The plan has been tentatively in the works for three years, and I’ve always operated as such. Still, I felt chills yesterday after hanging up the phone.
Justin and Genee are in. We’re headed to Tanzania in June to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa and one of the famous Seven Summits.
The idea to go was actually theirs. Justin has dreamed of taking this trip since we were kids, but after his family made the journey three years ago and he was unable to accompany them, they decided to make the trip in 2010 and asked me to come along. In the time since then — through two backpacking trips to Switzerland and another to Alaska — Africa has been in the back of my mind. In fact, I officially began serious training in early January after returning from a trip to Colorado.
For the past month I’ve hit the gym four to six days a week, lifting weights, emphasizing cardio work and pounding my legs into oblivion. Leg endurance will be key, as will lung capacity. The summit sits at 19,340 feet. In comparison, Overland Park, Kan., rests at 1,079 feet above sea level.
Even after a month of hard training and even more time researching trek outfitters, the reality that this is going to happen never really hit me — until yesterday. Those chills that set in after the phone call made it hit home. Our team is forming. The gang’s on board.
In less than four months, we’ll be back home with achy legs, unforgettable memories and hopefully a photograph or two from the summit.