2. Previous hiking experience
My dad and I used to hike up Chimney Top in North Carolina the summers I was in middle school. It was switchbacks and single track the whole way up, and at the top we'd enjoy some canteen water, crackers, and some of that Cracker Barrel square cheese logs that seemed so cute.... sliced with a pocket knife. Other than that, there was a portion of a crazy adventure race I did in 2009 that was somewhere between hiking and trail running -- all in the dark for the part on foot. I've recently become reacquainted with the fact that trail running is nowhere close to road running and that all my 'training' can seem irrelevant when faced with 20 miles of rocky trails. :)
3. What made you want to go on this trip?
Adventure? With awesome inspiring wonderful people? yes. I've wanted to go since we started talking about it, though for a couple months I did back out due to fear of economic irresponsibility. I got my priorities straight though -- this is a once in a lifetime trip and I am so happy to be surrounded by fearless adventurous friends. Finally--there is way more to life than Ironman and work and I really want to experience it all!
4. What legs of the trip are you going on?
The Climb, the Safari and a couple days on Zanzibar island!
5. What words/phrase do you think you will slightly overuse on the trip?
"wow" (as in Wow, that is beautiful, Wow it is freaking cold, wow this food is "interesting"). That is assuming I can form any words apart from whimpering from an altitude induced headache. :)
6. What is your greatest fear leading into the climb?
Now Kathleen has me worried about peeing. great! I hadn't thought about that before this. I guess related to that is freezing off my buttocks while trying to pee. Cold is definitely my greatest fear.
7. What are you most looking forward to after the climb?
Flushing toilets (that the paper goes into versus a separate bucket), a real bathtub, and free refills of drinks at restaurants.
8. What is going to be your "special phrase" for "the altitude is killing me and you all better leave me alone or else..."?
I miss Java.
9. Anything else we should know about you?
I'm excited and terrified all at once. I've never been to Africa (My mom has done a few missions there) so I'm really happy to have the opportunity to see a new part of the world and meet some amazing people. I'm looking forward to coming back with fresh perspective and joy for life.