Monday, September 17, 2012

25 Days and Counting

The prize is almost in sight!  25 days until we leave and only about a week and half of training left. Sorry to be scarce over the last month.  There were vacations, travel, my wife Agi getting a nasty cut on her forehead as well as a concussion, and the whole basement getting flooded with sewage thing.

Through it all I have kept training.  I'm going to hit the gym as soon as I finish this post.  Since it was a hot summer, and I was in the Carribean for part of August, I have been training mostly indoors.  One thing I now know is that training indoors is much easier than training outdoors.  I can do 7 or 8 kilometres on a treadmill or eliptical and feel like I am just getting warmed up.  A 5 kilometre run through Toronto's ravines still kicks the crap out of me.

It was quite unexpected, but I found scuba diving in the Carribean to be a helpful addition to the training regime.  It really made me focus on my breathing and heart rate, in a way I hadn't before.  On my first dive, I sucked through my tank of air in less than 40 minutes.  I actually borrowed my diving buddy's octopus (reserve regulator), so I wouldn't cut everyone else's dive short.  By the end of my 8th dive, a tank was lasting me about an hour.  Now when I am running or hiking, I try to get into an almost meditative state where I am relaxed, breathing slow and steady, and keeping my heart rate down. I'm hoping that I can translate that experience to something useful at high altitudes, so I am making the best use of less oxygen.

What else is new?  Last week, fellow climber Kerry Freek and I visited the Stormtech showroom in Markham, Ontario.  We picked out some pretty high-tech gear (i.e. appropriate clothing) and we are getting it embroidered with the Kilimanjaro Climb For Life logo.  So Kerry and I should look pretty swank for photo opps, but more importantly, it will be a nice reminder of the trek for years to come.

In terms of fundraising, I am delighted to announce that I am up over $15,000.  For those of you keeping track, that is triple the amount of my original goal.  And there are still a few outstanding pledges to come in.  I am so grateful for the tremendous support everyone has shown.  Over 600 people in East Africa will now have access to clean water and basic sanitation FOR LIFE as a result of the generosity of my family, friends and colleagues. It seems so simple, but providing those basics means better health, more education and well-being for a community. Thank you so much everyone. 

Going forward, I am going to try and do shorter blog posts from my Blackberry.  I need to practice, so I can keep you all posted on what transpires in Tanzania.

Ciao for now.

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