Kili Karuna #14

Greetings from a Gorgeous Sunday Afternoon,

We’ve been treated to a most delightful weekend of weather this weekend. The warm sunshine is breathing energy and light into my winter weary cells. The Newfoundland WOKies (Women of Kilimanjaro) had a fabulous snowshoe hike to the Spout yesterday. The overland route to the Spout, which is only passable in winter, usually takes three to four hours to reach. With ideal conditions, we made it in only two hours of travel.

The Spout is a unique coastal feature in which wave action causes sea mist to “spout” up through a blowhole in the rock face. In winter, this mist precipitates into an ice funnel that closely resembles cave formations called draperies. The inner cavern of the ice tunnel is filled with thousands of icicles. As we enjoyed lunch and the coastal view before heading back, a shout went up through the crowd. “Whales!” It was almost unbelievable, two Minke whales spouted as they swam south. It’s a few months early for seeing whales so I felt doubled blessed by their visit.

The hike was a magical ending to a big week of training. I started the week with 180 walking lunges on Monday. I paid dearly on Tuesday and Wednesday as my body processed the fatigue and lactic acid that such exertion produced. I chased Diane, a member of the Kili team, up Signal Hill a few times this week. She is the fastest walker I know and I was huffing dramatically trying to keep up with her with my thirty-pound pack on my back. As next week is a big travel week, I did a long run of 18 km this morning and will make things a bit easier by declaring the upcoming week a rest week.

Several times during the week, I thought of the advice a former yoga teacher used to give. “Work with the body you have today,” she would remind us often. “Not the body you had yesterday, not the body you had last month.” I frequently look back and think, “I used to be able to lift that” or “Before such and such climb, I could…”. Using Joyce’s advice I relaxed and reminded myself to “Train the body I have today.” That meant that on Wednesday when my legs seemed to have nothing left to give, I delayed a training session to Thursday. That move was an extension of my goal to train for Kilimanjaro with gentleness and compassion.

Of course, the major excitement of the week was the arrival of my book. Monday, after receiving a funny call from Donna at Creative Publishing, I drove over to see the book “in the flesh.” It was so awesome to see the shiny cover with my name on it…I have had chapters in books published but never a whole book as sole author. The center section of pictures printed so well and the book is beautiful. I felt as though I’d given birth. Like a new mother, I was instantly filled with love and anxiety and fear. What would it be like when “my baby” would go out into the world?

I didn’t have long to contemplate as the books landed in the Coles bookstore that very afternoon and throughout the city as the week went on. Many folks have been buying books directly from me so folks have started reading the thing and some have been kind to write and reassure me that they are enjoying the read thus far. One student wrote and said, “I’m having trouble reading your book.”

“Oh no!” I thought. She explained that she as so eager to see what happened next that she was reading the next pages from the bottom up and that made for a challenging read. “Phew,” I sighed and hoped I would relax as the week went on. And indeed I have…like parenting a toddler, I’ve got all the outlets plugged, the safety gate up, and I’m hoping the baby will crawl far and wide.

Anyone who is in St. John’s is most welcome to the official launch on April 17 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Johnson GEO centre. The book is available for purchase from me, the publisher (Creative Publishing), on-line bookstores, and regular bookstores.

Thanks to all who voted in the Mountain Hardware Ad competition. Today is the last day for voting so here’s the URL in case you missed it:
My ad is called “Mountains are my Teachers.”

I hope you had a good week. Catch you in seven!


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