It didn’t take long for the dream trip of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to feel like just that — a dream.
Three days after leaving the mountain behind … after spending a night in transit, another night in London and a third in Chicago … I touched down in Kansas City. Tanzania already felt like more than half a world away. That week on Africa’s highest mountain seemed like a distant memory, if it had even happened at all.
Five months of training went into the trip. Ten pounds peeled off of my body before I left and another five evaporated during the climb. My knees still ached and my sleep-deprived body felt weary. Still, if not for the 500 or so photos I’d taken during the trip I wouldn’t have believed it happened.
It was so vivid during the moment, but just days later it all seemed like a dream.
I’ve had little time to reflect on the trip in the three months since returning home. A seemingly endless string of bad news and disappointment occupied mid-June through mid-August, and then work ramped up to its usual chaotic pace with the start of fall sports.
Two weeks ago I finally began making some time to reflect. I downloaded hundreds of photos and some video clips of the trip from my fellow climbers. Since then, I’ve begun mashing those up with photos and videos that I took. I am rebuilding each day of the trip, photo by photo, video by video, and crafting a multimedia retrospective of the climb.
Doing so has struck a chord deep in my brain. Suddenly, those days on the mountain and the overnight assault on the summit seem oh-so-real again. It’s the first time since the trip that it has felt like reality. It’s quite refreshing, too.
Each time I pop open the laptop and do some more editing, my heart races and I can’t help but smile.
I can’t wait until it’s finished. I look forward to sharing it.