Wednesday, 20 February 2013

January to February 2013.

After I signed up to the challenge of a lifetime. I got to work. August seemed a long way away, but I didn't want to leave anything to chance. Training I decided, started now. I began walking, Just small walks to start with, a couple of miles in a day, three times a week. I didn't want to go to far, too quickly. The other thing that I needed to do was start getting my kit together for my adventure. Action Challenge sent me a kit list. I began going through it all. The first thing I had to do was get myself a good pair of walking boots. The sooner I got them and broke them in the better. I went to a local outdoor specialist store and tried on several pairs before deciding on a good pair, with a member of staffs advice that they would be a good boot for Kilimanjaro.
There is a lot of kit to get,to scale Africa's highest mountain. Steadily I have worked my way through a large part of the list and am starting to look the part when I am out on my training walks.

Moving in to February, I am comfortable with 7 to 8 mile walks. I try to do one or two of those a week, and some smaller walks with one, or two gym sessions a week. Much depends on my work. I work shifts so I have to fit my training in around that.

My most challenging walk to date was on 16th February. I walked from Lulworth Cove to White Nothe. Challenging, but beautiful Dorset coastline. Its a good 7 miles over steep hills. It took me just under four hours to do it, with hindsight that was a little fast, especially towards the end I was tired, but elated that I had accomplished what I wanted to do. I have no doubt that I will be going there again several times before I leave for Africa.

How and Why am I doing this?

 Before I start, I must say I am not a professional climber, or mountaineer, I have never done anything like this in my life. 'First time for everything'

It started in December 2012. I was using the internet on my laptop. I was on youtube. I forget what I was searching for but Kilimanjaro came up as a suggestion. Intrigued I clicked on it, and brought up a series of films about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I settled on watching a charity climb done by several celebrities a few years ago. After watching that something inside me was telling me. 'You have to do this'.
I spent a few weeks researching it, and thinking about it, and finally decided that yes I did have to do this, yes I wanted to do this.
On 10th January 2013 I committed myself to going, and signed up with Action Challenge to climb the Machame route of Mount Kilimanjaro, a 10 day trip leaving for Tanzania on 23rd August. I was excited, proud, and nervous when I received an email from Action Challenge confirming my place on the trip.
I had decided that I would do what the celebrities did in that film and climb for charity. Picking the charity to fund raise for was very easy. I decided that I would climb for Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE). I have a  Greyhound adopted from them called Kelly, and another rescue dog, a Lurcher called Stuart. GRWE rescue and re home, both, Greyhounds and Lurchers. It is a charity which is completely reliant on donations. I decided I would like to help them.