How do you train to climb Kilimanjaro when you live and work on a ship? That was the challenge facing former submariner Gordon Foot when he decided to tackle the 5,895m climb for the international maritime charity Sailors’ Society. But, like most seafarers, Gordon relishes a challenge:
“As seafarers, we have no other option, so we use what facilities we have around us or improvise. It is not easy as the ship moves. Imagine if you went to a gym club and the building moved the whole time you were exercising.”
A former Weapons Engineering Manager of the UK Royal Navy, having served a 19-year career in nuclear submarines on special operations, Gordon is fitting his training around his present role as a Senior Client Representative supervising offshore operations on major offshore wind farms, oil and gas, and environmental projects.
“My onboard training regime consists of four km daily on a treadmill before my 12-hour shift and then some leg work on the ship’s stairs afterward.” Gordon, who gave up smoking to help improve his fitness for the challenge, says he is climbing Kilimanjaro for the Sailors’ Society because he wants to give back to the maritime community.
“My life‘s ethos is assisting and supporting others, and this is just one of the many ways that I use to pay it forward.“ he said. Gordon says choosing Sailors’ Society was easy: “It’s one of the oldest charities, and it does so much good within the maritime world.” With three months before the climb, Gordon has already raised nearly £3,500 for the Sailors’ Society. “That’s 68 percent of my target, so there’s still a way to go,” he added.
As for the climb itself, Gordon says he is most looking forward to “reaching the summit with my trekking buddies and the smiles on all our faces.”
Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, said: “We are absolutely delighted Gordon has signed up for our Kilimanjaro Trek in October. He joins a team of intrepid industry ambassadors who are willing to climb one of the world’s highest mountains to raise funds for us and have the experience of a lifetime.”
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