Couple conquers Mount Kilimanjaro

MIDRAND – Halfway House residents, George and Mapule Nyabadza, underwent a rigorous training process in order to fulfill their dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

They ascended the mountain in five days and covered a distance of 70 km. Mapule said, “Almost everyone we spoke to before we went up Kili, including our agent, never mentioned just how tough it is, but we were as prepared as we could be.”

They trained for seven months before attempting to climb the mountain, and they constructed the training programme themselves, making allowances for all the hardships they would endure in their expedition. Their programme included walking, hiking and other cardiovascular training. Mapule said, “Just think of walking 100 km over seven days. Even on flat terrain you need to be fit to do that well.”

As part of their training regime, the Nyabadzas did regular swimming training with Debbie Dolphins Club in Midrand.

The Nyabadzas opted for the swimming training because they knew it would help with acclimatisation. Mapule explained, “As we climbed higher and higher we kept reminding each other to do the ‘swimming breath’: breathing deeply into the lungs via the back of the throat.

As hard as the swimming training was, especially during the last month – as the coaches pushed us harder and harder – it built within us a strong cardiovascular ability to break through the acclimatisation barrier.

“The conspiracy by the swimming training team to kill us in the pool paid off! The best thing we ever did for assisting with acclimatisation was to embark on regular swimming training.”

Although the climb was difficult, Mapule admitted that climbing Kilimanjaro was an amazing and life-changing experience, especially because the couple is very adventurous and loves the outdoors.

Mapule added, “Kili changes you deeply and personally in every aspect: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.”


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