JANA CANNON
JANA CANNON

What Doesn't "Kili" You Makes You Stronger!
Friday, January 22
So, I was scheduled to write this blog yesterday, but I am a day late. Why? Because yesterday Kilimanjaro was killing me. Let me fill you in: The day started out as usual. The sweet porters tap on your tent at 6:30 a.m. and bring you coffee or tea (so nice). We all rallied and hit the road for our long day up to Lava Tower at 15,200 feet, then down to sleep at Baranco Camp at 13,000 (an acclimatization day). Despite the fact that my boots hadn't yet dried from the previous day's downpour, I felt great, and while not easy, it was an absolutely GORGEOUS climb to lunch. While eating yummy soup and potatoes at 14,574 feet, I mentioned to my sister how thrilled I was that I was feeling so great. I had tried diamox (an altitude drug) at home prior to this trip, but because it made me feel dizzy, I opted to not take it. I was pumped! I thought my body was going to be just fine! Nope. I was SO wrong. As we ascended up to Lava Tower, each step brought on a headache stronger than the previous minute. I felt miserable. My head was throbbing. I felt sick. I was cold. I was experiencing a feeling I had never felt before. I was FAR from my next camp. I had to maneuver steep inclines and knew that what goes up, must come down. ME. I followed close to our awesome guide Frederick, and managed to finish the nine-hour day one step at a time. While checking my vitals at camp, my oxygen saturation had dropped, and my heart rate was high. Wilfred suggested I start diamox. (I started today and feel much better). It was a hard night, and I wasn't very nice to my sister. I am so sorry, my mapacha (Swahili for twin)! If only we had my high altitude temper-tantrum on video ;) I learned a lot on our trek to Lava Tower. I learned that this mountain will test my will. I learned that this trek demands determination. I learned that what doesn't kill you, makes you indeed stronger! I am so honored to be a part of this team! Can't wait to summit!
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