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'If Chris Moyles can do it... surely I can too'
11:16am Thursday 26th January 2012 in Your Say
Last July, an email popped up in my inbox with the subject 'Kilimanjaro Challenge'.
It was inviting all colleagues at the company I work for to embark on a trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on 27 January 2012, to raise money for our charity partner – Macmillan Cancer Support.
I initially thought it would be something really interesting to do, however quickly dismissed the idea as it couldn’t be much further outside of my comfort zone if I tried (I don’t like walking, climbing or camping!).
Then a colleague of mine persuaded me that it would be “good fun” and a once in a lifetime experience.
I thought “What’s the worst that can happen? Plus it’s for a good cause” and signed myself up, knowing very little about Kilimanjaro itself other than it’s a big hill and Radio 1 did it a couple of years ago “If Chris Moyles can do it, surely I can” - I thought!
After signing up, the colleague who said it would be “good fun” and persuaded me to do it initially, backed out (he claims he had no other choice and knows who he is, although did give me a very generous donation!).
However as I'd told everyone what I was planning, I had already paid my deposit and had some gentle persuasion from another colleague, plus it was too late for me to back out anyway, I committed to it and then looked into the challenge a little more...
It turns out that it isn’t just a big hill and instead it’s Africa’s largest mountain and the world’s largest free standing mountain, where more people die on average each year climbing it than do climbing Mount Everest and temperatures range from 30 degrees celsius at the bottom to minus 25 degrees celsius at the top – oh dear!
It’s now about 7 months since I first signed up for the challenge and I leave tomorrow. In these last few months, I’ve begged, borrowed and bought various pieces of kit, vital to the trek, needing many more items than I could ever have imagined.
I’ve done bits and bobs of training (admittedly maybe not as much as I should have), including climbing Snowdon a couple of times, a few walks here and there and the odd gym session, and I have a positive mental attitude, which I’m sure is all that’s really needed!
I've also raised £700 in sponsorship, with more money promised to me on completion of the challenge, so failure isn’t really an option.
Over the coming week, I plan to keep this blog updated with my progress during the challenge – phone signal permitting of course.
There are 20 of us are taking part in this challenge and between us we have raised £20,000 so far for Macmillan Cancer Support.
If you would like to sponsor me, please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IRIS.Kilimanjaro.James.Morris