After the weekend that I just had I feel a blog is the least I can do to commend my fellow Kilimanjaro trekkers of 2011 for their commitment to COCO, not only to trek to the roof of Africa but to agree to do it all over again but this time reaching the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales over what was supposed to be a 24-hour period (well what’s another 5 hours and 15 minutes between friends).
The one thing about climbing mountains is that you get quite a lot of time to think. I’m not one for chatting during an ascent up Scafell’s steep incline on a cold wet night, just breathing and putting one foot in front of the other is enough of a challenge. Left only with my thoughts to keep me from falling asleep or becoming seriously frustrated with the slippery boulders, I ask why am I doing this? My question is short lived it’s because I can and because I love what I do and I know what a difference my sponsorship will make to COCO’s projects. Then I think, well that’s me but what about these other 8 people that I have dragged up here! What on earth possessed them to take on such a challenge and pain, surely climbing Kilimanjaro was enough! I have been lucky to get to know these people incredibly well and the one thing they have in common is dedication and commitment. They are doing this not just as a personal challenge to stay fit and test themselves but because like me, they have witnessed the difference COCO can make with a few pounds and although none of them will admit it, they probably can’t think of anything they’d rather do than spend the weekend re-living the adventure that we took part in over a year ago in Tanzania.
I wanted to share with you a quote from fellow triple-peaker, John Heslop who reflected on the togetherness of the group this past weekend and I think his sentiments sum up how we made it through this challenge:
“You are a great bunch of people and the genuine togetherness was big factor in pulling us all through to the foot of Snowdon.
You know – I listened to a very intelligent person explaining in lay-man’s terms just what was the ‘HIGGS BOSON’ – so recently discovered at the Large Hedron Collider in Switzerland. He described it as the ‘Cosmic Glue’ that kept all atoms together which then allowed all life to be creative. I would like to think that we have discovered the cosmic glue of trekking ……
Everyone has an opportunity to lie back on a sunny beach somewhere, completely switch off and chill out……everyone deserves that pleasure. But every now and then, a certain few stand up and walk through the exit door of the comfort zone.”
Every challenge that I’ve undertaken for COCO has been good fun but I really can’t begin to thank these people who’ve become not just donors but incredibly good friends. The best thing about COCO is that we are a little charity so our supporters are our friends. I don’t think I expected the three peaks to be quite as challenging as it was and that the fact that my muscles are still aching 48 hours after the event proves that this really is a challenge only made possible by the outstanding support of the Outdoor Ambitions team and the camaraderie between both the guides and my eight fellow climbers who share my passion to making a big difference to some of the poorest people in the world! Kili class of 2011 I salute you!
If you’d like to take part in a three peaks challenge for COCO next summer just drop Laura a line: firstname.lastname@example.org