The day after our camp out on the indoor slope, we had to attend the Pink Polo match to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. That day also happened to be my eldest daughter Rochelle’s 14th birthday, and so with that she attended the polo match with me. It was a real treat for her as she loves horses and was in her element. We were on the guest of honors list and had a birds eye view of everything from the 1st floor pavilion.
With another exhausting weekend behind us, it was back to focusing on training and getting my stamina back. The last few months of training had proved difficult and I was still fighting stiff and painful joints from the hormone therapy I was on. In the last few weeks running up to the expedition I decided that it was time to start running slowly. I only had a month left to get as fit as possible and there was no time to waste. Whether I was ready for it or not wasn’t the issue, I didn’t have a choice. Upon beginning to run slowly, my legs felt like lead and my knees hurt. My girls were amazing though. They would stand next to the treadmill especially when I was attempting the running. They would say, ‘Come on mom, you’ve come so far…you can do it’!
Jaco was supporting me too, but I don’t think he wanted to encourage me too much at that point. I think there was a part of him that was hoping and praying that I would decide that I wasn’t ready for the trip and cancel. Not to be vindictive I know, but he was very concerned for my wellbeing and was questioning whether I would be ready.
Running slowly, I felt like at any moment I was going to grow wings and fly. It felt so good to be able to run again and I really didn’t think it was going to happen so soon, if at all. I was an avid runner in high school and the best at what I did in my age group, and what I loved to do which was Athletics and Cross Country. The girls grew concerned as tears started to stream down my face. I was also crying because I was so touched by my three angels who were encouraging me every step of the way and being my biggest supporters. For this running however I would pay a price. Waking up the next morning, I could barely get out of bed let alone walk around and down the stairs. My muscles had locked up and were flooded with lactic acid. I had stretched after my run the day before, but I realized that it was just too much too soon. I would have to accept that and make do with very fast walking on an incline…and hope and pray at the same time that it would be enough. After some training sessions on the indoor slope, a few of the women had opted out of the mountaineering, but I desperately wanted to do it. I hadn’t worked so hard and I wasn’t going to travel thousands of miles over land and sea and not climb that mountain. I was going to get to the summit one way or the other…I had to. For now though, all I had to do was just stay focused and avoid injuring myself.