So the important thing for me to do right at the start of this post is to include my justgiving link: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucyclimbskili2016
My thinking is that I have over 10,000 followers, if you all gave just £1 then I would be able to raise over £10k for the Hospital. Geeez I mean if you like me and you're feeling really generous make it £2. You can make your donation anonymously so no-one needs to know it was you and you don't have to feel guilty for not giving more, never feel guilty for that.
Right, let's get to it. In just over a week I'm going to be flying out to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I'm nervous and excited and I can't wait to get there now so I thought I'd share with you the reason why I'm going in the hope that one day you'll go too.
Lots of the people I follow on social media have incredible lives. Lives full of climbing and cycling, skiing and exploring, full of adventures and challenges. Challenges which don't involve them being sat at a desk for 10-12 hours a day. For so many years I used to think that I could never do anything like them, that they had a different life to me. I had chosen the corporate city lifestyle and that didn't accommodate taking time out to go and explore mountain ranges. I'd scroll through pictures on Instagram on my way to work, between meetings, on my commute home. The feeling that I was sort of stuck was getting bigger and bigger but I could hardly just quit my job. How would I pay my bills, my mortgage? If I sold my flat and went to explore the world, where would I live when I wanted to come home? Plus, I have worked for years to train as a lawyer, a job I love and I couldn't just throw it all away. I had managed to get myself a job which on paper ticked all of the boxes, but I wasn't happy. Something was still missing.
Then I heard Sophie Radcliffe aka Challenge Sophie speak at an event and she said something that made so much sense.
"A ship in the harbour is safe, but that's not what ships were built for. Go sailing"
That was me, that was my life. A safe job in a law firm in London, walking my dog on a weekend round the streets of the City. That wasn't all I was made for, I had so much more in me than that. A few days later when I was sat at my desk working late again, I thought to myself "Is this it? For the next 30/40 years am I going to sit here and do the same thing?" I decided then that I didn't want to. I didn’t want the life I was leading to be my story, it was such a boring story. I was tired of being the person who would always enthusiastically say "I'd love to do that" and then never do anything about it. I was tired of driving to visit my friends and family in the countryside and thinking "When I'm older I'm going to live in the countryside" Who am I kidding? I'm nearly 30, I am older. This is it.
I quickly did some research on companies, on routes (I picked the Machame Route as it had the biggest range of scenery, passing through rainforest first before ascending) and booked my trip. Booking the challenge was one of the best things I ever did. It gave me a focus, something exciting to work towards, and it meant I was committed. It gave me accountability and a target date. I realised that a lot of the time in the past I was so guilty of having the best intentions about doing things but something would get in the way, usually work, and although I never gave up on my dreams I wasn't achieving them either. Sitting in the office all day every day is not living. Do not give away the best years of your life to make someone else money. Whatever your dreams, go out there and start making them happen. The true reality is that if you don't life will pass you by and although when you're older you'll have the time and the money to do the things you don't do now, you won't be fit enough to do them forever. There is world out there to explore and you can go out and see it. You don't have to spend a lot of money or take up loads of time. Look at a map, pick a spot, throw a few things in a bag and go and visit. I've had some incredible days/mornings/ afternoons training for my trip. Some of the time I've even gone out exploring on long hikes just me and my dog and those few hours in a completely new place have been incredible.
Perhaps you're like me and get 5 weeks annual leave a year. I'm now planning to do 3 adventures a year., but what about for now you decide to do 1. Mine won't all be as huge as Kilimanjaro but Kilimanjaro will be a great start. I started my Instagram account to motivate myself and see if it's possible to live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy food with a demanding job and busy family life. I have proved that it is possible. I'm now going to see if it’s possible to explore the world and live life to the full - and not just on the weekends.
If you found out you were dying, would you be nicer, love more, explore more, try something new? Well you are. We all are.