To say we jumped into this blind and not knowing what to expect would be an understatement of the century...
The decision to climb one of the highest free standing mountains in the world was made back in January, but serious planning and training didn't really kick in for me until we were into double digits on the count down, despite the numerous warnings and lectures from my climbing partner and Dad, Ian. I'd argue I can do Pen-Y-Fan, in the Brecon Beacons easy. Turns out the difference is 5009m exactly!
Dad on the other hand, with his focused military background, has found the time to run circles around me. Training has included tackling some of the local Welsh mountains, including Pen-y-Fan and Horse-Shoe-Pass, as well as filling up rucksacks with six to ten kilograms of weights and walking on high inclines and stepping machines at my local gym. Pretty sure that will catch on as a new fashion trend among serious gym fanatics soon enough!
Our final push on training is going to be our three peaks event the weekend before we leave for Kilimanjaro. We will be starting with Ben Nevis in Scotland, the highest mountain in the British Isles, standing at 1,346m above sea level, before moving on to Scafell Pike in the Lake District National Park, the highest mountain in England at 978m and finally finishing with Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085m.
The stresses of organising our ideas on how we can get others to engage with what we truly believe is an incredible care facility, has been such a tough task. Thank god I had Emma on hand, one of Tŷ Hafan’s community fundraisers, who has guided my ideas and provided a whole list of resources I have been able to use to get everyone involved!
My visit to the Hospice reminded me that we are so distracted by the unimportant 'problems' in our lives that we forget the overwhelming love and compassion that we can offer.
Walking the grounds of Tŷ Hafan gave me a lush feeling of nostalgia and comfort. As soon as you walk through the doors there are no harsh hospital ward smells or cold walls or empty daunting hallways – instead there are colours and family pictures and toys and smiling faces. It is incredibly heart-warming the amount of detail that the staff and volunteers put in ensuring that not only the children are taken care of but also their families. Mum and dad can have a well-deserved break whilst siblings and friends can play freely from the comfort of their own bedrooms, the large specially modified playground or the den for the teenagers.
That is why I wanted do to something that would bring people together and really show off the raw and honest reason why this charity deserves so much more than just my dad and I climbing a mountain to pay for just a day’s worth of care.