16 Days To Mt. Kilimanjaro – Loading Up The Backpack

Yesterday Geoffrey and I decided to brave the 92 degree heat to walk the 4.5 mile track around the Pompano Beach Park. I decided it was time to load up the backpack for the walk and proceeded to fill it with 10 pounds, made up of water bottles and ice packs. The walk was a piece of cake and carrying the backpack did not seem that challenging! Now, I just need to double the weight to 20 pounds and repeat the effort. So much for my pampering plan! It is doubtful I will be saying twenty pounds is not a challenge when I finally buck up and try that on for size!

Ten pounds in the backpack - now I just have to double that!

This morning I crawled out of bed at 6:00 am for a morning work out at 7:00. I have not been going to the gym this early for a while, but this morning I decided it was a great way to start the day! At this point we are doing full body work outs – increasing the weight with each rep and trying to build a little more stamina. I plan to hit it hard for about another week and then it is time to rest.

My trainer John is pretty convinced that he has trained me for a successful climb. His only concern continues to be my ability to eat enough to stay fueled. He’s right – eating has never been a big priority and under stress I tend to eat less, but I am going to give it my best shot! Food fuels the body and the mind – two things we all need to get us up this mountain.

After 4.5 miles - Geoff is still walking - I think he will be wearing a shirt on Mt. Kili

Geoffrey and I heard from our amazing Tusker Trail contact this week and she just completed a Mt. Kilimanjaro climb a couple of weeks ago! She and her Dad climbed and she made it to the summit with no problems! The thing that stands out in her mind most seems to be the cold weather and this was a bit of a surprise since she lives near Lake Tahoe and she is accustomed to dealing with cold temperatures.

As Geoff and I were sweating buckets during our 92 degree walk yesterday, I kept thinking about Mariya mentioning that each morning when you wake up on the mountain, you will find a thin layer of ice covering your sleeping bags. She highly recommends sleeping with the layers of clothing you plan to wear the following day just so they will be nice and toasty when you put them on!

Geoff followed me into the gym this morning and the rest of the day is going to be devoted to going to purchasing the incidentals for the trip. Geoff is so laid back when it comes to the trip. It seems he and Lulu (our name for Larri) just cruise through this packing experiences with a sense of ease! George and I on the other hand, kick into high OCD and start examining every detail to the extreme!

Geoff texting George the packing list - Gracie and Kili as close to Daddy as possible!

George was discussing the task of packing the other day with his little brother. Geoff sent him about three text messages with the complete list of things he plans to pack! And Geoff really believes at this point it will be this easy! Honestly, for Geoff it will be this easy – I am the one who panics over every small detail. Right down to the toilet paper! I mean really – would you not pack your favorite brand before a trip like this? Do you really think you could survive on the toilet paper from Tanzania? Not a chance! There will be a couple of rolls of Charmin in my bag, even if it means leaving behind a shirt! Priorities people! Priorities!

You thought I was kidding! Ready to be packed for Tanzania!

It was so worth getting up early for the gym this morning! I started out by reviewing emails, and I had an update from Team Fox that we received a wonderful donation to Parker’s Climb over night! A sincere thank you to my friends Kwok, Andrew and Patrick from Hong Kong. You have been my friends for so long and having your support means the world to Geoffrey and me!

We are truly blessed with friends and family and it is the good wishes and the support from you all that will be the real fuel on our journey. At the end of the day, our bags will be too heavy and packed with as many creature comforts as possible. We are having a lot of fun now with the last minute preparations – (this is well deserved after all of my days in the gym and the aching muscles to show for it!)

It all comes back to the reason we are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is the more than 16,500 readers that have visited the Parker’s Climb blog, it is for every person who has donated to our fundraiser, and it is for every person to recognize that we will go to the end of the earth to help fund the cure for this disease. We are climbing this mountain for Team Fox – in support of those who have given so much for the cure!

Join us now – if you have not donated to our Parker’s Climb / Team Fox Fundraiser please hit the contribute button! Help us reach our real goal! Help us end the suffering for all those who live with Parkinson’s disease every day! pkp

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