#SummitFit for 2018

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. There’s no more putting it off; we’ve recovered from The Beast from The East…but have you recovered from The Beast from the Feast? …[pause to appreciate / let the tumbleweed pass]…
Yeah that’s right, The Beast from the Feast, that extra layer you’ve been carrying around with you since Christmas! Well with Spring either here, or just around the corner (I’m not too sure on the technicalities) it is 100% time we set about slaying that beast.

woman-jogger-jogging-sport.jpg

There’s nothing worse than being put off of taking on an outdoor challenge, or even as was the case with me in 2017, taking on a mountain which is within your abilities, but that you simply cannot appreciate due to being physically pushed so far. So this year we’re taking our training seriously, and we want you to too! So once you’ve made that summit, you can at least take it all in without flailing around gasping for air.

So whether its getting #SummitFit for that summer expedition you’ve got planned, maybe you’ve got a challenge coming up (shout out to the 3peakers), or maybe you just want to get in better shape for the summer months; whatever your reason – we’ve got your back with our #SummitFit series; from videos, podcats, and resources; we’re inviting you to get involved with us at doah_adventures on our #SummitFit campaign!

pexels-photo-398532.jpeg

So whatever you’re work-out looks like – don’t forget to use the #SummitFit and let us know what you’re up to by tagging in all the right places.

First Up in the series, we’ve got a minimal-equipment, 5 min, fat burning workout, put together by our very own Mike Wilson, who so happens to be a qualified Personal Trainer. So keep an eye out as we’re publishing TODAY; at 5pm…so it will be ready for you to check out after work.

Advertisements

Small Steps to Big Results

I’ve recently been looking into incremental training and micro routines as a way to generate big results; and I just wanted to share a few thought on it, and hopefully give you some ideas too for your own training, although it totally can apply to any aspect of life, from saving money, to reading more, to getting in shape, I think there’s a lot of merit in incremental training, or as I’ like to put it simply.
Getting one bit better, at one thing, everyday.

It really got me thinking about how just a few years ago, if you had said that I would be making the summit of Mt. Toubkal in 3 years time, I would have laughed! Especially because at that point I had just been up and down Snowdon and thought it was hard work! So how did I get there? Well, through just small improvements over a long period of time…

Oftentimes when we set a new training regime, we go all in and expect the world from ourselves; especially even with dieting; and obviously not everyone, but usually we might stick at it for what, a month, a week, a day even?
The idea behind this philosophy of training is you set yourself a routine, which is so simple, and so achievable you really cant say no to it. So here’s an example from Peter Schroeder:

“The first habit I started with was reading. I have never been a big reader but decided I wanted to start reading more to learn new things. Initially, I began reading one page a night before bed. Just one page, that’s it!

Anyone can read a single page of a book. No matter what, I would read before bed every single night. What I found was reading the page of the book wasn’t what was important, but rather forming the habit. It’s nearly impossible to make an excuse not to take a minute for reading a page of a book. Thus, the habit begins to form.

Photo Credit — https://unsplash.com/search/read?photo=OMXPrCAhxrE

Sometimes it was a struggle (especially after long days), but remember — it’s only one page. Eventually, I was slowly able to increase the volume in five-minute increments to get to forty-five minutes of reading a night.

Another micro-habit I was able to entrench in my life was meditation. I have always had a cluttered mind and wanted to start doing something to clear my thoughts. After some time, I landed on meditation and breathing exercises as my path to a clear mind.

I decided it would be helpful to do this every morning to clear my mind at the beginning of the day, as well as a perfect way to cap off the day when I’m winding down at night.

To kick off the meditation process, I started by meditating for a minute in the morning and at night. Establishing the process helped me to make meditation part of my routine. Now, I meditate for fifteen minutes in the morning and a half an hour at night.

The micro-habit process has also helped me esablish the routine of going to bed at 10 pm every night (with exceptions), wake up at 6 am every morning (no exceptions), not use any electronics after 8 pm, and begin to learn French.

All of these things have become baked into my daily routine through micro-habits.”

 

So when we’re looking at micro routines its not that we can’t do more, because we can, and probably do. But its that forming the routine in such a way that you can’t avoid it…well that’s a lifestyle change!

The point is, that its very easy to shy away from a commitment like exercise if it’s hugely time consuming; or if its ‘just one of those days’…even on those days as Peter said, even the 1 page of reading can be done!
But here’s some really cool things about this method:

1. You have no idea how efficient you can get! Over time you’re going to be getting so efficient at the task in hand that your results will be exponentially.

2. These micro routines will become daily habits that you soon won’t even think about.

3. You will literally be making a lifestyle change, that will last, and is actually pretty easy to fall into.

A good way to demonstrate how one small thing each day can have such a huge impact, is to look at the reverse of a positive health decision, like smoking for example:

So sure, smoke 5 cigarettes a day for a month, and you’ll probably be in okay shape.
15 a day for a year, you’re getting chesty and short of breath by now.
20 a day for 10 years, well you’re already short of breath, so chances are you’re not exercising, so also likely you’re out of shape. Also the accumulation of all those ‘one small things’ has filled your lungs with tar, chemicals, and countless cell mutations.
20 a day for 40 years? Well you know where we’re going by now, so one health condition predisposes you to the next; and this where we see the results growing exponentially.

