Saturday, 06 August 2011

The Roof of Africa

So my brother is tackling Mt Kilimanjaro at the end of September.  Sorry, what? Repeat. Wow, I am overwhelmed with inspiration.  This is a callous and serious endeavour that requires smoking mental ability and a rock like level of physical fitness and stamina. I say - Damn boy, you go for it - you own that mountain!

Whats ironic about Africa's highest mountain is that it is known to the local Chagga people as "little hill of white".  This little hill is 5 895m above sea level, this is no Sunday stroll on the beach front. Enthusiastic climbers need to undergo medical tests just to be given the go ahead.

Personally my biggest fear are the resident man-eating spirits, this may be just local folklore, but hell something must have sparked this thought!  Its all rather confusing as the locals see the mountain as 'the giver of life'.  Now is it giving or is it taking??  I suppose you going to have to climb it to find out.

This majestic piece of Africa is crowned by an eternal snow cap which indicates that when preparing for this challenge you need to flirt with the elements.  Its the type of fitness and not the degree of fitness that needs to be taken into consideration.  So when heading for the pinnacle of Kibo, I would advise your training to be simulated, get out and get running on those cold and rainy days, prepare your body for extreme conditions.  Be fare to your body, surprising it with sudden freezing conditions that it has never exerted itself in is only going to leave you balls to the walls.

Running is going to help you prepare your lungs and improve your VO2 but does not prepare your muscles for this strenuous hike.  Develop your muscles for endurance, do some progressive resistance training.  At the end of the day the fitter you are the more enjoyable the hike will be.  How can I continue without mentioning a kettlebell? Overhead kettlebell exercises force the muscles most responsible for breathing to play an even larger role in cardio-vascular fitness.

He is determined, he is focused and he will demolish this mountain!

Best of luck to you big brother - salute!

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