Pierre Ménard is the founder and owner of La Boite à Grains, an award-winning natural health food store. "Ever since I was a child," Pierre explains, "I've had a mystical yearning to visit Africa. When I read in the newspaper that a charitable climbing expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro was looking for volunteers, I began to dream all over again."
At 10 years old Pierre Ménard was ready. He and his eight-year-old brother were all set for their bicycle journey to Africa, their backpacks stuffed with essentials and their heads full of dreams of the Serengeti. But Mom wouldn’t let them out of the house.
Exactly 40 years later, Pierre has exacted his revenge.
Pierre Ménard is the founder and owner of La Boite a Grains, an award-winning natural health food store with two locations in Gatineau, Quebec. “Ever since I was a child,” Pierre explains, “I’ve had a mystical yearning to visit Africa. When I read in the newspaper that a charitable climbing expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro was looking for volunteers, I began to dream all over again.”
“It was when I heard an African song on my car radio about a week later that I decided to sign up. After 40 years of skiing all over the world, I thought it was about time I tried the experience of going up the hill instead of going down.”
Pierre was convinced after researching the charitable foundation to which the raised money from this trip will be donated (La Fondation du CSSS de Gatineau represents a number of health and community care services) as well as the trekking company guiding the trip.
Once he had pledged his support, Pierre underwent a series of personal fitness analyses and followed a progressively more intense training regimen designed specifically to prepare him for the rigours of his climb. His weekly schedule included three levels: three hockey games for cardio fitness; two strength-training/cardio workouts at the gym; and at least one challenging hike in his area.
With passport and visa packed into a much larger backpack than he’d prepared 40 years earlier, Pierre M?rd is finally ready to fulfill his dreams of Africa. Follow Pierre’s journey to the top of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on alive.com and watch for an update in our February issue of alive magazine.