Five weeks out from Kilimanjaro. The heavy work has already started. One thing I have realized is mountain climbing is not like a marathon, but rather, it is like doing a marathon at altitude every day for a week straight.
Looking at the itinerary of Kilimanjaro I realize that it is the same as every other mountain and that I will be climbing for up to half a day every day till I get to the top. This is a completely different training than just a long race or an ultra marathon, because after you do it you have to get up the next morning and then next and the next and do it again.
My training has to reflect this. Instead of doing a long trek or jog and taking a day off, I am doing a long trek or jog, getting up early the next morning and doing it again. Very, very tough on the body and mentally but training the mind is part of the challenge.
In Bermuda I have a set 5-6 mile route, I jog down South Shore through Tucker’s Town, past Mayor Bloomberg’s home, Berlusconi’s home and Ross Perot’s two compounds and then return. I’ll do Harington Sound on Sunday mornings and soon add more to the routes. Harrington Sound is right at 10 miles all the way around and back.
I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to train, though in August I can certainly imagine a cooler place to train! The heat is helping my weight loss though as I am down to 242 pounds, a full 10 pounds less than my last mountain and only 13 pounds away from my goal for Kilimanjaro. My goal is to be at 215 pounds for Aconcagua on November 28th of this year.
My goal for Everest in spring of 2014 is to be at 195 pounds, a full 135 pounds below my peak.
The main problem with the heat is blisters, I am getting my shoes for the climb within a week so I hope to break them in but the hot pavement is taking it’s toll, which I am hoping will help me at altitude as my feet and legs will be hardened.
Kilimanjaro is 19,334 feet. The key to Kili is a slow ascent to prevent altitude sickness. I had no problem with Mt Elbrus in Russia, so I don’t expect a problem in Africa, but altitude is something you can’t plan for.
Base camp in Russia.
Olga melting snow for water at base camp in Russia.
Training is just on schedule. Altitude ravages the body and I hope to come in lighter but with more muscle mass in Africa, as I feel I need it.
Because of WWE 100% of money raised goes to the kids here in Bermuda with my work with the Family Center and the program I run with Patrick Calow and a wonderful group of coaches and volunteers, Beyond Rugby Bermuda.
I found out the donation link was set up for US donations and had a problem with donations from Bermuda and the UK, that is being fixed now and we hope to debut a new link within the next two weeks. Would love for you to donate knowing that 100% of money goes to kids we are helping to graduate school and stay out of trouble.
There are many that are very keen that we are training up a great rugby program, that to me is wonderful but not our focus. It is a by product of what we do. We want these young people to have options and to have options they need to graduate first and stay out of trouble second. We don’t have a sports program, we have a young person program, we aim to make Bermuda better one kid at a time.
However, if we build a world class rugby program at the same time, than that is a wonderful side effect. We want an elite program to give our young people pride in what they are doing.
On an island it is a zero sum game, every kid we win, the bad guys loses – we just need to keep winning. We are working with wonderful young people and look forward to updating the Island on our progress.
I’m now in Bermuda till I leave for Africa, I believe this is the longest in my adult life I have been in one place. When I first started wrestling I was on the road over 300 days a year, I retired with 5 million miles on American Airlines alone! It is nice to be in one place and just train for something. Not having bread, pizza and desert is not as fun.
There has been less than 400 people in the history of the world that have climbed the Seven Summits, it is a world class challenge that a lot of people have died trying and some have never returned from these mountains.
Great things start with a dream and then just simply involved a lot of very hard work. I believe I will end up on a mountain in Africa in the best shape of my life and ready to head to South America for ‘Mt Death’.
This week I look to put in over 50 miles total again, half of that with a backpack, I also look to get to under 240 pounds which will be only second time since I was a teenager.
The one thing I did do for Kili was to pay a little extra and get my own tent, being on a mountain at altitude for a week or more is tough, having to live with another smelly human is something I want to avoid. I am there during the great migration, so I hope to climb the highest peak in Africa and than watch one of nature’s greatest events.
Until then, back to the pavement and back on with the backpack with the sandbags in it.