Getting back up

I haven’t written an entry for a while and there’s a reason for that……quite simply, I fell – although not in the literal sense.

Everything was proceeding very well with my physical training and preparations for the Kili Climb for Life initiative. I was steadily addressing items on my long list of To Do’s. Appointment with the specialist – check. Meet with the travel medical clinic – check. Extended medical, trip cancellation insurance and global evacuation coverage – check, check, check. With another four months to go, I was encouraged that the lengthy list was not so daunting after all. That’s when the unexpected happened.

Suddenly, after a year of planning and open discussions about my health, my medical history arose as an issue. How ironic that the very reason why I want to pursue the climb – to promote good lung health and raise funds to further research – was at risk. Kili Climb for Life started out as a tribute to my mother and her long struggle but it had now become about my own health.

Things turn around

After some troubling moments, I am glad to say that all is back on track. Admittedly, it did take the wind out of my sails for a few days and caused me to deeply re-consider what I am trying to accomplish. Fundraising has also been lagging from where I had expected it to be and while there are many worthy causes out there – I know several !!! – I did not anticipate that this relatively small endeavor would be so challenging. Unlike previous charitable endeavours I have been involved with, there is no major corporate sponsor or advertising campaign or extensive PR team or broad volunteer group to spread the word and broaden the appeal. Efforts to highlight the Kili Climb for Life are primarily my own which is compromised by the demands of a physical training program while running a small business as well as dealing with a heavy travel schedule and graduate studies. So understandably some things get short shrift and in this case, it’s the fundraising and building awareness elements.

Taken together, the question about my physical ability to do the trip after all this effort – spanning a year — and then inadequate progress toward my fundraising goal put me into a bit of a slump. As they say, though,


As often happens, though, when you put yourself out there to help others, you can gain in ways unanticipated. After a year of working out in “prep” for Kili, I can honestly say that I am healthy and fitter than I have been in likely over 10 years if not more. I am happier and able to address personal and work issues more effectively and I am respectful of myself to stop sacrificing my own health for others and my time for those who do not appreciate it.

Looking up… way up!

Once I found the personal value in pursuing the Kili Climb for Life initiative, that’s when everything seemed to come together again. I have the “thumbs up” now to proceed with the climb. I have received the final itinerary from Tusker Trail. I found the “right” hiking boots – which seems a little thing but will be vitally important – and I secured wonderful accommodation in Amsterdam enroute to Kilimanjaro.

So, I am pleased to say the roadblocks have been addressed and all is back on track. In the words of someone whose journey I followed closely and was deeply inspired by…..

“Roadblocks are there for a reason: they show us how badly we want something.” Randy Pausch

 Onward to Kili………..

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