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Goal Driven

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the past week.  I just finished a “Whole 30″

and it got me thinking about what makes me tick.  I enjoy setting a goal and working towards that goal on a daily basis.  Whether it is preparation for Kilimanjaro or 30 days of totally clean eating, it has a start, a core of action, and a culmination of some sort at the end.

In 30 days, I lost about 2% body fat and 8 pounds!  I guess my next goal is to be physically ready for a fairly rigorous backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in April.  I am also in the process of rowing my first 1,000,000 meters on an indoor rowing machine.   I started on December 8, 2013 and as of February 13, 2014 I am at 385,750 meters.  I also have some other goals in terms of weight loss which I am still working on.

I have a real sense of satisfaction that is fueled by making a decision to accomplish something, figuring out the steps I need to take to accomplish it, then implementing those steps over a given time period, which culminates in achieving my objective.

One of my major goals for 2015 is to go on a Trekking trip to Mount Everest Base Camp!  I have already started working on that one.


What did I do before Kilimanjaro?

I was thinking today about why Kilimanjaro was a logical destination for me in my bucket list.  I guess I have always been somewhat of an adventurer.  When I was a kid, I used to wander the woods near my house and search for reptiles.  Then I started hiking in the Blue Hills.   I started going on bicycle rides that got longer and longer until I was doing over 100 miles at a shot.  In 1984 I embarked on and completed a coast to coast bicycle trip which was a truly fantastic trip.  I have hiked and backpacked in the Grand Canyon and I actually have a trip planned there for this spring.  I have run 3 marathons and numerous 1/2 marathons and other distances.  I also have done a handful of sprint triathlons.

So, what is it about fitness and travel?   In this high speed age where many people want instant gratification it is so nice to slow down.  Whether you are driving in a car, flying in an airplane, on a train, etc.   you miss so much.  I learned as a child, that riding a bicycle you see and experience so much more of your surroundings.  That is why I enjoy these sports.  When I was on Kilimanjaro, I had 8 full days to interact with the local porters, guides, and all the support staff for our trek.  It gave me a great opportunity to learn about their culture and get to know what life is like in Tanzania and how different it is in a 3rd world country from the USA!  It was a real eye opener.  To be able to take the time while trekking up the mountain and get to know these wonderful people was a very large part of the enjoyment on this trip.  So, I guess Kilimanjaro turned out to be a logical destination for me.   I had set a goal to visit all 50 states by the time I turned 50 and figured once I have done that it would be time to start traveling the globe.


I will get back to the Kilimanjaro trip in subsequent blogs, but I was thinking today about when my quest for adventure started.  I think I was probably born with it!



Whats it take to get to the top of Kilimanjaro and why would you want to do that anyway?

Since it is coming up on a year since I did this awesome Kilimanjaro trip, I am going to use some of my blogs to reflect on the trip and serve as a resource for people interested in knowing more about this trip.  I will get into many aspects of the why and the how of the trip.  Also, I want to share my experience for those who are considering doing a trip like this and also for the “armchair” travelers who enjoy looking at the pictures and experiencing the travel without the hassle of planes, trains, buses, etc.

So lets start at the beginning.  I don’t remember how Kilimanjaro even got on my bucket list, but I did put it there.  It could have been 5 or more years ago, but that is how I do things.  I put it down on paper and let it percolate for a while.  I think it must have been a few years ago that I started getting travel brochures from Tusker and Thomson Safaris.  Now I was looking at the real thing.  The next step was to set a meeting and go in and speak with a representative of Thompson Safaris in Watertown, MA.  I think I did this in 2011 with the intention of doing the trip in 2012 or 2013.

With images in mind and some idea of what the cost of this endeavor, I introduced the idea to a couple of long time friends, but neither of them was able to make the commitment.  So, in August of 2012, I put down an $800 deposit and booked the trip.  Now it started to become real!

I still needed to raise a large portion of the money to do this trip.  I had opened up an ebay store and frequented many of the local estate sales, garage sales, etc.  I have been involved in ebay since 1999.  Expanding my ebay business is what provided the funds for this trip and I anticipate it will work for future trips which I already have on the drawing board.  I worked very hard to fund this trip and as a result it was more meaningful and satisfying because the reward was something I toiled for many months to “Make it Happen”

Being a goal driven person, I take a lot of pride in setting out on a long term goal, then working over an extended period of time to see my dream come true.  This was an incredible trip with many aspects that made it wonderful, magical, and overall just fantastic!

I wanted to insure that I took care of all the variables that I could control.  So, I lost weight, ate healthy, bicycled. hiked up to 12 miles with a backpack, got to where I could run 6 miles continuously, and did Crossfit!  Crossfit is an incredible workout that builds your core and endurance unlike anything else I have ever done!  I also got all the recommended shots, had dental work done that I needed, was fastidious about hand washing and sanitizing before the trip and during!  So, I really made an effort to do everything I could to insure a successful trip to the summit.

I knew that I did not have any control over weather and how my body responded to altitude.  I will discuss that in another blog.

DSC_0211 DSC_0200 DSC_0185 DSC_0182 DSC_0126 DSC_0066




You never know where you are going to meet a great friend!  Check out the video of us reaching the summit:  SUMMIT

We started out with a group of 3 people climbing the mountain, with about 22 porters, guides, cooks, etc. Bob and I were the 2 who made it to the summit. We each set out to do this on our own, but ended up helping each other up the mountain and became great friends.

We are going to do a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon this spring.


Kilimanjaro Summit March 2, 2013

Kilimanjaro Summit March 2, 2013

It is rapidly approaching 1 year since my Kilimanjaro trip. I still have many photos to go through, but wanted to start posting some and reflect on the trip.

Hello world!

I started this blog almost 2 years ago and I have not done anything with it.  I didn’t even know it existed like everyone else.  I decided that I would start using this blog to showcase my thoughts and my photography.

I am working on some major transitions in my life and I am planning on using this blog as a portal of expression.

Without further adieu, lets get this thing rolling!!!

I was in Massachusetts last week checking on my 96 year old mom and taking care of some other business.  I was there in the midst of the “polar vortex”   I did not get out too much to take pictures as I had planned, but with a smart phone, there are always opportunities.  It never ceases to amaze me that subject matter is everywhere and this is just one example of a life experience that produced some unexpected and undesired subject matter.

But to create a new cliche, when life gives you a burst pipe, go abstract with it:

frozen pipe

I woke up one morning and noticed that there was no heat in the front room.  I took some pictures of the pipe that froze and burst, along with the chunk of ice that caused the pipe to break open.  I thought it was a bit of an interesting shot.  I was planning on skiing that day, but ended up spending time with plumbers instead!


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