I have a new fitness goal: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this summer. 12 days, 19,000 feet, two weeks, no kids, all the way to the "ceiling" of Africa. When it comes to wellness, I am part trainer, artist and bullfighter, coaching and sculpting and teasing myself to better health. I am my own masterpiece and there are certain ways I have always judged my progress.
Here are four new ways to judge your body:
Each day I seek to build strong, mountain-climbing muscles. An extra push-up, box jump, wall climb; all signs I am a little more ready for my adventure.
My daily activity is classified as sedentary, filled with hours and hours in front of clients and laptop screens. I’ve never moved constantly for six hours in one day, much less the 12 days it will take to summit Mt. Kili and return to base camp. Each additional minute of fitness is a mental and physical victory.
Every day of my life is a mountain, filled with barriers that could keep me from the gym and the road. Training is a process of increments, strung together into the days before the climb. I won’t be able to cram the fitness into the weeks before the climb, so each day I work out is a personal triumph.
No one is more surprised than me when I look in the mirror and admire my body. The muscles developing under the sags and aging skin are undeniable. I admire my developing character, springing from this daily commitment. I said I would do it, and so I am.
Ironically, I’ve never felt so… well there’s no other way to say it… hot. People are starting to ask what’s different (is that a new haircut?). They comment on the definition in my arms and inquire about my workout regimen (are you doing Crossfit?). And none of it matters.
I’ve traded in the vision of the "130s" for the privilege of sleeping above the clouds and under the stars. And while I plan on moving on to another challenge when I finish this climb, Mt. Kilimanjaro has already changed my life. I think I’ll keep this new way of judging myself.
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