Posts Tagged ‘Chris’

Posts Tagged ‘Chris’

To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!




8.09.2010 | 3 Comments

Last night while Chris was off doing guy-type things like watching football and getting laminated, I decided that I should pack my backpack and see where I’m at.

Yeah, I did a mock-pack a couple of weeks ago to look at space and weight, but last night I packed for real. And I totally cried my little face right off.  Hrm. That will make it very difficult to climb a mountain, I am sure.

I’m so nervous. I’m nervous, and I’m scared. I’m the type of person who likes to have all her ducks in a row, and who likes to know what’s coming next. I don’t have that with this. The one place where I really need to have it, and it’s not there.

I think I just have too many stressors in my life at the moment, and it’s taking a toll. I need to calm down, breathe, relax… I need to embody a yoga class, really. I need my brain to slip into a nice, long Savassana or something.

But no time for that now.

Three more sleeps…


Protein Bar Taste Test – number bazgillion and four.

7.23.2010 | 3 Comments

You’d think I would have learned by now…

*rolls eyes*

Brand: ProBar

Flavour: Kettle Corn -and- Cherry Pretzel (yes, I tasted two different ones)

Tag Line: The Whole Food Bar

First Ingredient: Organic Peanut Butter

It’s not my fault. I’m a sucker for packaging. And these bars have GREAT packaging. I mean, these bars looked AWESOME while I was pondering them in the aisle at London Drugs. But, much like those jeans that fit perfectly in The Gap changing room, once I got them home, I was sorely disappointed with my purchase.

After tearing open the delicious, delicious wrapper, I was a little shocked by the appearance of these bars. Where I was expecting some chocolate-coated almond/popcorn confection, I was exposed to what can best be described as a hand-mashed, bird-barf, suet bar that has been left out on the sun. And then left out in the cold. And then left in the sun again. Aaaaaand once more in the cold.

I tried, people, I really did. I had a small taste of both bars, and that small taste was more than enough. Maybe I’m weak, I don’t know, and maybe I gave up too quickly, but I just couldn’t do it.

So I made Chris try them, too.

I left him alone in the kitchen to try these  barf bars delightful treats while I went to check my email. I didn’t hear any gagging or cursing from him, so I assumed that all was well and that I was just too damn sensitive.

For shame me, for shame.   *shakes head*

And then, as I was emailing Michael (from Open Space Yoga, of course) about the Old Spice Guy, Chris walked up behind me and said, “I’d rather resort to cannibalizing Ali than eat those bars”, and then walked away.


Perhaps I should have just eaten the wrappers.


Hi Jane!

7.19.2010 | 5 Comments

A recap of my life for those who may be new to the blog:

In between my charity work with the poor, and my 24-hour, on-call, volunteer position with the Saving-Kittens-From-Burning-Buildings Society, I am climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for The Delta Hospice Society.

Although it’s certainly filling up my schedule with planning and preparation, I still have time each week to teach underprivileged children how to ride bikes, and I’m also able to fit in my bi-weekly visit to the farm where they rescue and rehab racing greyhounds. I am also quite content with keeping my position as President of the Board for the Real Men Don’t Eat Sea Urchins Society.

I am certainly able to continue with my PhD thesis on Caring for the Caregiver, but unfortunately I’ve had to cut down my daily trips to the SPCA to walk the dogs and clean the cat cages. Alas, I can only do that 3x a week now. It breaks my heart, but sometimes life gets in the way of life, doesn’t it?

However full my life may become with all my work to better the lives of others, I will always happily make time to speak with my wonderful, loving mother everyday, and also to lavish attention and an appropriate amount of chaste affection on my significant other (who was obviously raised very, very well).

So to those of you who may be just tuning in to this humble blog, I welcome you, and would like to take this opportunity to let you know that I am a very good person who respects others.

Especially mothers.

Of sons.




7.17.2010 | 0 Comments

The Year of Adventure continues!


Tire changing

Handsome new beau



and next weekend… THIS.

Oh, Year of Adventure, how I love thee.


Malaria, Zanzibar, and Chris hates me…

7.15.2010 | 0 Comments

You know what’s great?   Not getting Malaria.

