It was funny sitting down with Kass to do this interview today, she has read everyone else’s and brought notes! Some of the stuff she said literally gave me goosebumps; as I am someone who has seen her bitterly disappointed to be missing our first trek to Cambodia with two broken legs, to today where she completed a whole minute of box-jumps on the Power Plate. Kass was inspired to come with us on this trip because she enjoys the challenge of our Oversea’s Adventures. She likes taking herself to different levels of fitness.
Without a doubt, Kass’s mental strength is what will get her to Base Camp. She quipped “Mental toughness can take you to the top; mental weakness straight to the bottom“, a quote that she started telling herself when she saw it on a wall in a gym while training for Annapurna in 2016. She says “it means a lot to me“.
Kass missed out on the very first trekking trip she signed up for because a few months out she had a major accident. In her words “I had a skiing accident in japan in 2015 and put me out of action for 12mths rehab in hospital, and off work. And then I started training for Annapurna with the intoyou crew, and realised that the right knee wasn’t healing properly, it wasn’t right, it was swelling. I went to the surgeon and he said “you can’t go unless you have surgery” – and this was 7 weeks before going. I had surgery the next day and went to Annapurna with no training at all but a lot of mental determination.” Kass walked the entire Annapurna Base Camp trek with a “tin man” gait. She was resilient and courageous, and as she says “i’ll get fit on the hill“, which she did!
This year, if she has tough days like she did in Annapurna, she says that she will take it exactly the same way; “whatever I am faced with I’ll try my very very best to get through it. I will try to be in the moment.”
For her, it is important that she takes on these challenges. After everything she’s been through, she imagines NOT going to Everest as “living in fear and wondering if I could have done it or not, I’m just going to bloody do it”.
Kass is uniquely placed to offer support to fellow hikers who are struggling. She will remind them to breathe, be still, and be in the moment. After all, getting to the end is as simple as just putting one foot in front of the other. If she sees someone descending in to a negative mindset, her advice would be to “take a breath and just do it”.
One of her favourite quotes is “Fear doesn’t stop death, it’s stops life”, and this is a mentality she strives to live by. Having said that, her biggest challenge will be “to just enjoy it and not rush it. To smell the roses, look up, and enjoy. To trust myself and have faith in my body, that it can carry me there, and to not be so worried about falling“. Whilst Kass is a fighter, she is also afraid, and taking these challenges on is courageous for that reason.
She is looking forward to being away with people on the same journey, and experiencing a different routine. For her, the excitement is about “feeling alive; feeling the fear, feeling the excitement, and experiencing the unknown“.
On the mountain, Kass’s mantra will be “live in the moment, live well, laugh often, love much”. With this attitude, we have no doubts that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to! However, with the added complication of altitude, achieving EBC may be out of her hands. When asked about failure, she says “It will suck. But I think “so be it”, as long as I gave it 100% with no regrets“. The most important part of the journey in this respect is staying alive and maintaining her health. She is anxious about the flight and less so about the altitude, but she wont compromise her life or health for either of them.
What’s next after Everest Base Camp? She’s coming to Bali! Even though she’s not a strong swimmer and is afraid of sharks… in her words “Fear doesn’t stop death, it’s stops life”… touche Kass!!
We are very excited to have you on our team!