I’ve been collecting some fun facts recently as I do research. So I thought I’d share them:
· Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
· Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could erupt again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.
· Nearly every climber who has summitted Uhuru Peak, the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim, has recorded his or her thoughts about the accomplishment in a book stored in a wooden box at the top.
· The oldest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro was 87-year-old Frenchman Valtee Daniel.
· Almost every kind of ecological system is found on the mountain: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.
· The fasted verified ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro occurred in 2001 when Italian Bruno Brunod summitted Uhuru Peak in 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds. The fastest roundtrip was accomplished in 2004, when local guide Simon Mtuy went up and down the mountain in 8:27. Crazy!!
· The mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. In fact, they may be completely ice free within the next 20 years, according to scientists. The Glaciers are actually sublimating, meaning they change directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid.
I’m 46 years old (soon to be 47!) so my training for this is a combination of different things, mixing cardio with weight training for my legs. I can tell you that my body is reacting differently than it has in the past and it takes longer to see the needle move. However my mind is stronger and my “will” more determined that ever, a strange turn of events. The universe has a fucked up sense of humor. I have a friend that is a nutritionist and is going to help me with my diet for this event. I’m going to take this opportunity to switch gears with my diet and my exercise routine so that my health will continue to benefit from this event, long after I’ve returned. (I’ll let you know what I find out) I’ve always been a wise consumer of what goes into my body (thanks mom), but tweaking it will be fun to learn and adjust. Lastly, is my mental state. I have spent the last few years feeling a deep resolve of change happening to my mental state and well being. I am determined to drop into “this” and see where my inner work will take me. I started my life on this planet being insanely quiet as a child and observing the world around me. I somehow found myself in my late 20’s as a performer, playing music and traveling for 10 years. I left that profession for numerous reasons but the main one being that I came to realize, I am a very private person. I’m finding myself going back to that place I started and wanting to meditate and observe. Don’t get me wrong, I love to laugh and have a heroic appreciation for sharp wit and a gut wrenching belly laugh! I just think I’d like to listen more and learn to be quiet when I’m nervous or anxious. I wish for a calmness and I feel it coming my way. Maybe that is why observing and telling this story is so important to me.
In the long run, the story I want to tell, isn’t even about me.