Friday, July 9, 2010

Meet Anthony - Training for Rainier!

Hi everyone!  My name is Anthony and I’m currently living in Roanoke, Virginia.  I’m scheduled to climb Mt. Rainier with RMI the week of September 19th.  I was fortunate enough to get one of the last spots for the Expedition Skills Seminar-Camp Muir.
The idea to climb Mt. Rainier occurred to me a couple of years ago.  It seemed like it would be a really neat challenge and a worthy accomplishment if I was successful.  Unfortunately, work commitments and scheduling conflicts prevented the opportunity until now.  Why Mt. Rainier and not some other mountain?  I don’t really know, other than to say it seemed like a serious challenge and a great place to learn about mountaineering.  Who knows, if I like it, maybe I’ll try some other climbs (although my wife may have something to say about that).
My training really started around November of last year.  At that time I was overweight and out of shape (approx 200lbs @ 5’ 7”) to say the least.  I made up my mind to do something about it, so I joined a local gym and hired a personal trainer.  I got a lot of flack from friends and got a lot of strange looks from the muscle heads at the gym about the personal trainer, but I paid them no mind.  It worked for me.  It was a great motivator knowing that someone was at the gym waiting for me and expecting me to be there.  The results were good too.  In a few months I was able to drop 35 to 40 pounds and cut my body fat percentage from around 30% to around 10%.  Since then I’ve been training on my own and making steady progress.
With the climb coming up in September, I’ll be focusing on hitting the cardio hard (treadmill and stair-master primarily) and getting as much hiking with a weighted pack as I can.  Unfortunately, living in Virginia, there is very little way to train for the altitude of a big mountain like Rainier and honestly, I’m a little nervous about that.  I’m hoping that a regular routine of high intensity interval training (HIIT) will help, but I guess there are always factors we can’t train for perfectly.
Anyway, I’m excited about the climb and look forward to a great adventure!

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