It’s coming to the end of the year! Looking back, it has been quite an adventurous year indeed! Some highlights:
1) Trekking in the Hong Kong New Territories with RGS ODAC - they are such a fantastic bunch. Through the girls’ enthusiasm, team spirit and their own unique strengths, i really learnt alot during the trip.
2) Cho Oyu climb - the ultimate highlight of the year. i’ve never been so mentally and physically stretched for such a long period of time. Even when we weren’t climbing and simply resting at base camp, i remember it took me a considerable amount of effort to even walk from the mass dining tent back to my own tent. Inertia was always such an omnipresent force responsible for making you think twice before doing anything that involves exertion. That was also why the pee device proved to be sooo popular instead of trekking to the toilet tent. And drinking that very first bowl of Bak Kut Teh soup prepared by Dr Mok at base camp was and still is one of the best thing i’ve ever tasted. That’s why i always maintain that moments experienced in the mountains and in such hostile environments are truly the best in life.
3) Skiing in Rusutsu Ski Resort in Hokkaido, Japan - love the exhilaraiton and feeling of liberation when skiing down the powder snow slopes (of course that is when you do not actually fall!) although downhill skiing is fun and exciting, i would love to try cross country skiing one day as i find the concept of a ‘journey’ over a period of time more appealing. i think my dream journey would be to be able to trek, climb and ski thru a mountain range!
Now that we are only slightly more than 2 months before the big climb, training is going to get more intensive. We are expected to run faster and longer, carry heavier loads, pump more weights and become stronger both physically and mentally. I think sometimes in local training, it’s always easy to want to cut yourself some slack like run a shorter distance, or run a slower pace than you can. Or to cut down on the number of double steps during staircase training, or go a little slower during Bukit Timah circuits. I must remind myself that whatever ’shortcuts’ that I might be tempted to take now, I will suffer more on the mountain. And I always tell myself that yes although local training might be tough (me and jane always lament that local training is nowhere near what is involved in mountaineering!), but I also don’t want to find myself struggling on the mountain, all because I cut corners during local training. This is possibly the one and only chance I have.When the training regime gets more intensive, it’s also good to place importance on everyday lifestyle habits like making sure I get proper rest and sleep (late nights are out for me), eating healthy food (although I must admit I still indulge in fast food ocassionally!) and also remembering to take my Centrum Multivits everyday (which is not too much of a problem since I have a bottle on my office desk beside my PC and another bottle beside my bed at home!) . I guess at the end of the day, it all boils down to leading a well rounded and consistent lifestyle, though i know it might seem boring and unexciting to some people. It’s okay, I shall look forward to real life on the mountain!