A Great Big AdventureBlogHiking January 8, 2023
Hello again! I missed writing the weekly LAC email last week, but it’s good for me to take an occasional breather from routine no matter how great the routine is. If nothing else, it makes me appreciate the comfortable grooves of familiarity.
This week I want to share with you something that I’ve been holding a little close, but am ready to put out to this wonderful group of women – in early February, along with nine other people (mostly LACers), I will board a plane for Tanzania, Africa and when we land a day later, we will embark on an adventure that I can comfortably say is out of all of our comfort zones. Our destination is the summit of Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro.
When my youngest child was slated to jump into his next adventure (college), I set my sights on my own big achievement: Kilimanjaro. Happily, a number of friends from the LAC were also interested in pursuing a grand adventure. Our group consists of eight women (yay!) and two men (totally fine 😂). Five of the women are LACers: Patty Howells; Susie Kendeigh; Anne Henshaw; Kate Burnham, and me. The five of us have hiked together over many LAC adventures and over the fall, we spent many more hours together on the trail. The strength, support, understanding, and camaraderie that we’ve developed feels special to me. One of the other women on the trip would be an LACer if she lived in Maine, but alas, she lives outside of Chicago (note: hard to find elevation for training in Illinois!). Becky Mati and I met while living in Florence, Italy in 2019. It’s worth saying that taking a risk in making new friends pays off immeasurably. I met Becky and her family at a Jewish new year service soon after Eli and I arrived in Florence. She gave me her contact info and a few days later, I called her telling her that I hated shopping, but I needed some new clothes and I was wondering if she’d like to join me. She enthusiastically said yes and three and a half years later, we’re climbing Kilimanjaro together (along with daughter, Julia). Risk taking comes in all forms – sometimes it’s asking someone out for a cup of coffee (or an Aperol Spritz!).
Our Kili group has reviewed packing lists, listened to Kili podcasts, committed to weekly leg strengthening exercises (okay, maybe I let go of that one a few weeks ago), hiked together, Zoomed together, visited the travel doctor, and prepped in other ways, but really, much of this adventure is leaping into the unknown. We don’t know how our bodies will handle the altitude or if we’ll get a GI bug along the trail, but this is part of pushing ourselves to new levels and being comfortable with uncomfortableness. I really hope that none of us get altitude sickness or diarrhea, but there are things we can control and things we cannot control and that lack of control, while unsettling, isn’t going to stop us.
While I’m away, there won’t be any Sunday notes, but feel free to keep up with the private FB page. Post any local adventures you hear about and see if a fellow LACer wants to join you on a hike or a ski. You’ll hear from me throughout January, maybe in early February and then not again until March. I hope your winters are going well even without our traditional winter sports and that 2023 brings you much peace, happiness, and good outside time.