Friday, October 5, 2012

7 Days And Counting

The countdown is on to lift-off!  By this time next week, I will be on a flight to Tanzania ready to embark on one of the most interesting, and certainly most physically and psychologically demanding, challenges of my life ... all for a good cause.

So what's happening at T minus 164 hours?  Well, I get to mellow on the training for one.  Woo hoo!  I am going to do a couple of modest hikes on the weekend, but other than that it's just walking the dog and lots of stretching.  My quads and hamstrings are so tight I have to stretch them all the time. 

So why ease off on the training? The answer is twofold.  You don't want to get injured right before you leave ... and ... you want to pack on a few pounds because you'll lose weight on the climb.

I should mention that we are getting conflicting reports about cellular coverage on Mt. Kilimanjaro. So it may or may not be possible to blog during the trek. To be safe, I am going to have a satelite phone that I will be voice casting from. Every day, I am going to interview Team WaterCan climbers on their experiences and the audio files will be posted on the WaterCan Kilimanjaro Climb For Life webpage ( If I can't access this blog Andrea, from WaterCan, will post to let you know when there is a new phonecast.

What else is going on?  Ohhh!!!  Last night, Agi and I went shopping to pick up the final pieces of gear I need.  I already had most of what I need, or so I thought.  A $1,000 later, I still don't have everything, so I am going shopping again tonight. Ugh!!!  And to my MEC friends on King West.  I love you, I love your stuff, but for a co-op, subsidized by memberships, I thought you'd be more price competitive.  I'm going across the street to Europe Bound tonight. Sorry.

In terms of fundraising, I'm at about $16,500 right now, so more than 3 times my original goal. Woot woot!!!  I'm gunning for $17,000 before we leave (  And Team WaterCan is fast approaching a total of $250,000!!!  If you haven't been paying attention to the math, that is clean water and basic sanitation for 10,000 people FOR LIFE!  That is not insignificant.  Way to go Team WaterCan!!!!  And thank you everyone for your stellar support.

You know, in addition to the funds being donated the climbers get a lot of other support as well (well at least I do). There are the amazing staff at WaterCan that make sure that we have everything needed to prepare properly for the trip and to support our fundraising and media relations efforts. There's the moral support and advice you get from family, friends and people who have actually climbed mountains.  There are the people who volunteer at or come to events. And there are some that are unexpected and not so obvious.  You already know about my long time friend Blaise, he's been hiking with me on weekends and was rewarded with two broken ribs.  There's my buddy Mark Greenwood who is hooking Kerry and I up with some ultra chic Kili embroidered mountain wear. And then there's my pal Bill Dietrich who hooked me up with a supply of MAX dietary supplements. MAX Cellgevity and MAX ATP have been making my training easier and I am hoping they will help me get up the mountain.  So thanks Billy (AKA The Minister of Happiness).  I'm sure I missing some people, but I'll catch everyone in the end.

On October 3rd, I was at a big event in Toronto, for Brian Mulroney, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was a great evening and I was looking forward to seeing our team leader, Ben Mulroney.  I talked to the former Prime Minister (who, by the way, wishes us much success and asks us to be careful), I talked to Mila, I talked to Ben's wife, but no Ben!!!  And apparently we were standing back to back for a bit. Doh!!!!  I did, however, get to meet Paul Smith, another member of Team WaterCan. Paul is the Chair of Via Rail.  He hasn't done any training (Did any of you catch the pun? Via Rail? Training?)  Paul is an active triathaloner (is that even a word?) so he is always match fit.  Ben and Paul are the fundraising heavyweights on Team WaterCan. We owe a lot to their efforts.

After that event, I headed over to Dundas West where Kerry Freek (the Editor of Water Canada magazine, and the friend who inspired me to join Team WaterCan) was holding a really nice Kili fundraiser.  A big thank you to my friends who came to support Kerry's efforts on behalf of WaterCan.  And I apologize to my friends who had to leave before I arrived.  The only problem with the event is that the venue had a HUGE Scotch and Bourbon selection that Kerry and I were not able to sample.  We plan remedy this grave injustice upon our return.  On the upside, I came home with a Pook Toque!!!  It's a toque made from wool socks.  Proceeds from the night's Pook Toque sales support Kerry's campaign.  It's very funny and yes, I am going to wear it on the climb (I'll try to grab a sexy snap! lol).

So much for trying to do short blog entries from my phone! I'm off to pick up Kili Climb For Life swag that Kerry Freek and I ordered.

See you soon everyone. 


  1. I agree about MEC haha and WaterCan is the greatest charity I've ever worked with! :) See you soon!