Get off my cloud

There are now less than 4 days to go before I’m heading off to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro so I thought I’d better do a blog post considering I haven’t done one since June. How rubbish of me?!

GOSH-letterWell, first and foremost, I have hit my fundraising target. Thank you to everyone who’s donated so far, it’s been overwhelming to reach my target so soon. You’re all fabulous. I’m now 105% over my target so I’m very touched by how generous you all are. The money is going to make an enormous difference to the children at Great Ormond Street. I had a card yesterday from GOSH thanking me for all the money I’ve raised. It’s a bit strange because although I know I’m doing this for a good cause it’s something I’ve always wanted to do so it’s almost like I’m not doing it for the charity, I’m doing it for me – I feel a bit selfish. Strange, but I’ve still raised money for a great cause.

As I’m so close to going, my kit is all sorted. I’ve got everything from my woolly hat and thermal leggings to my malaria tablets and a she-wee… Yes, I’ve got a she-wee. For emergencies. I’m very nervous and excited at the same time. I know I’ve done a lot of training and I’m prepared but I still keep having those ‘What if?’ moments – What if my clothes don’t fit? What if my shoes rub me? What if I don’t drink enough? What if a dingo creeps into my tent and steals my baby? Ok, so that last one’s a bit silly but then they all are. I can’t prepare for everything so I’m just going to have to roll with the punches. I’ll be fine!

I’ve been training in the Altitude POD for the last 2 weeks where I’ve been doing intermittent hypoxic exposure – 5 minutes on a mask at low oxygen levels and 5 minutes off – which should pre-acclimatise me a bit. Last week I was on 4,000m while this week I’ve been on 5,000m and the results are pretty good. I’m still not seeing many side-effects so hopefully that’s a good sign of what I’ll be like up Kilimanjaro.

Anyway, I want to keep this fairly short and I’ll try and do a quickie before I go on Saturday. I’ll end by asking if anyone wants to write me a nice e-mail so I can print it off and read up the mountain (like one of those Big Brother/I’m a Celebrity letters from home moments) then please drop me a line at jo@weighapie.co.uk. I’ll print them off and take them with me. If you think it’ll come in handy at a specific time then please put that in the subject line, e.g. read this on the plane, read this when you feel like you want to give up, read this the night before you summit, etc. I promise I won’t read it until I’m there. I’m sure it’ll give me a wonderful boost and make me cry. You could even make me a playlist to listen to if you really want to. No M People though please. Not even if it’s the one that says “What have you done today to make you feel proud?” It’s not big, it’s not clever. Don’t.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the following people for helping me along the way… Mam & Dad – you’ve been amazing for your support (financial, emotional, etc.) and obviously I couldn’t have done this without you. Lindsey – for putting up with me talking about this for the last 7 months or so! My work – thanks for letting me have the time off and for bleeding you all dry since March. And to everyone else who’s donated:

Alan Rawlinson, Alex Hamilton, Band of Brothers people, Bryan Samblin, Carolyn, Cathryn Bannister, Ciaran McMullan, Dave Roberts, Duncan Painter, Ed Baker, Elodie Katan, Emma Griffiths, F1 people, George Calil, Georgia Gaydon, Graham Ventham, Karla Toledo, Kathryn Bell, Kelly Tackett, Kevin May, Laura Shaw, Lisa Mottram, Liz Hopkins, Louise Howarth, Matthew Foster, Miloš Ryba, Natalie Berg, Nick Sellers, Paola Montealegre, Paul Turp, Phil Edwards, Planet Retail, Rachel Clarke, Redan, Richard Rudin, Shellie Butler, Sofia Kalin, The Altitude Centre, Tiger Rick, Val Jones, Yankee Cankles and anyone else I’ve forgotten.

If you still want to donate then please do so at www.justgiving.com/engyles