Want to climb Kilimanjaro? With your camera? For women?

(This is my #couch2kilimanjaro story. Follow along by chapter: Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5, Chapter 6)

 

I can’t really remember how this conversation first went down in real time. Was it on the phone? Over coffee? Email?

What I do remember is this.

 

My friend Belinda sat me down at some point and asked me to consider joining the growing team of women who would climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in early 2016 with One Million Thumbprints. And not just join, but fulfill the felt need of a campaign photographer/storyteller.

So let me get this straight… 

Climb an epic mountain? For a cause I am already very passionate about? As the climb/campaign photographer? To share stories of dignity and hope and courage?

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Dreams do come true. They really do. Sometimes they come true with no effort of your own, just luck, fortune, blessing from Above. Other times you work hard for your dreams, and it pays off. In spades. 

Belinda told me that she had been watching me over the last few months… running, climbing, training – dedicated to improving my health and fitness. She said that if my doctor gave me the green light (asthma wise), she would be thrilled if I could join the team as the team photographer. I am pretty sure I cried.

So, yes, this opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro is a gift from Above on so many levels. It is also something I worked very hard for, even though I didn’t know what “it” was.

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I am so very, very thankful for this opportunity. I get on the plane in 3 days. We sit with the very woman who inspired this movement in 7 days. We start up that mountain in 10 days. We stand on the roof of Africa in 14 days to proclaim PEACE for women experiencing the violence of war… on International Women’s Day.

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And I really need to pause and say something…to my Outlander/MPC people: 

Outlander, Sam Heughan, My Peak Challenge, Peak Warriors… these are the people who got me off the couch less than a year ago. They were the inspiration and the motivation. And now they are the loudest cheerleaders in my “squad.”

Throughout this journey, my MPC/Peak Warrior “fanmily” has been the most supportive of this adventure/goal/dream by far. Perfect strangers have continually expressed heartfelt encouragement and support and even financial donations! I have been brought to tears on several occasions already by the people who have rallied around me at this time. People from all over the world (Norway, Germany, USA, and elsewhere), all walks of life, on various MPC journeys of their own. People who take the time to comment and email and message their best wishes and go-get-em’s!

Local MPC friends have even scheduled a “solidarity climb” on the weekend we will be heading up Kilimanjaro! They are literally going to “walk with us,” up a mountain.

I am profoundly grateful that I fell into this “fandom.” It has quite literally changed my life in the best of ways. I aim to stand on the top of Kilimanjaro and hold the MPC  #BAMflag with the greatest pride and the deepest gratitude for helping me summit my mountain.

I would absolutely love it if you would follow along. I will be posting, blogging and the like at a few places for the team. I am hoping to post as often as possible here, but Instagram and Facebook might be the best way to track with us.

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4 thoughts on “Want to climb Kilimanjaro? With your camera? For women?

  1. Leslie Saari

    So amazed by this! I’m sending you the very best for a wonderful journey! I hope you find strength to continue when you think you can’t; I hope you find courage you never thought you had; and joy when you realize just what you’ve been able to accomplish! Most of all; have a safe journey! We will all be rooting for you and are looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your adventure!

    Like

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