Published in the Daily Monitor: monitor.co.ug
One of the mistakes thin people make is thinking that an excess supply of bones is the same as being fit.
I once signed up to go hill climbing with a domestic tour group called Moutain Slayers Uganda in Fort Portal (find them on Facebook). Because the word was ‘hill’ and not ‘mountain’ I though the business would be short, crisp and refreshing.
Excited, I entered the bus and joined my fellow travelers in drinking merrily the whole journey. I did not know that these people had climbed actual mountains, with snow on top, and had done some preparation in advance for this thing.
The next day, slightly hungover, I embarked on our journey.
“Oooh, what a pretty hill”, I crowed as I looked up at the beautiful grassy mound. “This is going to be just like the ending scene in The Sound of Music!”
After a few minutes I begun to suspect I had made a grave mistake. Like, this mistake was going to lead me to my grave. I was not accustomed to climbing uphill for more than two minutes at a time and the first few hundred meters begun to tell my legs that this was now real life.
Soon I begun to whimper loudly. The whimpering evolved to noiseless sobbing. One climber passed me briskly and advised, “Climb in a zig zag fashion to take the strain off your legs”.
That eased only a fraction of my pain. I now threw dignity to the wind and begun to beg for help.
“I think I’m dying. I need an ambulance”.
“No, Lindsey”, said our tour guide. “We’re in the wilderness here. Finish climbing!”.
He moved on and left my sorry self. I still had a few ounces of dignity left that I told to go to hell. I went down on my hands and knees and begun to drag myself up the hill.
“Oh, please!”, I sobbed aloud. “I need an ambulance. Oh please oh please oh please!”
By now everyone had reached the top and I was alone. In what is one of the longest journeys in my life, I gasped and wheezed and crawled my way to the top to join the rest of the crew who waited for me with equal measures of patience and irritation. It took me a few minutes to collect myself before I gasped out.
“I did it! Woohooo! It’s over!
“Lindsey?” said the guide. “Look ahead of you”.
There stood another beautiful hill.