In the summer of 2002, my family and I were visiting relatives in Vancouver. Amongst the site-seeing and the casual touristing, we chanced upon a film titled Kilimanjaro: The Roof of Africa. Enamoured with the thought of climbing a mountain, my sister and I re-enacted the film on a mountain of our own: one made of pillow glaciers and sheets of linen ice. Once satisfied that we had conquered our pillow mountain, we made a pact to climb the real thing some day.
Thirteen years later, I stand on the brink of attempting to live up to the lofty words I spoke as a child. In less than two months, I will be part of the first group of students to be sent from my university to climb the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
My joy at being selected is matched only by the extraordinarily humbling sensation brought on by the thought of scaling 19,841 feet in a matter of days. I’m not sure why I’m writing about this, but for now this is all that my mind revolves around. With every passing day, I must work on honing both my mind and body into the tempered steel required for the arduous task ahead of me. I suppose I should feel afraid, after all it is no meager feat we are hoping to accomplish, yet I feel nothing, like the Kilimanjaro I will climb in February is little more than a misty mountain far, far away representative of the life I wish I could be leading.
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