Last October, we told you the story of Clay Cook, a commercial advertising photographer who stumbled upon a once in a lifetime chance to climb Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro and then paraglide off of the summit. The only problem? At the time, Cook was 311 pounds with 50% body fat, with a laundry list of unhealthy side effects from his weight.
Destined to live out a childhood dream, Cook started his path to a healthy lifestyle. But could he possibly get healthy enough to climb one of Africa’s most difficult mountains? Cook relives the experience in his latest blog post and the above video.
Having known Clay personally for many years, even I wasn’t aware of the sheer enormity of his weight loss until I was lucky enough to speak with him at last year’s Stand Out Photo Forum in Chicago.
His 45-minute talk was riveting. He doesn’t sugarcoat the dire condition he was in. He doesn’t try to hide the dark mental state that he was feeling. But that one random beer in Tanzania with Adrian McCrae of Wings of Kilimanjaro changed everything. By the end of his story, Clay had me wiping tears from my eyes.