Life After Kili

For more than a year and a half now, I have been preparing for, talking about, planning and getting ready to tackle Mt Kilimanjaro and raise very important funds for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. But what happens after….

For all this time, Kilimanjaro and the trek ahead has been all consuming in so many of my motivations and activities. Fundraising, training, awareness, mental preparation, packing, working to pay for the trip,  and  learning about the adventure and what’s in store for me. It’s strange to think what I will do next.

Not sure what the future holds...

I have very vague plans come 27th September when I return. Only one trip to Sydney in late October, but other than that, the world is my oyster. I can go anywhere, do anything, be anything… it’s strange. For the first time… ever! I have no commitments, nothing to tie me down and no plans. No plans!! That’s outrageous for the non-stop life of The Traveller Em.

I know that I actually have to get to Africa, Climb the Mountain, reach the summit and get back in one piece before I take on the next chapter, but it is something worth thinking about. I’m letting my mind run away with me and really should focus on the task ahead.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you have such open-ness and freedom?

That's Freedom!

The closest I came to this was when I travelled for 3 months over December 2011- February 2012. I had no job, no car, I lived with my dad, I’d graduated Uni and I had nothing tying me down. I even contemplated not coming back to Australia as really I could have gone anywhere. But there was the climb! I had to come back to get myself ready for this climb and to focus on my fundraising and awareness.

It will be a great time for me to think and to explore my options whilst I’m doing the trek. With no telephone, no internet and no communication to the outside world apart from the people in my group, it’s going to be an interesting learning experience.

I’m excited for the next chapter – I know that a path will form and whatever road I may take, it’s going to be an adventure, a challenge and another great story!

Legian Beach, Bali - peaceful and at ease

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 7 Days to go

(Image Freedom- holistichealingstudio.com)

Training Amp Up

 

Not long to go now so it’s time to amp up the training.

 

Last week I did pretty well to get the training going again by putting in a session everyday.

 

Sunday – 3 hour walk

Monday – 1 hr walk, Abs at night

Tuesday – Stairs and beach walk, 1.5 hr

Wednesday – 1.5 hr gym session, legs focus

Thursday – 1 hour gym session, arms focus

Friday – 1.5 hr walk, 30 mins swim

Saturday – 1 hr, 1000 steps and bushwalk

Sunday – rest

 

Training on the beach is good for the glutes!

 

So this week it was time to come good on my promise of double up workouts everyday.

 

Monday saw me complete a 1.5 hr Stairs and beach walk in the morning. When I say stairs, I mean 45 steps x up and down 30 times – we’re talking in excess of 60 stairs. Then hill climbs.

Followed by 1 hr gym session with arms focus.

 

Plan for the week!

 

Tuesday – Legs workout + Abs PM

Wednesday – walk and swim AM, 1 hr gym PM

Thursday – stairs and beach walk 1.5 hrs, AM , core workout 1 hr PM

Friday – Walk and Swim, AM, 1 hr gym PM

Saturday – bushwalk.

Sunday – rest.

 

Let’s see how we go. It’s a big push in the last week in the lead up to the big climb- let’s hope it gives me that little edge extra!

 

 

(shame I couldn’t go snowboarding in the lead up, I think it would have been good training 😉 )

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 8 Days to go

Climbing a mountain in my sleep

With the climb on my mind pretty much 24-7, it’s no wonder that I would be climbing mountains in my dreams. Luckily I’m not actually sleep walking as I’m not quite sure where I would end up.

Who knows where you may end up when you're dreams take you...

 Picture from: Interesting stories of sleep walking

It did leave me feeling rather anxious and concerned in the morning. Clearly my sub-conscious is swamped with pre-climb thoughts. There seems to be quite a few things I still need to get in order before I head off in 9 days.

After my 1000 steps wake up call on Saturday, some of the concerns of my fitness and preparedness were raised. Walking up the 1000 steps is no easy task on a good day, but as preparation for my climb I thought it would be perfect. Instead I had feelings of inferiority, fear, exhaustion and failure. I felt pathetic and insignificant. Severe I know, but ones mind does tend to go into panic mode when your heart rate is racing and your muscles are pumping.

Hopefully this isn't me, collapsing at the top of the mountain...

 

The sleep that night was less than peaceful let’s say. The dream included discussion of breaks, what the toilets were like and where the hell was our leader? Are these really things I will come up against.

I’ve enlisted the help of a rest and relaxation soundtrack for my sleep in the lead up to the climb. Proper rest and a clear mind are going to be very important in these last few days before I head off.

A call to my great aunt helped me to calm down and talk through some of my anxieties. I guess this is part of the process. Just waiting now for the nerves and fear and worry to subside, so that excitement and anticipation can set in!

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

KILI COUNTDOWN – 9 Days to go

 

SOCKS – Who knew they were so important!

  • Socks Socks Socks!

That’s all people keep saying to me! Who would ever think they were so important. Not just a fathers day present, they are make or break between a comfortable and happy walk and PAIN!!!

cartoon socks 

I’ve now been informed that 2 pairs of socks is the solution! A liner pair and a thicker outer pair. This system means that the socks rub on one another instead of the sock rubbing on your foot and creating sores and blisters. Hallelujah!!

 

 

 

 

 

(hiking socks image )

Now I tested this theory.

Day 1: a pair of old ski socks.

Sore feet and boots weren’t tight enough. Tingly and sore feet after.

Day 2: A different pair of old sports socks.

Not better. Slightly thicker but sore on my toes and definitely not the right support.

Day 3: Liner socks and thick wool socks

Perfect! Such a difference. My boots fit me really well and there is no rubbing whatsoever.

