When I think of training for a trek 19,000 plus feet up a mountain, I picture serious, regimented training. The kind of training that leaves you ripped and able to eat insects for survival without batting an eye. In other words, I have never considered being able to take on this type of training myself. I am not hard core, and I definitely cannot see myself successfully summiting a mountain range that involves hiring a company to take you up said mountain.
That is until I heard Jerry Rampelt speak at my local REI about climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro in his 60’s, three times, and on a vegan diet! I was intrigued about hearing this man’s experiences. I am twenty years younger. Could I attempt such a trek I wondered, with amused curiosity.
I am a sucker for listening to someone’s adventure stories – always have been. I can’t help but imagine what it would be like to do what they did, step where they stepped, see what they saw. But I was shocked that this man was not an athlete, and trained at the local parks in Columbus! Wow! I had no idea that you could train for this serious trek right here in Central Ohio.
The Central Ohio Parks that he trained at included Clear Creek Metro Park, Hoover Reservoir, and HighBanks Metro Park. These are all in my back yard. This is a game changer that turned any excuses I had into possibilities and outcomes. #CbusMetroParks
During his talk, he supplied an in depth handout that described everything in detail. The sentence that sparked my attention was, “You need to be in shape for a climb, but it is manageable for the average person who is willing to train.”
One of the first things he said to the group is that he is not an athlete, can’t throw a ball, has very bad eyesight in one of his eyes, but he can do endurance activities like hiking, biking, and walking. I do all of those things also! I felt hope. I am getting in better shape, and increasing my activity levels every month, especially now that it is warmer weather.
Can you hear my plan taking shape? 1) I am going to adapt his conditioning workouts to get myself into much better shape. 2) I am going to be consistent with a weekly schedule. 3) Just like Jerry, there will be no weather cancellations for a workout.
I want to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro. This is now on my bucket list, but I want to check it off, not just dream about it. Going to hear Jerry Rampelt speak at REI was the first step for me. Thanks to his handouts and rundown of his three climbs, I have a new goal. But thanks to his thorough descriptions, I will make this plan a reality. My goal is to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro by the time I am 55.
Have any of you ever climbed Mt. Kilamanjaro, or another high mountain? Where, and what was it like? Please share your experiences in the comments.
Above all, remember that #hikingisfun #adventureawaits #wanderlustwednesday
If you would like to hear Jerry Rampelt speak at REI, you can bookmark this page.