So whether its a diet, a work-out, a new language, or to read, or to talk to old friends more, literally anything (even blogging!) it can be achieved with huge results, just taking one small incremental change each and every day.

From Snowdon, to now making plans for our first of the 7 Summits; just one small step at a time…where we will get to? Who know! We’ll let you know though for sure.

 

 

 

If you would like to check out Peter Schroeders full article, and for more on setting effective micro routines click here.

 

Mt.Toubkal Our African Adventure: Pt.3 (Toubkal Breaketh the Man)

Its 4am. The stars are out. There’s no light in the Refuge, and everyone’s started to bustle about…it can only mean one thing. Nope, not hammer time…it’s summit time.

This is it, I think to myself, whilst taking a glance in the mirror…I’m doing this thing. It was a weird almost third person moment, catching a look at myself, padded out in layers; woolly hat, head torch, and walking poles – I kinda felt pretty badass, like an actual mountain climber or something.

Anyway; I’ll go back to it being 4am….so everyone’s lacing up and getting ready, we only have about 30 minutes before breakfast so no time for messing about, but also, no one wants to be messing about at 4am…like, it’s not your average morning, where maybe you lose a sock or something.

So we make our way down for breakfast, which was like THE most salty porridge type dish you can imagine, like, even for me and Dave…seasoned salt eaters (see what I did there)…it was too much – but the bread was good! They also served us oranges, I packed mine for later…and after a mint tea; Mohammed gave us the low-down of how things would go that morning, and we set off.

It was of course freezing cold; but it didn’t take long for us to strip off a layer as the incline was steep from the start; luckily under the night sky I had no episodes of vertigo, which was awesome, because usually I’m terrible as soon as I feel any level of exposure!
We had been climbing for around an hour and a half, when Mohammed let us have a breather, but also so he could pray. This was an incredible rest break, as we all sat quietly, switched off the head torches, and gazed up at the stars. If I wasn’t so cold and out of breath it would have been even more enjoyable I guess….

As we continued up the valley to the Toubkal ridge; we could see the sun begin to rise, turning the peaks behind us a dim glowing red; at this stage however I’m not enjoying the views, as I was suffering pretty badly with altitude sickness; coming up the valley I struggled to keep my breath, and on a couple of occasions had to really go-in on myself to control my breathing to stop from passing out…at this point…I pretty much hated hiking and for the first time ever, I even considered never hiking again, I gave some real serious thought to just quitting the whole thing…I was over it.
(contrary to the smile, although maybe I was smiling at the thought of just going on normal holidays, and not being on the face of a 4000M mountain.) mkesh d

As we reached the ridge, which you can see in the photo, we had some amazing, although hazey views of the Atlas mountains…again, I wasn’t in any state to enjoy this moment, but I’ve had a look at the photos, and I can confirm it was amazing.
summitunbg

The ridge walk was not so steep, and with the sun now on us, must have been a couple of degrees warmer, although I had lost all feeling in two of my fingers (but I have Raynaud’s so that was to be expected!). It also signified the final stretch…”20 Mins” Mohammed shouted…

It was at this point I was pushing through a barrier, like, in no other situation have I ever done something, or physically pushed myself, that I didn’t feel like I wanted to do. In my head I was spotting all the cosy looking rocks that I could sit under and wait for everyone to summit and get me on the way back down…yes, that’s right…in my head these ice cold jagged rocks looked cosy. I’m talking ‘Nans armchair on a winters day next to an open fire with a knitted blanket and hot cup of coacoa cosy’.  I took out my last protein bar for the final push, however, it was frozen solid, and after chocking on it several times, I thought…well fuck you then…and that marked the end of the protein bars involvement in my trip, and my story.

mkesh c

(Remys altitude face & some jagged cosy rocks) 

After pushing on for what felt like an eternity, the summit was finally in sight; 50 paces away at a guess, and bang. suddenly the strangest wave of emotion came over me. You may or may not have known that I had booked this trek to raise money for my Grandad, who sadly, a week before we flew out, passed away. This no doubt hit me at this point, I felt somehow with-him for a moment, before also feeling exctatic that I had reached the summit on a personal level.

22051306_10156037887305288_2856783903830905161_o.jpg

We had all made it, even the guys who had reservations, our trekking gang, pictured below, all made it, and some even managed to smile for the photo too!

summit

We didn’t hang-out for long up on the summit, what with it being -6C and the potential for rain later in the day Mohammed was keen to get us all back down to refuge for lunch.

