I detest being stuck indoors, chained to a desk. Let it be raining, hailing, or snowing out there. I’d give a whole lot to just be able to run out into the wide open spaces and soak in the outdoors as it were. Unfortunately, I haven’t done anything to push these desires beyond the confines of my brain. Pfft!
So what I did was to finally make the decision to head out on an exclusively outdoor vacation. Trekking, tenting, and the works. While ironing out the details of my trip, I was gently reminded that I need to prep myself a fair bit before I could actually participate with the group. ‘Nothing strenuous but you need your fitness basic sorted out.’ I scoffed.
BAH! How hard would it be, eh?
Fairly hard, is the correct answer
First off, I had to ensure I do NOT shop. There was zero need of high tech, out-of-this-world equipment that would nothing better than putting a hole in my card. I had my trusty old gym gear (albeit slightly unused) and that was the best I was giving myself. First things first, I had to work on my stamina. Not a very big deal considering it mostly involved pacing myself and increasing the target distance every three days. However, a lot of my walks were spent telling my brain to shut up. You see, I am so far into the couch potato realm that turning back into a functioning human was taking up a fair bit of my strength. I literally had to force myself to turn off the TV, swing myself off the couch, dress up, and get out. Sooo….well, I shopped. I had to give myself SOME incentive, right? But nothing lavish! I bought myself a spanking new activity tracker. And boy oh boy! Was that a blessing for me.
I could not just track my steps and distance, I could also follow my sleep pattern to get it more streamlined (on treks, you usually turn in and wake up relatively earlier in the day). I could also set targets so I’d end up moving around way more than I would usually. All in all, money well spent!
Aaaaand getting back to my metamorphosis into something that could survive away from a bag of chips for more than a couple of hours. Not only did I have to push my body beyond the physical activity it was used to, but I also had to ensure I was cutting down on all junk intake to lighten myself up. Not to say that there’s a weight limit for an outdoor activity, but trust me, once you’re moving uphill, you’ll be glad you ditched those extra five pounds.
All the additional movements and the slashing down of additional carbs was slowly working wonders, but there were days when the world would catch up with me and getting away for exercise seemed impossible. So I picked up the next best thing. Skipping. If you’re averse to picking up stuff that will eat dust once your excitement fades, this blessed deed requires no rope at all! Try breaking up your skipping sessions into four to five sets of, at least twenty reps and progress from there. This baby helps you develop strength in your feet and calves while trimming down your rounded edges. Looking to lose weight? Skip your way into smaller clothes!
And you’d think this was the end of it. All the healthy eating, early rising, morning workouts would’ve turned me into a Victoria’s Secret angel. Well, it didn’t. Apparently my body is daft enough to get used to the exercising, no matter how brutal my mind thinks it is, and starts enjoying the trauma. (Curse you, you stupid thing!) So what did I do to break this plateau? Ponder over pizza? Mull over some wine? Weeellll, maybeeeeeee…actually I went online and I bought some light weights I could tie around my ankles and wrists and continue the routine. Might I add, the pleasure of buying the stuff and the shock of having to use it is just too much to bear. I HAD to skip a day to get over it. Buuuuuuuuuuut I had to make sure I didn’t get too attached to that couch again so I got up the next day and made sure I was out and about before my brain woke up.
The idea behind tying light weights and pushing cardio is all about building endurance. At the end of the day, a trek is not just about skill but also about your ability to last 6-8 hours on the trail. Your guide can teach you all the skills you’ll ever need to reach your peaks but if you’re going to collapse in first half hour, well, that’s going to suck big time buddy!
And of course, if being anywhere apart from zero feet above sea level isn’t your thing, I can assure you, it’s going to be an absolutely embarrassing disaster because you’re going to spend a lot of time clutching at the ground and wondering why you’re doing this to yourself. Of course, yours truly was simply too brave to do this *awkward silence*. Sooooo…there you have it. The smallest bit of advice on how to kick start a lifelong love affair with the grand outdoors.