An amazing opportunity came knocking on the door late last October. One of my friends asked me if I would be interested in hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro with her along with a group of others people I knew. My first response was “Are you crazy?!” I quickly came up with a list of reasons why I could not take on this challenge: I was no hiker (I didn’t even own any sort of hiking footwear, let alone knew where to find my current pair of running shoes), I didn’t have the time to train for such a huge physical undertaking, I am not in love with sleeping in tents and would have to do this for 8 days in a row, I really like to shower (personal hygiene is low on the priority on Mt. Kili), I would be away for my family and work for at least 2 weeks … the list went on and on. When I started speaking to people about this opportunity, not one person in my inner circle discourage me from passing this up. Everyone was extremely supportive telling me over and over again “Yeah! You can do this!!” It will take a lot of prep work but it is worth both the challenge and the reward (personally and being able to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation).
So, I really listened to what my friends had to say, and it came down to realizing that there was no reason why I could not do this more than anyone else.
It is fantastic and humbling to be supported by family, friends and colleagues in this challenge. It is even more amazing to be able to push one’s self beyond the normal comfort zone and in doing so, also being able to raise funds for a cause near and dear to my heart (win-win!).
What I have already learned from this experience is to always answer the door when opportunity knocks, even if it is something that at first might not seem to be of interest. Many people see themselves in a certain way and often get stuck thinking they know who they are. These people never end up pushing their boundaries and considering new opportunities. So whether at work or in your personal life, listen carefully to that knock at the door. You may surprise yourself with a great new adventure.
Here’s a little more about my upcoming quest:
In October this year, I will have the good fortune to be climbing alongside a team of 15 incredible people who are raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with 4 amazing women friends – Paula, Monique, Rachel and Laurie, of which both Paula and Laurie are breast cancer survivors. This climb is in honour of all those women I have known – family and friends – who have had to deal with this horrible disease.
The climb will be one of the most mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging experiences I will ever encounter but it will be nothing compared to what friends and families go through when a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The climb will take 6.5 days to reach the top (19,340 feet, or 11 CN Towers high!), trekking for 6-12 hours each day. Then 1.5 days to get down the mountain. We have been training hard with weekly hikes (I started last January and was out hiking in -25 weather), long walks during the week and personal training sessions to get us ready for this exciting challenge!!
Please visit my sponsorship page for more information about the journey and to help support this great cause.