Jeremy Tong—Dare to go bigger
Everyone has dreams, we can be sure of that. But, how many of us can actually say we have reached them and are still going for more? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Ambitions are hard to follow-through, that’s why we set goals to eventually reach them. Whether it’s a lack of motivation or just a lack of resources, they can be near-impossible to attain.
However, to someone as zealous and self-driven as Jeremy Tong, no dream is too ambitious or intimidating. In fact, according to him, “if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” This is the kind of talk you expect from someone who summits mountains for a living and really, this is one of those rare times that expectation meets reality.
Jeremy—proud summiter of the Mount Everest South Summit at 8700m and the Lenin Peak and Peak Korzhenescaya at 7000m in Central Asia to name a few, founder of Prima Taste Everest For Cancer and Motivational Speaker—recently spoke with Actually in an email interview to shed more light about what drives a man to take on life-threatening risks to go where not many people dare to tread.
Jeremy’s hiking roots date back to when he was just a lad in Yishun Town Secondary School as a cadet in the National Cadet Corps co-curricular activity. His first mountain climb was on Mount Ophir in Malaysia peaking at 1276m above sea level.
To Jeremy, hiking means taking time to visit nature and immerse oneself in the power of mother nature. And throughout his 12 years of hiking, Jeremy has learnt to appreciate more than just the summit of the mountain. He says that he has started to enjoy the journey up the mountain more and has also attained a greater appreciation for life, family, and the simpler things in life such as a hot cup of water that takes 30-45 minutes to melt and boil in the big mountains.
Some of the things he looks forward to with every climb from the start are the amazing views to match the tough journeys. He also believes that to every single one of his journeys up, he must always come back down; an analogy he has for life. From this, it is also clear to see how prepared Jeremy is when starting a hike, not only in terms of gearing up but also in anticipating the possible dangers and damages he or the ones with him might undertake in his journey, both physically and emotionally.
According to Jeremy, he always goes as prepared as he can, making sure his insurance is covered, he is in the optimal physical shape, utilising the best equipment available to him such as satellite coverage and last but not least, saying his goodbyes… until he comes back, of course.
It is usually at this point that many people would call it quits. “Risks? Losses? Not today,” a wary person might say. But, Jeremy finds comfort and motivation in the simple things when tested by the perilous weathers of high altitudes: a good meal, a photo of his wife, and admiring the scenery is enough to push him to reach for the top.
His advice to anyone who’s ever wanted to do something in life is: “Jump in with both feet and find all ways to achieve the smallest goals. These will lead you to yearn for the biggest dreams. Failures and rejections are just stepping stones to success.”
Jeremy will be continuing to raise funds and awareness for Children’s Cancer Foundation in his “Adventure for a Cause” campaign. In 2018, Jeremy will be visiting Children’s Cancer Schools around the world from Japan to Turkey and will also be attempting to be the 1st Singaporean to climb 2-3 5000m peaks in Krygyzstan, among his many other adventures to come.
If there’s anything we can learn from Jeremy, it’s that definitely no dream is too big. But getting there takes many steps, a jump, or a leap. Be daring and, as Shia LaBeouf confidently proclaims to the world in front of a green screen, “JUST DO IT!!!”
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