Athlete and founder of PopUpGym Letshego Zulu chats to us about her triumphant return to Mount Kilimanjaro a year after losing her husband, Gugu Zulu.
Image courtesy: Letshego Zulu IG
1. I made the decision to return to Mount Kilimanjaro when the doctor attending to my late husband declared his condition an emergency, and that they needed to go down. I always complete everything that I start.
2. I didn’t have a specific Kilimanjaro training programme. I kept up with my usual training routine. I am physically active six out of seven days per week. I swim, cycle, run and do strength training at the gym. Three weeks before going to Tanzania last year, I had just completed an Ironman 70.3 – a multi-sport race and triathlon in the Eastern Cape. So, I was at a high fitness level. But, my training this year was less strenuous.
3. I left South Africa with the intention of going back to the mountain in a jovial mood. I wanted to create more happy memories because Kilimanjaro is an exceptionally beautiful place. I am also lucky to have climbed with my crew. Some of them worked hard to keep me smiling and laughing; that was the mood throughout the journey. Reaching the top of the mountain was an emotional experience.
4. Taking a picture at the top, with a banner that had Gugu’s face on it, was an emotional moment. I realised then that I had kept my promise, and came back to summit the mountain for him.
5. I plan to approach more corporate companies to host PopUpGym sessions. I also want to grow the public sessions and reach other provinces, and hopefully expand into Southern Africa.