This message is for any of you (like me) now in your 40’s 50’s + or somebody who is just plain out of shape and thinking of doing summer climbing. Growing up I was thin, flexible and could do 3-trips through the buffet line never gaining an ounce in the long run. A few years back all of that changed for me. Part of it is that I am no longer climbing and guiding at the intensity I was back then combined with the factor of a slower metabolism. This all adds up to that very ugly word, “FAT” and a person finding them-self out of breath even at minimal exercise. Bottom line, climbing a significant mountain would be of very difficult proportions or at the very least certainly not much fun.
The tendency for many of us once we recognize we are in this state and feel guilty about it long enough to the point that we are ready to take action is that we finally get out and then overdue it with too long of a bike ride, too long a hike or something else.
TODAY- was my day. I have been out for several weeks now off and on mostly short easy walks, easier bike rides, etc building myself up. I drove to the logging roads close to the slopes of Mount Baker. I parked my car and began to ride. A foot of new snow had fallen on the high peaks above me. It was a pretty cloudy day but beautiful, and I rode uphill for about 1.5 hours. I was dressed lightly and still not in great shape so it didn’t take long to work up a sweat. The ride was uneventful, and I pushed myself but not to excess. Eventually I started seeing light snow on the sides of the road and it wasn’t too long before it was deep enough that is was time to turn around. I made great time heading down the road but my hands were soon freezing, and I was looking forward to reaching my car and turning up the heater to the max.
It only took me about 30-minutes and Yahoo I was back to the warmth of my vehicle. Although I wasn’t standing on the summit of some lofty peak, I felt a sense of accomplishment and realized this was another “stepping stone” on my rode back to being in shape and guiding and climbing the mountains I love.
The point of my story is to encourage you on your ride to enjoying the outdoors with the ensuing Summer, it’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets from high camps and lofty peaks is not soon to be forgotten or certainly missed. It is so much more enjoyed and successful from a body that is well prepared to meet the challenge.