I was somehow buoyed by making the summit, and felt in much higher spirits than even just 10 mins prior; and no doubt descending was easier on the cardio than ascending, even if more punishing on your legs.
Easier maybe, more dangerous, for sure. mkesh3

As we slowly made our way down the icy summit ridge; I crossed paths with a hiker making his ascent, he’d put a foot wrong, and with some not-so-cosy looking cliff faces to his right, and me to his left, I looked on as he fell face first into the ground; falling rigid, as if he was literally scared stiff…luckily for him, our guide, and another, were close by and assisted him to safety.

“Okay”, I thought to myself…”no slipping mate”.

As we continued slowly down, the heat began to rise, and before long we were stripping back the layers again…blood was once again in all my fingers, and breathing was much improved…and to turn this moment from good to amazing…out came that orange I packed at breakfast…which I ate like a savage, biting through the peel.

The novelty of the heat, soon wore off, and it was a long trek back to the refuge, down varied terrain.

mkesh g

During one cliff-side water break, we asked our guide, Mohammed, how long it would take him to summit and return to the refuge if it wasn’t for us slowing him up…
okay…so before I tell you; we’re on pace at this point to complete the summit in just short of 7 hours…

Mohammed – “so in 2009 I did a competition, and was up in 50mins – down in 20. so 1hour 10 mins in total”.

SAY. WHAT.

DOWN in 20 MINS …. as you can imagine, the guy suddenly becomes our mountain God. Like that’s some serious mountain running.
The photo below is taken at the very moment that this conversation is happening…good times!

mkesh h

Alas, we return to the refuge, not in 20 mins, but still in good time for out-of-shape westerners I guess…and in time for lunch…which was the most welcome meal you can imagine; of bread, pasta, fish, veg, tea, rice, lentils…just everything.
mkesh k

So…there you have it..Summit complete and I’m back in one piece.

Was it horrendous? Yes.
Was it amazing? Also Yes.
Was it hard? Yes (Yes yes yes)
Was it worth it? Hell Yes.
Would I do it again? When’s the flight?

Toubkal was a crazy one…our first 4000M summit, no doubt one we will remember for the rest of our lives. The world is full of amazing things…make sure you don’t miss it.
As that famous photographer Wayne Gretzky once said –
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

So make sure you take yours!

Keeping Fit and Eating Well – For people with no time…

Keeping Fit and Eating Well – For people with no time at all.

It’s an age old problem, and it’s only getting worse. Modern life seems to be chipping away at our ‘spare time’ at an ever increasing rate; and this can leave us feeling as though we’ve lost a grip on our lives, stuck an ever state of response.

I’m sure you’ve probably already gone through all the ‘Life Hack’ lists, productivity tools, and life strategy blogs desperately trying to make sense of things. I’m here to tell you, you don’t need a life hack, oh and by the way, what the heck is a life hack anyway? You don’t need a productivity tool, and you don’t need a life strategy. What you need, is to take some action, meaningful action. This is much tougher than people first imagine, and that’s evident probably in your own patterns of behaviour; so let’s take a look and see what’s up.

You can send a rocket from Earth to Mars; but where does the maximum amount of energy get used – on the surface of Earth…once its outside of the atmosphere it barely uses any energy, yet travels at mind boggling speeds, for mind boggling distances. The same is true for creating momentum in your own personal goals. Here we’re focusing on Keeping Fit, and Eating Well…but the same principle applies to almost all aspects of life.

The truth is, until you have a compelling enough reason to do something; you’ll shrug it off until tomorrow; and as we all know, tomorrow never comes. For me personally, this came in the shape of a 4167-metre-high mountain, Mt. Toubkal. Suddenly what was once an ‘I should’ be getting in shape, became an ‘I must’ get in shape – and as soon as this shift has been made, guess what, I found time to work out, and I found time to eat well. For me it was a gargantuan mountain, for some it’s a wedding dress preemptively bought a size too small, and for others it’s a health scare.
What’s key is taking that shift from a responder to an instigator of change; that’s where all the best results are generated, all the success, all the awesomeness you gain from taking control.

So my fitness regime now occurs anytime between 10pm and midnight, due to the usual pressures of life…work, over 100 miles of daily commute, a baby, a toddler, a cat, a partner – I don’t have a plan, I don’t stick to a routine, I take the most basic action…and it’s the one you should take…just get your shoes one get out the house and MOVE. That’s the first step, and often the toughest to take.

As for eating well? Literally. This is the most needlessly over-complicated concept in modern life, in my opinion. Let me just quickly clear some things up for you real quick.
1. You will not get lean in 15.
2. Food doesn’t have points IRL.
3. If you take a cheat day you’re cheating yourself.

and to sum all of that up…
You either want to eat well, or you don’t. Or some days you will, and some days you won’t. Whatever it is ultimately you’re in charge, you’re calling the shots, so don’t feel guilt for eating a cake, or a pizza, or whatever your food-vice is….OWN THAT, ENJOY IT.  It’s your body, and until you have parity between what your body looks like and what you want it to look like you won’t be happy, so just be aware of that, consciously aware of that, and take it all into your own hands.

Set yourself an event, commit to something, if you jog – sign up to a fun run; this way you will have reasons pulling you towards a goal. So  stop reading blogs…you should have your running shoes on already!