Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius
Word that captures the day:
Spencer: "Kenny West" (father)
Alex: "Tony Meers" (father)
David: "Ella/Arlo Johnson" (daughter/son)
The day was spent resting and acclimating to the altitude and our surroundings, which is essentially some of the most superb alpine views imaginable. And so, without a grueling climb to endure, and as Father's Day is nearly upon us, it's the perfect time and the ideal setting to think about my dad, Kenny.
He's following our climb and marveling at all the sights we've managed to share.
In addition to helping shape the person I've become, he's also innately shared his wisdom and humour, as only a dad can. (His favorite joke: "I can't wait for tomorrow." "Why?" "Because I get better looking every day!")
And his latest advice has been a real shot in the arm. Almost literally. Before I left for the climb he gave me these special elbow pads to help ward off a lingering case of tennis elbow that we both knew would bug me. And I'm happy to report they've really worked!
My dad, nature-lover, funnyman (and now physiotherapy-equipment consultant), is such an honest and forthright person, I thought it fitting to send a simple, straightforward but vitally important message down to him from this mountain:
Dad, I love you.
David, Spencer's best friend and fellow climber, also wants to share a few words about Father's Day, from a different perspective:
Just like Alex and Spencer, I'm thinking about my dear ol' Dad, too. But this Father's Day, I'm also reflecting on my relationship with my own young kids, Ella and Arlo, which seems to grow deeper by the day.
I know I'll look back on this climb with a great deal of pride. It's an accomplishment that I'll be able to share with my kids someday. I recently had the honour of being featured in Free The Children's Father's Day campaign, Because Dad Taught You (see if you can spot my photo in the campaign!). And that line, 'because dad taught you,' has really made me consider what this 20,000-step trip, this journey to Redefine Possible, is teaching my children. More than anything, I hope they learn that they, too, can achieve the impossible.
But right now I'm thinking about the lessons they have been teaching me. Every single day.
As Director and Talent Producer at Free The Children, I've been so fortunate to have such an amazing job, getting to know the real people behind the glare of the celebrity spotlight. Doing my part to help make the world a better place with my friends and colleagues at Free The Children and Me to We. There are countless opportunities to share my expertise and creativity - all of them incredibly stimulating, professionally and personally.
But even they pale in comparison to my role as Dad. It's by far the most creative aspect of my life; the most rewarding; and, of course, the closest to my heart. The more my kids learn, the more they express themselves - it's mind-blowing. They've made me appreciate living in the moment, and that the little joys, little break-throughs and, of course, the little hugs are the richest rewards of all.
Time and distance make the heart grow fond. And as I'm currently above the clouds on the remote slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, more than a week since I felt their hugs and heard their voices, I haven't loved my Ella and Arlo as much as I do right now.