I started to get nervous -- really nervous -- about the challenge ahead of me. Five and a half days up, one and a half days down Mount Kilimanjaro. While there is a greater cause at hand -- Global Alliance for Africa's AIDS orphans programs -- it is still going to be crazy hard.
Then I started to think about how every moment of this year -- all the other 11 Save the World Diet challenges have prepared me for this moment.
-- January: The Midnight Run For UNICEF, which was held on a night with 40-mile-an-hour wind gusts prepared me to brave the elements.
-- February: The Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics Vermont taught me to be a little crazy, and how to survive when cold and wet.
-- March: Walk MS taught me courage as I participated in honor of my friend Marilyn's brave journey back after a massive MS episode.
-- April: The Revolution Run for the National Parks Foundation allowed me to appreciate and honor nature at Valley Forge, Pa.
-- May: The Flying Pig Marathon, which benefited dozens of charity, taught me to put one foot in front of the other no matter what.
-- June: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Shenandoah hike, which I hiked in honor of a friend who had Hodgkin's Lymphoma, taught me humility as I took a tumble off the trail, and had to pull myself back up to hike with the group.
-- July: The Mount Trashmore YMCA 5K, taught me that I have a terrific family behind me. My daughter participated in her first Tot Trot.
-- August: The 5K Beach Challenge Austism Speaks taught me that sometimes it is good to get out and relax.
-- September: The American Heart Association's Start Heart Walk reminded me it is never too late to get going in the direction of good health.
-- October: The Tour De Pink showed me the strength of survival as I rode alongside young breast cancer survivors.
-- November: The Goodwill Rescue Mission 5K taught me to share with my neighbors.
And so now, on Dec. 13, I am indeed ready for the challenge ahead of me. It has been a year in the making.
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