You know what’s not so great?   Spending $150 to not get Malaria.

I went and picked up my wee traveling pharmacy yesterday and it included my Malarone, which I was hesitant to pick up because I knew it was going to be expensive. But hey, I guess it’s worth it, right? Malaria doesn’t sound like it would be all that fun, so I’m content with skipping the experience altogether.

Oh hey! While we’re on the subject of things being great, Amanda was looking at us staying here while we’re in pre-climb Zanzibar.   Not too shabby, eh?  Hopefully we can book a room there and spend some time lolling about and being all drunk and fat.

…Ummm, I mean, spend some time swimming in the ocean, doing yoga on the beach every morning, and running in the sand for 4 hours a day to prepare for our climb.  Yes. That’s what’s I meant.

Not a whole lot new to report today, aside from the fact that I’ve doubled-up on my training with Cara. I do one group class a week and I’ve  suckered convinced Chris to do a private training class with Cara and I. Our first class with her was yesterday afternoon, and it was not easy. Cara was working Chris and I very hard in the sun, and we were both putting all we had into it.  Funny thing, I could have sworn that as Chris ran past me during sprints, he said something along the lines of wanting to leave me… but it could have been the dehydration effecting my hearing. I’m sure that was it.

Things are getting very exciting as the date of my departure approaches. Exciting/scary… same thing, right?



It’s all Good.

7.13.2010 | 2 Comments

Slowly but surely the plans are coming together. Amanda and I sat down last night and started to plan our pre-climb itinerary. We’re going to head to Zanzibar for about 5 days or so, and then trek on off for our trek on up. That should be pretty cool, eh?

After the climb I have a couple of options for my remaining 5 days on African soil. My initial idea was to do a safari, and as much as that’s still on the table, another idea was brought to mind recently. Chris was speaking with me about my trip, and suggested that I look into some volunteer work while I’m there. This had been in the cards when Ali and I were first putting this adventure together, but it fell by the wayside for a variety of pathetic reasons that I no longer can recall.

Chris’ suggestion made me think of El Camino Voluntours, and how excited I am about the prospect of traveling somewhere to help do some good instead of just traveling somewhere and sitting pool-side on my expanding arse while some poorly paid waiter in an ill-fitting white coat serves me a fluffy drink with an umbrella in it.

So, why am I waiting for next year when I can afford to connect with El Camino? Do I need a special reason to make a special trip? I mean, I’m already going somewhere, so why not take advantage of an opportunity there? Makes sense, right?

So, I emailed a couple of people about volunteering over in Tanzania, and hopefully I’ll hear back soon. I’ll let you know.



A Little Awesome

7.07.2010 | 0 Comments

There’s this mountain, see? And it’s big. I mean, BIG. And I’m going to grab a couple of friends and, you know, walk on up to the top of it. I’m going to try and raise $10,000 while doing this extendo-jaunt, and I plan on making the most of the multi-day adventure by sandwiching it between two other multi-day adventures. And guess what… I’m going to freaking AFRICA to do it. This trip is big.




This is not a small thing. This is a very massive trip created from very massive ideas, and will have a very massive result.

…but is life really all about the very massive?

Last night I was woken up from a gentle sleep, and was presented with… well, a present! Chris had gone out and bought me The Book of Awesome. Have you heard of this? No? Well, now you have. And now you won’t be able to live without it. It’s a great story… in fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s awesome.

What started out as a regular guy looking to find the good in each regular day has spawned a Movement of Happy and Gratitude. This guy was having a bit of a rough go in life, and decided to start a website to chronicle all the wee things in life that are, y’now, totally awesome.

Chris saw that I had my own sort of Awesome Recognition thing going on in my Gratitude Journals (Every night since July 27th, 1999 I have written down three things that I was grateful during the day) , and he thought I would appreciate The Book of Awesome. And I totally, totally do.

It’s not the BIGMONDOHUGELARGEMASSIVEGARGANTUANIMMENSE things in life that make the BIGMONDOHUGELARGEMASSIVEGARGANTUANIMMENSE impacts, it’s the weetinysmallteensytinyittybittylittle things that do.

