Today training starts getting very real in my Seven Summits for Kids quest. I’m exactly 16 weeks out from Aconcagua in South America and anytime you are training for a mountain with an estimated 30% success rate that is nicknamed Mount Death you tend to take everyday of training very serious.
We tell our kids we work with in Bermuda you can do anything within reason if you work hard enough and work smart enough. This is a perfect example of the old coach leading by example and thanks to the WWE, 100% of money raised goes to the kids we work with everyday.
I have Kilimanjaro in 6 ½ weeks first. I don’t take Kili lightly, it is a big and dangerous mountain as a lot of people die on it every year. However, unless I am very unlucky I should be able to make the 19,334 foot peak of Africa and use it as training for the 22,841 foot top of South America, Aconcagua.
Mount Aconcagua, Argentina
You can’t control mountains and you can’t conquer them, they have been around long before us and will be here long after. The only hope we have is to conquer ourselves, which is why we climb.
The big difference in my training for the next two mountains is more of an emphasis on weight training as I have still not fully recovered from my attempt on Mt Elbrus, being at altitude ravages the body and I lost so much muscle mass that I realize I need a better base for the next two mountains.
I plan on completing a three fer in January with Vinson in Antarctica. I have a tough six months ahead, and hope to end up at the end of January with all three mountains climbed and all my fingers, toes still on my body.
Death totals are not kept very well at Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua and my guess is so that those numbers if known might discourage climbers and these mountains are a huge source of income for these regions.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
That being said, Ed Viesturs shows there are safe ways to climb dangerous peaks and Kilimanjaro is the easiest of the Seven Summits as it is the most non technical of the mountains.
Most problems on both of these mountains come from altitude sickness and weather which both can be fatal. Aconcagua is only 80 miles from the Pacific Ocean so wind becomes a factor and can drive wind chill to 80 degrees below zero.
I can’t control the weather, I can only control me being ready to climb. I weighed 245 pounds this morning and my goal is to get below 220 pounds for Aconcagua to help which would put me the lowest I have been since being a teenager.
As an example I regularly wrestled at over 300 pounds during my career at WWE with my peak around 330 pounds. My end goal for Mt Everest in spring of 2014 is to get down to around 200 pounds.
My goal this week is to start with a total of 45 miles and half of those with a backpack. The hot August sun in Bermuda is great for conditioning as it helps with my weight loss goals. As Muhammad Ali said that training my be something we hate, we suffer now so we won’t suffer when it counts.
I have been waiting for this 16 week window to kick in the serious training as you can only train so hard for so long. While I may not mind the training, cutting out bread and soda is something I will miss daily!
Seven Summits for Kids. Visit the donation page at www.SevenSummitsforKids.com and follow me on Twitter @jclayfield and my Facebook which has a ton of pics and videos at http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Layfield/194176253533?ref=ts