• Otilia

Being creative: fine tuning my workout

My guide to be for Everest - Jon sent me a list with daily cardio workouts and strength training. Steve House’ new alpinism manual also offers training schedules. But every day my brain finds joy in concocting new bespoke exercises for training. Why to run like other people when you can run with weights around your legs and arms and uphill? Those 8,000 meters boots plus crampons will feel like blocks of cement around my legs - as Cathy O’Dowd warned me through her book, so I’d better get used with it. What about keeping the weights on while at work even though they don’t match my fancy suit? A thirty pounds backpack made running even more fun…but because of all the extra weight my run transformed into a brisk walk. Math skills came in handy and I figure I was carrying about 30% of my body mass…

But the fun did not stop here. Why not to run on the treadmill while breathing low oxygen air? Why not to spook your neighbors and run on the treadmill in the gym while breathing through a mask connected to a huge machine (the Hypoxico Everest Summit II Generator)? Luckily, they can’t see me at night, with the plastic head tent on, feasting on low oxygen air. And no one knows that sleeping in that tent, with the low oxygen air blown through a hose, feels like sleeping on a bench in the park, with a random stranger breathing heavily in my ear.

As I am living in an eleven-story building, going up and down the stairs for an hour seems like a good workout too. Didn’t spook my neighbors with this one, only slightly confused them as not once they followed me on the stairs wrongly guessing the elevator is out of order.

Mindful of my neighbors’ mental health, I got a bike trainer (proudly installed it myself) and continued my oxygen mask training on the bike. The oxygen diet went well except for the “precipitations” affecting my apartment…didn’t know I can sweat so much.

Besides stairs, box step is a good training for the mountains …with weights in my hands, I keep stepping up and down and even if I don’t advance at all, in my mind I am climbing impossible ridges through undiscovered routs.

Interval training is my favorite…increasing the speed to 9 and the incline to 8 and just listening to the music…effort is a shortcut to mindfulness indeed.




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