training

How did it go? Mount Rainier Emmons route training seminar

“How did it go?”

This was the question I got asked over and over again, and I can’t blame my co-workers and family and friends.

“My training session was ok.” That is my short answer.

However, I learned quite a bit. I learned for example that I can totally sleep in a tent, on a snowy and icy surface and on a regular dirt ground surface. I can share a tent with two other women. I am aware that this would not stand out as the most important learning experience to the average person, however for someone as myself whom had never camped before, it was a great discovery to realize I can do this.

I also learned that even though I have enjoyed in the past other “women only camps” and learning environments, I did not enjoy this one as much.

Perhaps in the past I was only there to have fun, with other members of my gender, such as surfing in Costa Rica and Mexico.

Or perhaps I felt an unfairness of having someone’s backpack lighten, to make their climb easier, when I was carrying more than half of my own body weight.

Perhaps I was too anxious to learn and at the same time not hurt my recently broken ribs.

Whatever the reason, I was disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm … the lack of excitement I expected to feel training with a large group of women … where was the ‘women power’ that I expected to feel?

When I ran, I ran alone. The months I spent training I have trained alone. Having to accommodate the pace of getting ready to go, when others were incredibly slow and continue our journey and climb, at various different paces, was tiring and un-motivating for me.

I also felt a lack of trust with my fellow participants. I have always been a self-reliant person and trust with me needs to be earned. To be roped, connected, with complete strangers caused me some anxiety.

On a more positive note, I did learn that my boots were great and appropriate. My feet were always warm and I have no blisters, which I cannot say the same for some of my fellow group members. I learned that I can be warm and keep warm and valued the lectures of our trained guides. I learned to walk with crampons and to tighten them on properly.

I learned to use my ice axe! 🙂

I learned that what had occupied much of my previous anxiety at home, going to the bathroom – is actually a walk in the park. (A) if you need to pee, simply pull your pants down and (B), if number two is required, then you follow whatever protocols of the mountain you are climbing.

So, despite feeling and finding many shortcomings during this seminar, I was able to marvel at the beauty of one of many Gods creations – Mountains! Wow—the majesty!

And, another treasured memory, was listening to the silence and admiring the unobstructed views that extended for miles. Absolutely amazing …

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Training Session of May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017

I now train 7 days a week. I am training based on “Fit to Climb”, by RMI, so I am ready for my upcoming Denali Prep course with RMI’s Expedition Skills Seminar – Emmons, which is a six day instructional mountaineering course with a summit attempt on Mt. Rainier via the Emmons Glacier route.

At the same time, I am learning to rock climb and I have a personal trainer to help me build more of my upper body strength to tackle the Carstensz Pyramid.

Today, it was a particular tough day. I had hiked 3 hours yesterday, as per this weeks schedule from RMI’s weekly program, and it was to be followed by 7 hours of hiking today, with a weighted backpack.

I currently have 37 pounds on my pack.

When you are running a marathon your mind plays games with you. At least mine does!!! First you are excited to start the race and usually about around 10 km you start regretting having signed up for the full marathon. Then just around the split, you are resigned to run the whole thing. And when you are on your last 4-5 km, you question your sanity.

That was me today. At about 4 km away from home, and at about 6 hours of hiking time. I pondered using my cell phone and asking my family to come pick me up. I contemplated sitting and leaving my backpack on the side of the road and going later to pick it up. I worried not being able to climb.

Then I reach the steps of my side door and I knew that tomorrow morning I would lace up my running shoes and do the training session on the schedule.

Because like running, hiking is peaceful, challenging and I am doing it because I enjoy it.

And like when I was training for a marathon, I filled a bath and I let my body indulge for 20 minutes with the Jacuzzi jets at full capacity, and yes, I am aware this is a luxury that will not be available to me in my tent. But I am still home, so no harm in taking advantage of it!

Training is hard physically, but also mentally. Today my brain was more tired than my body, and thus they fought.

Ema

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