Can you believe that? I could not have believed when I started this blog last August I would feel like I do now. A lot of things have happened since then for a start, but certainly as far as the climb is concerned it is amazing. I remember when I first decided that I wanted to do it that I could have booked a trip there and then to do it in a couple of weeks time, but thank goodness that I didn’t. I do not think that from a ‘cold start’ as it were that you could be ready for this sort of thing inside about four months. There is just so much to do.
So how do you feel, really feel, when you are just four days away from flying off to Africa for the first time, on your own, to go and stay in a strange town and then trek for a week up to 20,000 feet or thereabouts? To a place where you might end up injured, hospitalised or worse? Well it is one of those obvious questions, or at least to me it is. A bit like asking that floozy (what was she called again – Mandy Smith or something) ” as a 21 year old, what attracted you to the 93 year old billionaire Fred Bloggs” (or whatever his name was). Well in my case I will tell you that the nerves are taking over for sure. I am feeling not scared exactly, as I am way too excited for that, but am certainly on edge. I am mostly just worried about the things I cannot control – what if I don’t get there, what if I lose my luggage, what if I get mugged in Arusha before I start the trek, what if I get toothache/flu/gastroenteritis/AMS etc.
The main thing that predominates now is just the sort of “get me to the church on time” type syndrome. I know I still have things to buy, things to pack, currency to collect, arrangements to be made, family and friends to talk to, cameras to be charged, insurance to be sorted etc etc. It seems never ending. I still have the need to go to the gym too.
You can never be fit enough for this thing. I heard of someone today who cycled across Canada a month after doing Kili and described Canada as “positively easy compared to Kilimanjaro, which was the hardest thing I ever did“. So tonight I went and tried my new fitness programme out. It hurts! I did my Spiderman push-ups (they’re real – google them!), my Rockclimbers, my 30/30 rowing machine exercise, my 100% incline Nordic Climb stuff etc., and it all felt pretty good, all apart from feeling out of breath and in pain on pretty much everything that I did!
I then thought “what’s the point?” – I have four days to go, and I cannot make any difference now to what I am, or what I can do. Well I will answer that question for you here below:
I got a post today by way of donation on my charity page. From Dan and Becca’s mum, Sue. It said “..Good luck with the trek – Your Mam would be very proud..”. Now this shows two things – one that she is a very lovely person, and so I am saying right here publicly that I am immensely grateful for her donation and the message itself. Secondly it answers the whole question about the point of this, and why I am doing it at all. So:
Mam – God bless you. I love you, and will do this mountain for you. When I come down, it will be close on ten years since you graced this earth, and I will leave a little piece of me and you behind on the mountain top.