If I’m honest I’m completely terrified of climbing Kilimanjaro. Mainly I am terrified for the people I love – the people who are supporting me in doing this crazy impulsive thing and a guilt that if I get hurt it’ll hurt them.
The fear ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s rational, sometimes not. I worry about AMS – acute mountain sickness, which can result in death if untreated. I worry about my asthma, that it might mask acute pulmonary oedema. I worry that in my desire to reach the summit I push too hard and ignore the warning signs.
Sometimes I put it in perspective, there are experienced guides to keep us safe, ultimately my body’s reaction to altitude is out of my hands. But I still have the fear.
And perhaps fear can be good too. Fear of missing out on an amazing adventure made me decide to take this on. Fear of failing to reach the summit has kept me motivated in my training. Fear of not being prepared has meant I’ve given a lot of thought to my equipment and what I need.
So in some ways the fear is good. It keeps me safe (after all isn’t that what fear is about) and prepared. And even though I’m terrified I’m still going to try to do this crazy scary thing.