Maddie's Story - All in for Kili
August 15, 2019
While living in England, my Dad and I daydreamed about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together. We bought books, we researched different routes and ways to ensure our bodies could withstand the altitude change, and then life took over. Our dream started to fade away. Maybe this adventure wasn’t meant for us, or maybe it just wasn’t the right time in our lives.
A couple of weeks ago, my dad brought this idea back to the forefront, and I was ecstatic. Dad and I have been focusing on our health, mentally and physically, and we are in such better shape than when we first set our minds to climbing Mt. Kili. Over the last six months, I have enjoyed running, thanks to the help and wisdom of my dad. I have always looked up to his sheer determination to do anything he sets his mind to, be it biking, running, writing, or hiking. I love getting to connect with him through our shared passions. We find ways to strengthen our father-daughter connection through pushing each other and reminding each other to enjoy the journey, as well as the destination.
Lately, we have looked more seriously into climbing Mt. Kili. What time of year is the best? How should we prepare our bodies and our minds? What is our main goal of this adventure, and what we would do if one of us couldn’t reach the top? Would we both stop our climb and travel back down the trail? Would one of us go ahead while the other headed towards a lower camping ground? We could get bogged down in all of these tedious questions. While keeping these “what if’s” in mind, we are excited to let our minds wander and do what us Friedmans do best – plan!
We settled on a two week period in August 2020 to make our journey as we’ve heard that the weather isn’t too hot in August and it would probably be the easiest time out of the year for both of us to drop everything and hike! As for training – yeah, we could run around and hike every hill in Houston or Brooklyn, we could slave over the stair climber or throw ourselves into some intensive cardio regimen, but we read that if our bodies are in as good condition as possible, and we trek slowly to best acclimatize, we should have our best chance.
I am mostly looking forward to creating a once in a lifetime memory with my dad. Just like with running, we have always pushed each other to pursue our passions, to embrace our introvertedness, to curate the most beautifully conditional-formatted spreadsheets, and now we are taking the first steps towards our biggest challenge yet. We know the journey is not going to be easy, and some of the days will feel long, but I am so excited to take this journey with my dad. To learn more about him, and about myself, and hopefully get a chance to stand at the top of Africa.
Daddy - Daughter Days
July 18, 2019
Though Kilimanjaro came into my sights 11 years ago when living in London, I’ve yet to book the trip. However, I did a lot of research at the time on travels, routes, training, and the KILI experience. But all for naught…until now!
This past week our family got together in NYC to visit our daughter, Madolyn, who works off-Broadway. During the visit Madolyn and I talked about some details for our Kilimanjaro climb. We have pinpointed August 2020! My discussion with Madolyn reignited my excitement in this great adventure. But what was more exhilarating was Madolyn’s level of energy around tackling the mountain together. As a dad, I can’t ask for anything more than for my kids to want to spend time with their rickety, and corny old dad.
This will likely be a two week journey centered around about 8 days on Kilimanjaro itself. The majesty of the hike is that it travels from tropical conditions near the base through arid, desert-like conditions, and ultimately alongside glacier-capped peaks near its top at 19,341 feet above sea level, the highest point in Africa. This was always sure to be an amazing journey…a time to challenge my own physical stamina and mental toughness, but also to be inspired to think and write during the journey. Making the trek with Madolyn will make it all the more thrilling. We are determined to book flights and outfitters later this year and to start training for the 5-6hr per day hikes about the same time. We’ll be sure to share more of our plans each month.
Have any of you tackled Kilimanjaro? Is it on your bucket list?
July 11, 2019
In 2007 while living in London, a couple of documentaries on the majestic landscapes and exhilarating high of reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro caught my eye. However, our busy ex-pat schedule and our early return to Texas in 2008 put this adventure on hold.
Now, this mountain represents how far I've come in my own personal journal since 2007. The chance to share this journey with one of my daughters makes it all the more special.
I'll be sharing our plans, training, and trekking stories as we aim to climb to the highest point in Africa in 2020. It's sure to be an exciting, introspective adventure!