A question I regularly get asked is why I want to climb Kilimanjaro. If I’m perfectly honest I’m not sure there’s one exact reason (without stealing the overused George Mallory quote “Because it’s there). One of my main reasons is that I needed a goal to work towards. I’d been in a bit of a mental rut the last few months. I needed something big to give me some direction.
Previously on my fitness journey, the goal had simply been “get fit”. That works when you’re first starting out but after a while just being fit becomes the baseline. It’s hard to maintain focus and keep pushing yourself. In fact, I found because I didn’t have a concrete goal, my fitness level started to drop again
I remembered how much I used to love hillwalking. I started to think about all the hikes I used to go on with the Scouts and the UL Outdoor Pursuits Club. Before long I was looking through old maps of the Galtees and the Reeks, plotting routes up mountains and itching the get my hiking boots on. And then a thought hit me.
Kili was one of those bucket list things. Back in 2013, my friend Terrence summited the mountain. His stories and photos from the trip were amazing. I knew it was something I wanted to do someday. Now that I had rediscovered my motivation, this was the perfect time to set myself the goal. This time it had to happen. I needed a strict timeframe that I could commit to. So I picked September 2018 and started to work on a plan.
A 30km hike from Twomilegate, Killaloe to Belvoir, Sixmilebridge in the summer of 2017 proved I had a lot of work to do. After a short break in the Autumn of 2017, my training plan kicked in during December and has been going strong since then.
So why am I climbing Kili? I guess it’s because I need to