My first "care package" and other fun stuff...

I received my very first care package for "KILIMANJARO" in the mail last week.

While I realize that care packages usually come when you're away from home, this one was a little nontraditional in that 1) it was sent to my home and 2) it actually came from far away (Ballymoney, Northern Ireland)! In the package, however, were items that I will find very useful when I am far away from home next January - on my way to the summit of Kili.

The "sender" of this special delivery is Stephen - an old friend who was a camp counsellor with Brandon several years ago - who himself, climbed to the summit of Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago.

The package took me completely by surprise (and it's hard to surprise me - Brandon will attest to that!) and Stephen wrote a small note on each item to explain why he was sending me these things:

1) a 3.0 L Camelbak: Best bit of kit. saves stopping every 10 minutes to get bottle from your pack. iodine tablets taste id hard to get used to but after 2 days you'll drink anything! P.S. Make sure you take bottles as well. they are good to dilute energy drinks.
2) a DriStore waterproof roll top sack: Great for keeping your vital supplies dry. And I don't mean your camera batteries... I'm talking about socks, base layer & underpants.


3)Compeed Blister Gel Plasters: Thankfully I didn't need these on Kili - but I did beforehand getting the boots broken in.

Thank you so much Stephen. Not only am I encouraged by the gesture (and the thought that went into it) - I appreciate the tips. I really hope I don't need the fancy blister bandaids on the mountain... and that my feet stay happy for the entire trek! ;-)

That's not all though...

I also received a bag full of mountain equipment/clothing that I am borrowing from my colleague and dear friend Isabelle.  The bag Isabelle brought me last week has everything from base layers and cami's to an expedition jacked (doudoune) and pillow case! Her stuff is going to save me from having to buy all of my equipment new (and obviously A LOT of money!). THANK YOU ISABELLE... for more than the clothes... for being a source of knowledge and advice when it comes to both fundraising and hiking... for encouraging me and providing a whole lot of moral support since day 1 :-)

If you're curious what type of equipment a trip like this requires - check out my "equipment list".

Equipment is great... but I also have to get my personal equipment (a.k.a my body) ready for this adventure.

(click on image to view)
This past Monday I went to GLOBAL FITNESS (the gym that is sponsoring my training) for my physical evaluation. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous... but in the end I'm pretty happy with how the eval went down.

Some important "before" stats (no point being shy now!):
Height 5 f 7 1/2
Weight 143 lbs
% body fat 23 %

The highlights...
- It was nice to have someone (who knows what they're talking about) tell me that it would be very unhealthy for me to weigh under 130 lbs.
- Richard (my trainer) identified almost immediately that I'm "quad dominant" and will be adapting my program to strengthen my hamstrings to avoid injury.
- I learned (very quickly) that I perform much better under pressure and it really does make a difference to have someone "coaching" you through an exercise. I attribute holding the plank for about 45 seconds longer than I thought I could because Rich was talking me through it and making me visualize my objectives.
- I also managed to do 10 push ups (man push ups) which may not be impressive to everyone... but trust me... I was impressed with myself!
- I'm in pretty good shape "naturally" especially considering that I haven't been working out and I've had 2 babies in the last 3 1/2 years! I certainly can't complain about that.

I have my next appointment (to get my program) on Friday and I am very anxious to get started. I know that it's important for me to be well prepared for the mountain. I plan on doing the best that I can to be in great shape AND to avoid injury due to lack of preparation.

So I guess it's obvious that I'm moving into a new "season" of Summit for Wishes prep. The fundraising is not forgotten, but it's becoming more important for me to focus on the physical prep.

à suivre (to be continued)....


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