Archive for March, 2008

face the challenge

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’m currently reading this book titled “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” by John Wood. It’s about how Wood left his high ranking job in Microsoft as the director of business development to pursue his passion and a cause that needed to be addressed – providing books  and education for children in impoverished countries like Nepal and Vietnam. And it took just a trip to the Himalayas to convince him to give up his career and girlfriend to pursue this desire that was more lasting and significant. Although I do not have such ambitions like him to provide books and education to students in countries like Nepal (at least not now), there is something in me that tells me my priorities should change and it may not be wise to remain status quo and remain in my comfort zone. Will this be the right thing to do? I don’t know, but I guess it’s also time to stand up to what I’ve always wanted to believe – to face the challenge when it comes and more importantly, to embrace change.

Ice Climbing

Friday, March 7th, 2008

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 Watching “My Secret Sports Identity” on Channel 5 last Saturday brought back fond memories of the team’s ice climbing training in Sichuan, China in January this year. Looking back, we had a really good time practising our climbing techniques on the frozen waterfalls in Shuang Qiao Gou. As part of our preparation for Mount Everest, Kim Boon and his guides set up a 400m fixed rope circuit for us to practice on, with us ascending and descending several times over and over again for 4 full days. Towards the later part of the training, we also loaded our backpacks with rocks of increasing weight, eventually up to 18kg! Although the climbing was hard, the distance that we covered was still nowhere near the 1,300m of continuous fixed ropes up the Lhotse Face of Mount Everest – imagine carrying a loaded pack, “front pointing” with the two front points of your crampons and balancing on your toes above 7,500m for hours!  

Physical endurance and good health are definite prerequisites for us to be able to hone our technical skills on the slopes. Thus, the team pays a lot of attention to proper food intake and nutrition to support our intensive level of training. In order to perform at our best during local and overseas trainings, such as the recent one to Sichuan, we make sure that we bring along plenty of food to maintain our energy levels. To complement our diet, we are disciplined in consuming CENTRUM multivitamins daily. Taking CENTRUM multivitamins are especially essential on overseas climbs, when the remoteness of our training locations often mean that we are unable to obtain sufficient food varieties to be able to meet our nutritional needs optimally. From our experiences over the years, when conditions are harsh on the mountains and nutrition is compromised, consuming energy drinks and supplements such as multivitamins can definitely provide the extra edge needed.