In 2018, I ventured into climbing the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus.
This was after completing 10 Comrades Marathons, Kilimanjaro and 6 World International Major Marathons! Notwithstanding the previous achievements, Mount Elbrus was touted as one of the hardest and technical mountains.
The summit of this mountain also meant being regarded as a Mountaineer rather than a hiker, a task I needed to train hard for!
Temotio Jacopo was one such coach who had to plan the training program, understand the technical requirements of climbing this mountain and practically took me through the course.
Without having been climbed any mountain previously, Temo took it upon himself to learn about mountaineering. He created innovative ways to get me to the level of fitness within a short space of time.
He became a coach, mentor, teacher, nutritionalist and counsellor throughout the training period. Temo took the task of preparing me as if he was going to be climbing himself. He was able to push to levels I had been able to mentally and physically stretch myself. He instilled so much courage and belief in myself I ventured on the climb prepared more than any other sports adventure I had undertaken.
Temo was meticulous in running the training program to even an extent of getting involved in sorting the climbing gear. He went beyond a coach to a pillar behind my success of summiting. Mountain climbing is extremely difficult:- the level of preparedness especially mentally got me to the top of Mount Elbrus because of Temotio Jacopo.
There are not many black African women who have summited Mount Elbrus. Summiting this mountain was therefore a highlight and key achievement made possible by the commitment, encouragement, challenge and caring contribution of my coach Temo!