Terry and I are departing in seven days for Seattle, Washington. While there I will attempt to summit Mount Rainier. The journey to the summit is expected to be strenuous, difficult and require a variety of skills. I send you this letter to ask for prayers, prayers for safety and success. While I worship the Almighty in this adventure I pray He will give me rest. My success is only possible with His strength.
To give a brief back drop to this adventure, I signed up with the mountaineering company, “Alpine Ascents” to climb Mount Rainier. The mountain stands a magnificent 14,411 feet and is the fifth tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.
After signing up with the company in August 2016 I began to train in earnest. It is said that the best way to train to do anything is simply by doing the activity. Since I live in the Midwest to train by climbing a mountain is not a viable option. I needed to adjust my training to include exercises closest to climbing itself.
First off, to climb a mountain takes strength. Muscular strength is needed for nearly every climbing task, including controlling and balancing heavy loads, hoisting your pack and gear up the mount, preparing and seating up camp. I had never worked out with free weights before. Fortunately a trainer at the gym I was going to was willing to give me the special attention needed to teach, support and encourage me as I learned.
Mountain climbing also requires cardiovascular endurance. Repetitive activity over long periods of time that involve the use of legs, heart and lungs is what builds the needed endurance. I started going to a spin class. During these classes I wear a belt around my chest that monitors my heart rate, calories burned and overall effort in real time. These numbers are displayed on a screen during the class, they show up on an app and they are e-mailed to me. I practice paying attention to what my body is doing. I practice pushing myself when I didn’t want to. I practice feeling uncomfortable, out of breath and with my heart beating fast.