Why Kilimanjaro?

Why Kilimanjaro?

My early 20's

To put it simply, bucket list item circa 2001. I had written down the highest peaks on each continent and kept it in my wallet. I wanted to climb one of them before I was 30 (Side note, the wallet happened to be an epic Jon Bon Jovi wallet purchased in Greece while studying abroad). The list below was scribbled on a small 2 inch piece of paper, tucked deep inside JBJ.

 Africa: Kilimanjaro – 19,340 ft

Europe: Mount Elbrus – 18,356 ft

North America: Denali – 20,310 ft

South America: Mount Aconcagua – 22,840 ft (6,962 m)

Asia: Mount Everest – 29,035 ft (8,850m)

Antarctica: Vinson Massif – 16,050 ft (4,892 m)

Australia: Mount Koscuiszko – 7,310 ft (2,228 m)

At the time, I loved adventure of all sorts. I was in the summer gig economy, and worked hard during the summers through waitressing, wildland firefighting, and oil rigging to fund my travel throughout the winters. I explored all round the US, Thailand, Nepal, India, Mexico, and all over Europe, travel was my life. I was in my early 20’s and I felt limitless in my ability to dream and explore the world. 

What happened?

The momentous 30 year old birthday came and went, just like my small recollection of the goal. Life was different than I had imagined for myself when I reached 30. I had just restarted my education goals, with the aim to finish my bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering. My daughter was 4 years old. And the addiction surrounding my life had just begun an intense climb towards chaos. No mountain ascents were in the foreground. 

Fast Foward

When healing was well into full swing and the ideas of dreaming BIG slowly started to resurface, the mountains began to call once again. Drawn to Africa, Kilimanjaro screamed loud and clear. Porters help you get your gear to the top, as well as cook and carry the food, a big pro for me since my physical body was in the early stages of building strength while shifting old mental patterns. No oxygen is needed to summit, also less gear to carry.  You don’t have to have technical mountaineering skills to ascend, it’s a long hike over more rocky terrain. And, I’ve never been to Africa! 

So it began, the planning for our trip towards Kili. 

Kili symbolizes the reawakening of my awareness for my limitless potential. The potential that encompasses my entire physical, mental and spiritual body…….as long as I take the time to listen from within……I can access that potential anytime. 

Once I learned how to listen from within, I heard that it was okay to dream BIG, okay to give myself permission, okay to believe in my body’s intuitive healing capabilities, and it was okay to take time and finances to support turning my dream into a reality. 

Early in the planning I wrote out some goals of what SUCCESS would look like in the pursuit to climb one of the tallest peaks:

  1. Blow through limiting beliefs for my body and life.
  2. Build positive mental habits surrounding my physical body. 
  3. Learn how to invest in big dreams.
  4. Get outside into nature with family every weekend.
  5. Hike all the surrounding trails that we’ve always “talked” about doing, but never prioritized. 

And the progress?

So here we are, just 2 weeks away from our departure date! And how are we doing? Many doubts over the past year have surfaced, so I created a practice that allows the doubts to come in…..and then gently pass on. 

 

Doubts enter………..Pause……..Acknowledge…….Affirm……..Take note of all successes up to this point. 

 

Here’s how it works in real time…as the doubts seem to keep coming in quickly as the time approaches! Ha! 

Will some or all of us make it to the top?

I listen to my body, it knows when to push forward and when to hold back. We listen. 

How will I survive the cold of summit night? (-10 F degrees)

My clothing is warm and protective, and my circulation flows with ease. We are warm.  

Have I trained enough? 

My lungs are prepared for great expansion! We are prepared. 

How will I hold up physically? 

What about my bunions?

Rods down my spine?

Screws in my ankle?

Aches in my knee and shoulder?

The one kidney?

And most concerning….my digestion complications that flare up often still? 

My body is strong and healthy, ready to assimilate to new adventures with ease. 

 

As our excitement builds for the 8 day trek up the Lemosho Route to the top of Kilimanjaro, I already feel like we’ve surpassed my expectations for this journey! In so many ways, our goals are already complete. 

  • Getting outside as a family 
  • Staying consistent while focusing on strengthening the body in small increments
  • Hiking trails we’ve talked about for years
  • Dedicating our thoughts and energy to dreaming big
  • Working hard to save for a bucket list dream item
  • Laughing + joking + sweating together on the trails
  • Fresh air + wildflowers
  • Views for days 
  • 100 F perseverance hike success
  • Building memories that are jammed packed with laughter, bull cows, cow shit covered pooch, singing marmots, chipmunk friends, and forest ABC games.

We are ready for the next step of the adventure, Kili climb starts on July 31, 2022!

I’ll give details about the journey once we’ve returned!!! Happy trails all!

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