There’s lots of things we want for Christmas, whether it’s new clothes, perfume/aftershave, chocolate, fancy new gadgets that will go out of fashion in a few months, a new bike, jewellery… some new slippers. You name it – we want it. Noticed anything with these things above? They’re all material goods, and they don’t last forever.
As much as I’d cherish one of those home coffee machines for Christmas, this year I’d be content even if I acquired nothing more than a pair of cotton socks and a knitted sweater from my grandma that’s two sizes too small. Because right now, my Everest climb feels more real than ever before- no longer just a dream. And that, is quite simply the best Christmas present I could ask for.
I’ve got a place on a fantastic expedition team, I’ve a hefty chunk (over two thirds) of my expedition funding in place already, a great support team and in general I feel ready and focused. 29th March is the date. The day mum has kittens and I board my flight to Kathmandu to embark on the best experience of my life and attempt to live my ultimate dream. I can’t wait, or believe it’s really happening.
I booked my flights last week with Etihad – and you all know the excitement that brings. But this isn’t for any old ‘holiday’. To me, it’s feels like a rewarding achievement alone just to get to this position. The fruition of a year’s ruthless dedication to making this happen- fundraising is almost as hard as the climb itself! Reminiscing, it’s exactly a year since I actually kickstarted this whole project off and took the mighty leap. I didn’t think it could be done- nor did many others- but as always, I learn that impossible is nothing if you want it enough.
I’m not there yet, of course. There’s a lot of work to be done, not to forget my training, but I know I’ll get there. I just know it, and I trust that belief- it’s got me this far. My training is now led by a professional training plan by Plymouth sports scientist Ian White, and it’s great. I frequently wake up feeling like my legs have been ran-over, but it’s all good.
There’s many things I can’t control or train for on Everest. That’s just how it is. But to get the chance to live my dream, I’m so grateful for. To me, that means more than any materialistic Christmas present. A priceless and unforgettable experience that lasts much longer- it will stay with me for the rest of my life. Hopefully my coffee machine will, too…
Have a great Christmas and New Year folks – aim high with your new resolutions (you never know where it will take you) and I hope you enjoy following the next chapter in 2014.