Life is Like Climbing a Mountain

25 10 2010

Hi Gang!

Well it has been over a year since we’ve been actively writing here at Gym Jane and since I moved over to write at my Dare to Evolve blog. But as I’d mentioned, there will come a time and aplace that we return, at least for stints. I currently have a small vlog series going, and it happens to revolve around climbing a mountain! Many of you here who had been following along with Chris and I know very well our forays into the local peaks and the adventures that came as a result. So I thought it fitting, if you aren’t already following over at DTE, to let you know about this latest “jaunt”, trailblazing up the side of a mountain. 🙂

Life is Like Climbing a Mountain

Dare to Evolve,


Mobility Up A Mountain

21 11 2008

copy-of-dscn3409Over the last year, I’ve been using an approach to health and fitness composed by the creator of Circular Strength Training™, Scott Sonnon. It is an approach that has the greatest degree of balance, moving thru many degree’s, that I’ve come across to date. It employs Joint Mobility, Prasara Yoga and Clubbells; to keep it simple. And Sonnon’s outlook truly takes in all aspects, not just the physical. In truth, this system goes to such depths that, as far as I can tell thus far, there is something in it for anyone, no matter where they’re at.To shed a little more light on the extent and effectiveness of this program, I’d like to share a story with my own experience using it.

As anyone that’s been following us here at Gym Jane can tell you, Chris and I hike out in the local mountains quite a bit. A little less in the last year, but 6 months prior to starting the blog and 6 months in to it, we were getting out just about every weekend. The hikes varied from 1hr (straight up) to 9 hrs. Up steep faces, thru the snow, in the rain, in the fog, in the hot sun, over rivers and sometimes a combination of all of these in a single hike. And during the first 6 months of Gym Jane, we were training pretty intensely, 4 days a week, working up to completing the “300” test created by Gym Jones. And we trained very much in a style that encapsulated Gym Jones/CrossFit/Kettlebell Lifting. So to say the least, we were in pretty damn good shape.copy-of-dscn3406

Now something we’ve been doing every summer for the last 3 years is going for a hike up to Crown Mountain with our father-in-law Richard. Hike takes about 6 hours all together (usually because we hike most of it over snow). This summer was no exception. And this time we also brought Chris’s younger brother Kevin (14yrs) along with us.

This summer however, Chris and I didn’t have the benefit of the training we’d had the previous summer. Due to our schedules, we haven’t been able to train together. And for myself, I’ve been dealing and working thru a major back injury. It is actually what brought me to finding RMAX and delving into CST. As part of my rehabilitation, I’d been doing Intu-Flow, CST’s Joint Mobility system. Actually, because of the severity of my back injury, that was basically all I could do. Every day. Twice a day for the first 3 months (both sessions combined for no longer than 25 min). So by the time we got up on the mountain, I’d been doing it for about 5 months, with a bit of a few other things, but nothing that would come close to constituting “getting fit”. And Chris and I hadn’t been out for a hike in a while.

But while hiking, I found myself full of energy. I wasn’t out of breath, my legs weren’t burning, nor did I feel tired. If anything, I actually felt like I was “bounding up the mountain”. I kept feeling like taking off in a dead run…..up. But I held myself back, as I didn’t want to rub in, to my compatriots, that they were sort of struggling along and I felt like breaking out into a song and dance;). And I was feeling just as good, if not better, than the summer before, when I was in some wicked shape. As I kept going, I realized what was giving me all this energy, what had contributed to it. It wasn’t too hard, as Intu-Flow was really the only thing I’d been doing. And it wasn’t just the hike. My recovery was FAST! The next day, I felt it a little in the thighs. But then I also road my bike for an hour and a half. By the day after that, it was as if I’d never gone up.copy-of-dscn3420

We’re not talking about some “new, crazy, top performance” training program here. We’re talking about a 10-15 min a day joint mobility program that releases tension and helps you reclaim your full range of motion. The foundation of CST. And that’s just scratching the surface. So if all you’ve got is 10-15 mins a day to spare, no energy or chutzpah to get yourself going on a fitness program…..check it out.

You may find yourself up a mountain before too long.


P.S. My 3 com padres all now practice a little joint mobility program themselves;)

A half marathon…..up a mountain….

25 10 2007

copy-of-dscn2464.jpgWell we finally got out on another hike. Life’s been a little crazy for both Chris and I and we haven’t had as much opportunity to get out for our weekly hikes. We’d been talking about hiking up to a place called Lynn Lake for the last couple of months. With Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 8th) and having that Monday off, we took full advantage of what nice weather we had left to head up to Lynn Lake. And when I mean nice weather, I’m talking sun is out and it’s not overcast. Over the last year of consistent hiking, Chris and I (as a pact with ourselves to never let crumby weather deter us from getting out, otherwise we’d never get out over the winter) have always found ourselves on these big adventures to new places when it’s overcast and raining. Now we can handle the wet and we can handle the cold (cold and wet…..these are the descriptors for a Pacific Northwest winter), but in those conditions, up in the mountains, we can never see anything! I’d been up to Lynn Lake once before and it’s gorgeous up there. So we wanted to have one day, just one day, where going on one of our big hikes, we’d actually get to see what it looked like. And see we did.

copy-of-dscn2469.jpgIt was an amazing day to get out. The first portion of the hike is the same route we use heading up to Coliseum Mtn. and the Hanes Valley to Grouse Mtn. After the first hour and a half, it turns into pretty rugged trail. Then for about a third of the hike (the middle third) wecopy-of-dscn2500.jpg have to hike right up the middle of Lynn River itself. This was the really fun part, as we’re jumping and negotiating from boulder to pebble to boulder (we even managed to stay dry the whole way). Then, just as you get “close” (the final third or so of the hike, the angle all of a sudden turns sharply up, just to remind us we had to earn our way there;).

