Well, this is it. It feels surreal as I think back to that video that I saw 2 years ago that convinced me in that moment to climb a mountain. I actually paid the deposit within hours and told my parents that I was going on the trip afterwards. As you can imagine, they were not best pleased. It has taken me a while to get them onside.
Since then, I have been patiently waiting and frantically fundraising so that I can step foot on a plane that will be the biggest physical challenge that I have faced so far in my life. Not the plane, the mountain climbing bit…you know, the trek – anyway you know what I mean. It is going to be tough.
In the last few months, it has been great to (attempt to) train and get my kit together and now the two bags that are going to safely take me to nearly 6,000 metres altitude are ready. I am staring at them and realising that this is everything that I am going to need and I can carry it on my back.
I have absolutely loved talking to people about their experiences. Your words of encouragement and laughs have dialled down the nerves that are now starting to creep in. I know in my heart of hearts that I am not physically ready for this challenge, but there is nothing (bar falling off the edge) that is going to keep me from reaching the peak.
There have also been a lot of doubters and mockers. I was one of them for a while, and I am the one actually doing it. However, the privilege has been raising over £3,000 for Meningitis Research that I know will make a huge difference to people’s lives. I do not want to be verbose, but meeting and listening to some of the people that this money will go to help has made this all the more worthwhile.
I could have just paid for my trek and gone and done this myself. However, I never would have had the motivation of doing it if I wasn’t walking with all of the support behind me. I am carrying the names of all my donors on my back and thinking about the gentlemen that burst into tears when he told me that his wife died of Meningitis in early hours of a bucket collection in central London.
This is real and it is happening. When I next speak to you I will have been over the clouds and be back on the ground again. As much as this is an “easy” climb, compared to others, I am not going to take this for granted.
For anyone that is thinking about making a stupid or impulsive decision, my advice is to throw your huge size 10s into it and apologise later. This could be the dumbest thing I have ever done or it could (and will) be the most amazing. The only way to find out is to actually do it and suck up the fear.
I am absolutely terrified. But I am also massively excited. What’s that coming over the hill? It’s a fat boy, mate. See you on the other side!