Apologies for the lack of updates but I've been busy getting on with things. There's so much still to do: visas to apply for, equipment to buy and hire, vaccinations to endure, fund raising activities to organise, episodes of Extreme Dreams to watch. And then there's the training.
I finally got around to taking a gym induction a couple of weeks ago and it nearly killed me. I didn't exactly go in prepared - I skipped breakfast, I didn't take any water with me, and I had about five hours sleep the night before. Naively, I thought a gym induction would simply involve someone showing me how to turn the machines on and off and what did what. No such luck. Within five minutes of arriving the young man who took me around (I can't remember his name so let's call him Bauer) was asking me to give him 15 reps. I didn't even know what a bloody rep was!
Within 10 minutes I was balancing free weights on my shoulders. Twenty minutes after that Bauer was screaming at me as I nearly tore my wrists apart on a rowing machine.
By the time I arrived at the weird climbing frame that looked like something the Marquis De Sade might have stored away in his garage, I couldn't even walk straight.
But you have to start somewhere and I'm surprised to say that I'm actually enjoying the gym now. I walked five miles up a hill today, all whilst watching Jeremy Kyle on ITV2. I honestly don't know what was more torturous...
On the fund raising front, things continue to go well. We've broken through the £2,000 barrier now, thanks to the kind donations from West Park and Golden Flatts primary schools in Hartlepool (see above) and I'm confident that we can hit our target with just over two months left to go.
I've also managed to make contact with 17 of the 25 climbers who will be tackling Kilimanjaro with me in June by setting up a Facebook group. They seem like a thoroughly nice group of people and I can't wait to risk life and limb with them this summer.