Granted, these tests were only conducted over a 2 hour period and the true test will come when I wear said boots for 7 hours straight. However, my experiences so far lead me to believe that my only option is for 2 pairs of socks.

 Smart wool socks review.

Now my next test is washing them…. Will this change their comfort level? Hold on to your seats people! Things are going to get exciting.

( As you can see, everything to do with the climb is currently taking over my mind!)

 

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

KILI COUNTDOWN – 11 Days to go

 

I bless the rains down in Africa

As I hear the words to the chorus of the Africa song by Toto, my heart soars and my spirits are raised. This has to be my inspiration song for my Kilimanjaro Climb.

My eyes well up, a tingle falls down my spine and I’m transported to the incredible continent of Africa. Desserts, waterfalls, poverty, change, challenge and beautiful people. These are some of my memories of Africa and this song has such a feeling of memento and sentiment with it, although I never heard it whilst there.

 

There is a lyric in the song, “As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serangetti”. I get a pulse of excitement and emotion when I hear this line and even sitting here now typing this post I have tears in my eyes. I can also picture myself standing on the crater, watching the clouds tumble past as the world is laid before me- I cannot wait for the summit moment and I know these lyrics will rush to my mind and tears of joy will fall from my eyes.

 

The Full Lyrics are:

 

Africa by Toto

 

I hear the drums echoing tonight

But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation

She’s coming in 12:30 flight

The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation

I stopped an old man along the way,

Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancinet melodies

He turned to me as if to say, Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you

 

 

CHORUS:

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

I bless the rains down in Africa

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

 

 

The wild dogs cry out in the night

As they grow restless longing for some solitary company

I know that I must do what’s right

As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serangetti

I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become

 

 

CHORUS

 

(Instrumental break)

 

Hurry boy, she’s waiting there for you

 

 

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

I bless the rains down in Africa, I passed some rains down in Africa

I bless the rains down in Africa, I passed some rains down in Africa

I bless the rains down in Africa

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

 

Such an amazing beat, feeling and melody to this song. Listen to this and tell me you don’t feel like you can climb a mountain! If anyone has been to Africa, they will feel so close to this song and images of that beautiful yet heart wrenching place will come flooding back.

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 12 Days to go

Albert Park is my favourite walk

(Walk took place on July 19th 2011, 53 days before the Mt Kili Climb)

Training is a breeze when your practice walks take you to the beautiful Albert Park. The pictures speak louder than words! How lucky am I to have experienced such a beautiful dya and such a beautiful atmosphere as I powered around this park.

 

The swans were out to play.

The sun was shining.

The city acted as a beautiful backdrop and contrast to the natural setting.

The lake was sparkling.

 

This may just be my new favourite training walk. I did 2 hours from door to door, which included a lap of the lake and a few laps of the various sports grounds. The great thing also is that it’s a dirt track and there is lots of grass so that I can vary my training and experience different terrains.

 

Albert Park is just 10 minutes from Melbourne City. It’s got this amazing lake, tennis courts, AFL grounds, cafes, restaurants, a rowing club, the very modern sports and swimming complex and the bbq and park areas. You can get lost in this enormous park and be spoiled for activities for an entire week!

 

For more information on Albert Park and its facilities, visit:

http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1park_display.cfm?park=38

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

 

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 13 Days to go

 

2 Weeks Until I climb a mountain

2 weeks today!

 

My how time flies when you are completely unprepared for the biggest adventure of your life. Unpacked, unfit and unaware of the enormity of the task that lay before me!

 

Ok not quite true. I’m going into panic mode again, I’m actually feeling really good about things and am finally feeling excited.

 

After a bout of sickness the other week, I’ve really got stuck into my training and am getting the boots on every day, making sure to do lots of lunges and squats and stretching at every possible moment to reduce cramping and muscle strain . I’m eating better and cutting out Alcohol so as to be able to feel good and have  a healthy body for the physical work I’m doing.

 

The wonderful people at Inspired Adventures have been a great support in organising the trip

Mentally, I’m preparing for the hours and hours of alone time with my thoughts and the serenity of being out and about in nature. No laptops, no electricity, no mobile service, no technology. Just me and the crew with the wilderness. Quite looking forward to it actually.

 

Emotionally, this is the part I keep forgetting. I am doing this for my late Grandpa. He was an inspirational and amazing man and that is why I am taking on this adventure. I love him so much and miss him a lot. Not a day goes by that I don’t talk about the climb or him. I’m finding that every walk now he is very present in my mind and the tears flow readily and regularly. He will drive me on but it will also be a lot of time of reflection. I’m interested to see how I cope on this front.

Financially, so much better. I was so so stressed about money in the lead up to this trip. There is quite a cost element to doing something like this but also there is the fundraising aspect. I want to do my very best to reach the personal goal I set for myself of $10,000, and now having reached my $3,500 minimum target, I feel that I am more motivated and able to do that! I’m so blessed to have had so many people support me and this great cause and only hope that the $$ continue to roll in!!

 

So in 2 weeks I set off on the biggest adventure of my life…. And I can’t WAIT!!

 

I will be taking on my biggest Adventure yet, Climbing Kilimanjaro for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW!  I will Climb Kilimanjaro in honour of my Grandpa who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2008. I was in Africa when I found out and I said at the time I would one day do this for him, in his memory! We are raising money for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW to raise awareness and the necessary funds for prevention of the disease that affects so many. Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease and stroke. We must prevent and find a cure as it’s not a normal part of aging, and does affect 100,000’s of Australians.

Help me reach my $10.000 target by donating to my online fundraising page:

http://my.artezpacific.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=357503&Lang=en-CA

 

KILI COUNTDOWN – 14 Days to go