13 Days To Mt. Kilimanjaro – Physiques Unlimited & Big Dog Powerlifting

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.” Albert Schweitzer

We have all had times in life that we needed an extra shot of inspiration, and that is what I have gotten each time I have walked into my gym! It feels so natural now to say “My Gym” and I am so proud that Physiques Unlimited of Pompano Beach has become the place that I go, not only to work out, but to be inspired! Doing the same exercises week after week can bore your muscles and your mind; but working with a trainer can keep your energized and coming back for more! That is what I have found since starting to train with my trainer John Crowell, of Big Dog Powerlifting Team!

I still remember the very first time I walked into Physiques Unlimited in Pompano Beach. I was a little nervous and in the back of my mind I thought  “can I really do this, can a 52 year old woman really get in good enough shape to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?” I was just praying that I would not embarrass myself and die right there on the gym floor! There were times in the early days I thought I would pass out, one day I ate two slices of pizza too close to working out, and I had to stop before heaving! That was a lesson to be learned, and I never once repeated this foolish behavior again! 🙂


Geoffrey was so wise to link me up with a trainer – and not just any trainer. He knew I needed a real coach, one who would treat me with care, yet work my tail off to be in shape for our Mt. Kilimanjaro climb in July. For Geoff it was easy – he has been in the gym for more than thirty years! For me, this was not going to come easy. Beyond high school sports, I had not followed a work out regimen for nearly thirty years! For me to achieve this goal, and to be prepared for nine days of the most extreme climbing of my lifetime, I needed the best environment to train – and believe me, I got it!


When we announced the Parker’s Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition For Parkinson’s Research as a Team Fox Fundraiser, it was done so with a lot of unknowns! Would Geoff’s health hold steady for another year in order to do such a demanding climb? One never knows with Parkinson’s Disease, but he has proven that one can never give up when you are fighting for your health. He is in better shape now than he was a year ago! I am so proud of Geoffrey – he has inspired so many living with PD this year, and there is not a day that goes by that I am not in awe of his winning spirit! We will help fund the cure and continue to raise awareness for a disease that has now claimed as many as six million people world wide! We will not stop – it is now part of our destiny to help others overcome this brain disorder that came into our lives most uninvited! Want to talk about going outside of your comfort zone? We have done it and it’s not a bad place to be!


One of the great things about Physiques Unlimited is that I can call the people there friends. People go there because they are dedicated and they have goals and they are the kind of people who you just feel good being associated with. People in the gym look out for each other without getting into your space. Orlando, the owner of the gym is highly respected, and he runs a top notch gym that makes you want to achieve more and more on a daily basis! Just because you can! Everyday that I have gone to this gym, I have left with a greater sense of confidence and a greater sense of self worth! Thanks Orlando!


Geoffrey and I are so grateful to Orlando and John for their support for Parker’s Climb, and to all those who have inspired us at Physiques Unlimited! They have become a part of the Parker’s Climb Team right along with us. When we are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in a few short days, we will reflect back on these individuals, and to our days in the gym, and to those who have helped to keep us inspired over the last year!


If you go into Physiques Unlimited, you will see a Parker’s Climb banner hanging on the wall there! It proudly hangs amongst the black and white photos of many of the weight lifting greats of the past! It is a slightly smaller version of the banner that six members of the Parker family will carry to the top of the Mt. Kilimanjaro summit on July 10, 2011! Geoffrey and I will never be famous like some of the power lifters whose photos grace these walls – We are just two normal people who decided to climb a mountain to try to change lives for the better! We will reach the summit of the fourth highest mountain in the world on Geoff’s 57th birthday, and he will be more than five years into his diagnosis of PD! In my book, that makes him pretty awesome, incredibly brave and more than famous!

Physiques Unlimited and John Crowell of Big Dog Powerlifting Team are an incredible part of our success. We could not have made this climb without the contributions that they have made to our minds and our bodies and our souls over the past year! We will be forever grateful and when we bring back the summit photo with the “thumbs up sign” from me, and Geoffrey’s traditional “victory sign” both Orlando and John will surely know that this is for them!

Pam & Geoffrey


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