A year ago today we, The Trainer (my husband and not a personal trainer) and I flew from Melbourne into Kathmandu to trek to Everest Base Camp. We nearly cancelled the trip because of the earthquakes but had trained so much, we agreed to go. Two years earlier we had gone even though I didn’t really want to go. We trained hard for the trek, we walked, biked, stepped, climbed, stretched and hiked for six months and, in fact over trained, but we didn’t make it to Base Camp. There is a story there, because we should have and could have.
In September 2015 we were well and truly prepared to try again. We had trained for six months – general fitness then building up to more intense training in the last three months, treadmill, walks, bike rides, stretching, stair training and I guess you could say hiking. I looked up a few definitions of hike.
hike walk for a long distance, especially across country.
“they hiked across the moors” synonyms: walk, go on foot, trek, tramp, trudge, traipse, slog, footslog, plod, march
We hiked, I trudged and tramped all over the river area near where we live and all over the hills in our neighbourhood with our trekking gear, boots, packs and my trekking poles. The Trainer refused to use trekking poles.
This was much to the puzzlement of commuters passing by and to the amusement of hospital patients in their beds looking out the hospital windows onto one of our practicing hills. No sooner did I arrive at the top of the hill than the Trainer pointed back down to the bottom, striding off leaving me resting at the top. I would get to the bottom and he strode back up telling me how many more times he wanted me to go up and down. Each training session he would add a little more water to the bottles in my back pack slowly increasing the weight. Which brings me to the second definition which resonates with me:
hike – to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Military training! Yes. And most the time it wasn’t pleasurable. I would come home from work and have a backpack thrown at me and was told to get changed. Rain or shine, out we went. By the time we left for Kathmandu we were training five days a week including week nights. By the last week I was exhausted and near tears when he suggested a final training session. That was in 2013. Last year I told him what I thought about his idea of training on the fourth or fifth day before we were to fly out.
So Hike I think I know all about it. But I have to say I had never really hiked or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
At 4200 metres on the Dingboche Ridgetop
Other posts you may like to read.
An example of our last months training 2015