With the onset of this crazy warm February weather in Chicago-land I’ve been able to get outside and train. Such a relief and such a difference. Fresh air and sunshine feel so much better than climbing the stair-master to nowhere, or walking forward on the treadmill staring at your computer stats, or even making circuits on a 1/10 mile track 50, 60, or 70 times. Not that I won’t get back in the gym and do it again, considering the lack of elevation change outside, but being outside is refreshing. After all, my hike does take place outside.
So what’s with the picture you ask? Well that’s my elevation training mask, and it’s decorated with a ‘Predator’ sleeve. It inhibits my air intake so I will get used to higher elevations which have, of course, less oxygen. One of the many things I’m doing to prepare physically. Throw in step ups, lunges, squats, all with extra weight, along with some standard working out, i.e. push ups, pull ups, crunches,planks, curls, tri’s, bench, etc., too. I have also started wearing a scuba diving belt which has pockets I can insert weights into. I wear it while working my shifts behind the bar. It’s a good simulation for wearing my pack which rests primarily on my hips when hiking. I am currently up to 15 lbs for the duration of the shift. I plan on getting to 25 lbs, the max weight the belt can hold, in a couple weeks. For my last month of shifts at work I will be walking there with my pack fully loaded. There’s no rest for the wicked, or me.