So maybe THE CLIMB (insert ogre-esque ‘RAWR’ here) isn’t the thing.

Maybe it’s the single step that gets me closer.

And that’s awesome.


I need a Hero

7.03.2010 | 0 Comments

As I type this, Chris is attempting to corner a spider in the house. I don’t want him to kill the spider, just help him to find a new home outside. Of course this means that Chris has to chase the little bugger around with a coffee cup and my most recent mortgage statement. Aaaaaaaaaaaand, that’s why I’m in here.

Maybe I can bring him along with me to Africa…

Honey, there’s a spider the size of Texas in my hiking boot. Can you get him out for me, please? But don’t kill him! Ooooh… I think he has fangs… and wears boxing gloves… and I think he has a knife. Thanks honey!


Elk Mountain and the Fog of Doom

7.02.2010 | 5 Comments

Yesterday Chris and I took my brother’s advice and decided to climb up Elk Mountain. Why I trust my brother for advice is beyond me. I mean, the guy used to beat me up when we were kids, why on earth would I think that he would suggest something in my best interest? I really should know better.

The hike up Elk Mtn is actually quite nice. You start off in forest,

And you go up.

And up,

And up, and up, and up… until you get horrendously tired and want to NOT go up anymore.

You joyously summit in about 2 hours,

Enjoy the amazing view (when the fog allows),

You smooch,

And you have some lunch under a tree.

And then you decide that you should keep going about 45 minutes more to reach Thurston Peak. It’s a GORGEOUS walk there, with very little ascending. Just walking along in a beautiful, silent forest… shhhh…

It will stop you in your tracks and simply awe you.

And you come out of the forest to be stopped by… snow.

Yep, snow.

However, we managed to crunch and slush our way through it, and man, was it ever worth it… on to the summit!

We added to the cairn…

*ahem*… we added to the cairn…

And happily made our way back down. It’s about two hours of descending, so if you’ve got bad knees, it’s going to take a while. But we were happy to be getting off the peak, as it was cold. Very cold. So cold, I couldn’t even get my fingers moving well enough to send my brother an expletive-laden text message. So yes, we were happy to get out of the icy fog.

See? Happy.

We had made the decision earlier on that we would stop at Dairy Queen after we had finished the climb. This made the decsending go that much smoother. It was all going so well, as we walked along in the forest, holding hands, laughing, listening to the birds. When just up ahead I see a tiny black nose come around the bend! Yay! Forest animals! However, when the tiny black nose turned out to be attached to a waddling black and white skunk, I wasn’t so happy. I believe the sentence I uttered went something like, “Awwwww… look at thAAAAAAAAGH!”

See now, Chris told me that in order to get the skunk to leave us alone, we had to yell at it, but not move toward it. That would be sure to scare the skunk away. I must tell you, it’s kind of funny having someone yelling behind you, as you’re running through the forest trying to avoid a now-charging skunk that does NOT like being yelled at. Those things can MOVE, man!

However, after we got back on the trail and stopped running, we could laugh about it.

We finally reached the car after our 5-hour hike, and joyously took our shoes off. You really must love someone to sit in an enclosed space with them while being newly-shoeless after a 5-hour hike. We just wanted Dairy Queen, man. Stinky hiking feet be dammed! Gimmie a Blizard!

So yes, Elk Mountain was a very good hike, and decently strenuous. I highly recommend it. Especially if you have someone to sappily smooch at the summit.


Knee Knocking

6.25.2010 | 0 Comments

I had a dream last night that Chris reminded me that I ‘leave for Africa in 13 days’. I completely freaked out, and started crying because I wasn’t ready to go.

So when I woke up, my immediate thought was to get my Tanzanian Visa application printed off and sent.

I have to go get a passport photo done now, grab a money order, stuff it all into an envelope with my passport and mail it off to Toronto. Putting my passport in the mail is almost as frightening as putting my butt on a plane!

I’ll feel better when I’ve sent that off. My next step is to buy travel insurance.

This… ummm… this is really happening, isn’t it?

Oh dear god. What have I done?