Today, perhaps more than ever, after an entire year of challenges and setbacks, we need to live our lives to the fullest, enjoy every minute as much as we can, and do things that fill our soul and make us happy.
Although most people are caught up in their daily routines and their family and work responsibilities, there are always real-life success stories happening around us, that remind us that everything is possible if we put our mind into it, follow our own desires and set aside self-doubt and phobias.
A special example of a person who does exactly what she loves and achieves the goals she sets each time, is the fascinating story of Christina Flampouri, the Greek climber who has received global recognition and praise for her courage and achievements.
At the age of 31, she has managed to become one of the 70 women in the world, who have conquered the seven highest peaks of planet earth, and as part of the Top 7 Summits Mountaineering Project, she has successfully climbed the seven tallest peaks in all of the seven continents.
Particularly humble, polite and always with a genuine smile, Christina is the girl-next-door type. She lives in the western suburbs of Athens, works for a large company full-time, and returns to mountaineering whenever she feels physically and psychologically ready for her next goal.
To become, however, the first Greek alpinist, and the first and only Greek woman, that has managed to set foot on the seven highest peaks, including the famous Mount Everest, Christina Flampouri has never backed down and has carved her own unique “route” to mountaineering, even though the circumstances have not always been in her favour.
As Christina explains, it all started six years ago, when she was on a climbing trip to Hasia, a mountain in northern Greece that is part of the wider mountain range of Pindos. At first, she did not manage to complete any climbing route, but after a few days she returned to Hasia to try again and to overcome her fears and her own limits – and she succeeded!
In order to achieve this transcendental goal, Christina organised a very strict plan. She woke up at dawn every day, and did morning and evening training on Parnitha and Hymettus mountains to improve her skills and stamina.
As she describes, her desire to follow her dream and do what really fascinates her, was so great that she changed her whole lifestyle and took intense care of her diet.
“For me, the 7 Summits was more than a mountaineering project, it was a life dream come true and confirmed my belief that really anything is possible!”
“Six years ago, I could not stand on the edge of a slope and now… here I am! So, my advice is, for anyone who dreams of anything and any project, to chase it until it becomes a reality, because this changed my life. It made me happier. The obstacles may be many, but each one that you overcome, you become stronger,” Christina said emphatically.
According to Reuters, more than 800 people attempt to climb Mount Everest each year, but only a few or none actually reach the top, while more than 150 have been reported dead and many others have gone missing.
Talking about her journey to the world’s highest peak, Christina says that “there were magical moments, but also, so many difficulties. The physical and mental fatigue was too much sometimes, but it was worth it every step of the way.”
“Through these experiences I learned that everyday life can give you many reasons to be happy and live a life that you love, to become the best version of yourself and to keep close to you what is really important and has value.”
Here are Christina Flampouri’s achievements on the 7 Summits Project:
- In July 2016, she climbed the highest peak in Europe, Mount Elbrus, Russia (5,642m).
- In February 2017, she climbed the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (5,895m).
- In July 2017, she climbed Denali in Alaska, the highest peak in North America (6,190m).
- In August 2018, she climbed the Carstens Pyramid in Papua, the highest mountain in Oceania (4,884m).
- In December 2018, she climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in South America (6,192m).
- In May 2019, she climbed the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest in Nepal, Asia (8,848m).
- In January 2020, she climbed the top of Mount Vincennes, the highest mountain in Antarctica (4,892m).
All photos by Proto Thema