my brave is still there, it’s just paused in the background, waiting for me to step out again. Xxx

  • Karen Wilson

    Karina, impacting and hope filled words. Thank you for what you have brought through a true and honest sharing of the heart on life’s journey. Much needed today!

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