I knew when I started this that writing a blog 2-3 times a week would be really difficult. I have little self discipline – or is it motivation? This morning I found my motivation and her name is “stress”. Two weeks to go. But lets back up here for a minute:
New Year’s Eve
I had the best New Years Eve ever. And I have my hubby to thank. With less than 72 hours to go to NYE, he assembled a party to rival any restaurant/bar/hotel party. We had 50 or more people in the house, music, tasty catered food, and a full bar complete with a bar tender. We hung out with friends, watched the ball drop on TV, toasted in the new year, sang to the oldies, and went to bed way way too late. I am so impressed with his abilities to coordinate. He knew I didn’t have the time to really help, so he stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park. I love you honey, and I hope you had the best NYE ever, because you really deserve a great beginning to 2014.
Kerry and I are two weeks away from arriving in Africa to start our journey to the top of the highest peak on the African Continent. Excitement, anticipation, stress, worry, disbelief… all these emotions are starting to hit me. This is going to be amazing. To begin, I will try to answer some of the common (and strange) questions we encounter.
First Up: “Why Kilimanjaro?”
Sometime around age 18 I became an armchair traveler. I read about amazing trips, into the wild, trekking across continents through mountain passes or rafting down rapids, through tropical jungles. I ordered every travel brochure from The World Wildlife fund, National Geographic, and more. I read itineraries as if they were novels. I dreamed of running away to Africa to become a tour operator and live in a tent on the plains, keeping watch over the lions. Real life did not turn out to be so wild, because I always came up with an excuse to keep me at home. I did not have; the money to spend, the time off from work, a travel partner, anything to wear… it didn’t matter what lame excuse, I came up with many.
I think Kilimanjaro hit my radar about 5 years ago. It was one of those damn travel brochures, probably a National Geographic, enticing me to join a group to go on safari, climb up Kilimanjaro, and learn about the flora and fauna along the way. It was a goal oriented trip – make it to the top of Africa. It came at a turning point in my life, when I finally was embracing an active healthy lifestyle. I think that is why the idea stuck. I wanted to accomplish something big. So, when I mentioned the trip to Kerry, a good friend who is always up for an adventure, I didn’t know what to say when she agreed to go. All of a sudden I did not have an excuse for why I could not go.
I am climbing Kilimanjaro because I ran out of excuses. And once I admitted to myself that there was nothing holding me back from my dreams, then I started to hurdle the real challenges of planning a trip instead of the imaginary challenges that kept me on the couch.
Who Are You Traveling With?
We were a bigger group. Once Kerry and I really agreed that this would be a great trip, we started to recruit people. We were pretty successful at first and I think we had about six others at least thinking about the possibility of going. But this trip has big challenges. It is expensive, it is time consuming, it requires a certain fitness level, it requires special gear. We have a group of active friends who will join a race, a hike, a kayak trip or a dog walk. We thought at least 2 of them would join us, but the time and money issue were too big of a hurdle. In the end, it is Kerry and myself. And I am good with this arrangement. Coordinating 2 of us is much easier than 6. And I know Kerry pretty well after spending hours out on day trips, so I know I can count on her. And while we can always find the “funny” in a situation, we have not argued over anything.
OK – I need to get WALKING. Which is what every guide book will tell you is the best way to train. So until the next blog… where I will continue to answer some of the most common questions: Training and Equipment.