copy-of-dscn2496.jpgAnd there it was Lynn Lake, as peaceful and serene as I’d remembered it. It was funny how I could feel myself calming down once we were there and realizing that I’d been feeling my energy quite accelerated. This was more than likely due to hiking up the center of a fast flowing, loud river. It’s amazing when you open your awareness to your surroundings (which naturally seems to start happening when you get out in nature), you can begin to see just how much of a profound effect the energies of your environment can have on you. Keep that in mind the next time you’re feeling way out of wack. Look at your surrounding environment and see whether there is something that can be adjusted to assist you in getting yourself back on line.

copy-of-dscn2501.jpgWe hung out for lunch for about a half hour and then started the trek back down. Down is always a little more of an effort, had to be a little more focused. When we’d gotten back to the parking lot, the distance to Lynn Lake and back had jumped into my head (I usually don’t think about the distance). It was 21.8 km. And it occurred to me, “hey, we just did a half marathon up and down a mountain…….in fact every time we do one of these long ones, we are doing a half marathon”. I mentioned that to Chris and he said “yeah, that’s what Richard (our father in law who runs marathons) said when we went to Crown Mtn., only he said this was harder”.

I tend not to think of it that way, but when put into that context, it left me with an energy that fueled me the rest of the day (not saying I didn’t still feel it the day after;). To get a glimpse of increasing capacity in oneself, it sparks reflection on increasing capacity in other aspects of ones life and gives you a sense of moving forward.

It was cool, to think that when we go out for a “hike”, we’re in fact doing half marathons….up and down mountains.

Chasing Pain

11 07 2007

Up PainMost of our lives we are constantly trying to get away from pain, but pain is just a part of life. Without it there would be no way of knowing how good things could be. Let me stop here before it gets too cheesey! I heard a friend tell me recently that in Russia, they looked at him weird when he complained because it was silly to fuss about things you could not change…. I have to admit that it made me stop and think.

Valleys and MountainsSo what does this all have to do with discipline? Well, over the last few weeks, the requirements for our hikes have been increasing. Our last hike was 8:35 min! We were lucky this time to be joined by my father-in-law, who is in his 50’s and runs marathons! So the idea of this hike is to gain about 1000 meters of elevation, then walk in the snow for an hour, loose about 600 meters of elevation and then gain about 800 meters of elevation (not to mention walking back they way you came from.)

Richard and Shane at CrownIf you are still wondering where pain and complaining come into the equation, I am sorry, I might have not fully conveyed the extent of the situation. So first you go up PAIN and then you walk through PAIN and then you walk down a slope(and all you can think about is the PAIN of going up the slope on the way back) and then you go up PAIN and then you walk back they way you came from.

What I discovered on this hike was the need for self-restraint. I needed to take control of my emotions and while still being exhausted, not allowing myself to complain or loose focus of the goal. At this point enters patience since it is what you need when things don’t go your. I also figured out that I need to have more fun and stop hurrying to get home to the family.

Crown MountainIt seems that time and patience don’t seem to be able to coexists peacefully. If one is overly concerned about time or in a hurry, it becomes next to impossible to be patient. So when I stopped being in a hurry to get home and started to be ‘mindful of my thoughts’, the hike became fun and I had less pain.

I guess the moral is that our reality is created by our thoughts and thus complaining can only bring us down.


A Different Type of Workout

25 06 2007

Normally Shane and I go on a hike every weekend… but not this time. This weekend we were asked to fix up an office, which basically meant to put some paneling on the walls and clean the looks of the office. At first we thought that it would take about eight hours work. hahahaha… not quite so. On Sunday, we thought it would take four hours! hahahahah…. Think again. In the end it took us about 25 hours!

Fixed OfficeSo basically we spent the whole weekend in a workout. The paneling was not incredibly heaving but after moving as many times as well did for cutting and measuring they sure felt heavy.

The truth is that it was more of a mental workout than a physical workout because we had to continuously refocus our attention at the task at hand. Even when exhaustion has set it. The picture of the office does not really show all the work but I wanted to show something!


The Hanes Valley Hike… a glance.

22 06 2007

So this was our hike thru Lynn valley, across Hanes valley, up Crown Pass and along the Grouse Mtn. alpine range, totaling in 16 km traveled, aprox 1300m in elevation gained, 6 hrs 46 min, 77% pain, 110% fun:)

Hanes 1hanes 2hanes 3hanes 4hanes 5hanes 6hanes 7hanes 8hanes 9hanes 10hanes 11hanes 12hanes 13hanes 14hanes 15hanes 16hanes 17

Always feel like a kid again when we get out on adventures such as these……..and that’s a good thing;)


The Haynes Pass

20 06 2007

Every time I hear the words “Haynes Pass”, it makes me think of Lord of the Rings. Yesterday, however, I felt like we were in the movie! Over the last 10 months we have been going on hikes that many times exceed my capacity in some way or another. They are not completely out of my reach but they are challenging enough that they require more than good physical shape.

Yesterday, as we clawed our way up an hour and twenty minutes of a compacted snow slope with an inclination of 45Âş to 75Âş, I felt like Frodo, wondering if he would ever get off the mountain. It is those times of complete commitment that one has little choice but to move forward. Regardless of the pain and with no easy out or alternate route. At that point, you are alone with yourself .

As my leg muscles started spasming uncontrollably and I felt light headed from exhaustion, I started to verbalize my frustration under my breath. Even at that moment, I was not talking to Shane in hopes to find comfort. It was just raw anger. I knew that I was alone in my mind and that it was simply an opportunity to learn the pain of following through to the end of a task.

There is always a level of challenge in the things we do but is the resolve commensurate? This is the question that I, like Frodo, had to answer.