Applying Continuous Improvement to Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
How can we apply Continuous Improvement to climbing Kilimanjaro? I’m about to embark on a real life experiment to find out how and hope you’ll follow along as I train for this climb of Africa’s highest peak. I welcome your comments and advice along the way.
Over the next year, I will be writing about my experience preparing for and climbing Kilimanjaro in 2015. I hope you will join me on this journey and share your comments and advice along the way.
Why Kili? It's been on my bucket list for many years, but it it’s never been high on the list. It rocketed to the top because I desperately need a new fitness goal.
After seven years of marathon running, in 2007 I finally reached my goal: running the Boston Marathon!! The only problem…once I achieved this pinnacle, I totally lost interest in marathon running. I’m still running, but I no longer push myself. I need a new goal.
I used to love hiking, but it took a backseat during my marathon running days. It would be fun to start hiking again. But I still needed a goal, one that is challenging enough to inspire a new fitness regime: At 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro provides the perfect challenge!
Gaining Support for Project Kilimanjaro
Like any good CI project, my first step was to gain the support of my team, in this case, my husband Tom. I wasn't sure how he was going to react to this new goal. Like me, Tom ran the Boston Marathon and has struggled to find his fitness motivation ever since. I knew I needed to find the right time to broach the subject.
One night, over dinner with our closest friends, a couple who we've travelled with extensively, I raised the topic (after a glass or two of wine, of course). I stated my goal and the benefits to climbing Kilimanjaro (bragging rights, better fitness, etc.), and to my surprise, all three of them immediately agreed to join me! I have a full mountain expedition party…at least for now.
The next Stage of Project Kilimanjaro is the first stage of the CI process: Stage 1: Observe; stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you’ve ever climbed Kilimanjaro or undertaken some similar challenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts!