Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Hardy Journey

This was a very good course for me to attend. I heard about it when I did my Leadership and Imagination course in January. Michael and Alicia were in that session so I was very glad that they both signed up for this. As a course offered for the first time, I thought the professor team did a very good job with the syllabus.

I actually liked the fact that it was twelve weeks. It did not seem that long and it permitted me to really dive into the material and relate the content to other ORGL coursework. I thought it was an interesting tie to put in Frankl’s work and existentialism for the first assignment. It made me think more about how meaning is created. His recommendations by doing, suffering and through love impacted me.

I really think I improved my hardiness throughout this process. All I have to do in a tough situation is to think about hardiness and a “Hawthorne” like effect induces my performance. I am generally an “amped”person so I can go from being calm, aware, to stressed out/angered pretty quickly. I’ve learned to control that better through some of the coping mechanisms advocated by Maddi & Khoshoba.

The culmination of this course was obviously the climb. I am very glad I made it to the top. I still feel good about doing it. And I almost feel lazy right now because I’m out of my training routine! I will be setting fitness goals similar to the climb from now on because it gives me something to work for.

Lastly, it was great seeing all of my classmates. I was glad to have spoken with Keyth, Michael, and Kelly on the phone prior to the climb. It was some needed interaction for the course. I think when you are in a distance program you fully appreciate the experiential learning received from classmates. I was amazed at how Sherpa like Keyth was. Michael was extremely prepared and had the most training out of any of us. I know it was difficult for Kelly to turn back. When you google Mt. Adams, “beginner”mountain comes up a lot. All of us, except for maybe Keyth, were humbled by the challenge of the mountain.

I am in a new position at work and this week we had “ops” reviews. Basically, these are territory reviews. We always put fun facts to give the audience insight into who we are. I bragged about the Gonzaga program and everyone loved the fact that I just climbed a mountain. It almost felt as good as actually climbing it!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We made it!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we made the summit of Mt. Adams yesterday.  It was an arduous, grueling, hike but well worth the effort to get there.  I will post some pictures as the team had more cameras.  Here is one from our base camp 8,300 ft for now:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Minor Injury

Well unfortunately basketball left me with thumb jam that is black and blue and turf toe.  Turf toe hurts the most and it is hard to walk but I can still bike and swim.  I went for a hard charging 9 mile bike ride yesterday in 104 degree heat.  I am looking forward to Mt. Adams just to get out of the heat.  I continue to work on core strengthing exercises.  On thursday, I went and saw the doctor that gave me the epidural steriod injection.  She was very pleased that everything is progressing fine.  She was not happy that I played basketball but I said I needed to test the back out.  2 more weeks!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rock Climbing - Part 2

I went back to the indoor rock climbing gym yesterday and really tested myself.  There is one wall that has a completley horizontal ridge that you need to manuever around.  I could not do it this time but I will be shooting for this as a micro-goal before our climbing trip. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Toy for Climbing Training

Yesterday I went out and bought a mountain bike - the Trek Paragon.  It has 29" wheels and is built very well.  It is probably 3 to 4 times heavier than my road bike.  Since I live in Dallas, you would think that a road bike is better suited for the terrain.  Dallas is one of the cities in the US with the fewest bike paths per citizen in the nation.  You can't find a trail unless you drive to it.  We moved a couple of months ago to an area that is near the Trinity River.  The Trinity intersects Dallas and Ft. Worth and their is a levee system built through it.  This is very close to my house and yesterday I rode 13 hard miles on the dirt trail a top of the levee.  It was great fun and you can only ride it if you have a mountain bike.

Some pictures of the Bike

Lower Back Test

I played basketball last Tuesday to test out the steroid shot that was put into my L5/S1 the week before.  This was against doctors orders but it felt good enough to go out and try it.  I am happy to say that it felt better than in the previous 8 months.  I was very spry in my play.  Both my lateral quickness and jumping ability returned.  I continue to do agressive core strenghening which will help on the climb.  I have lost about 3-4 pounds which will help when we carry up a 30 lb pack. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Team Call, Update & Thoughts

We had our first team call yesterday and it was great to speak with everyone.  I like our team a lot and each of them really likes this course.  I am most behind on my training due to my back but I will be rectifiying that.  Kyeth told us that he had AMS on Mt. Whitney and said it was not fun.  I am swiming as many laps under water in our pool to supress my breathing and increase my vital capacity.  I could not find anywhere if any climber trained for altitude this way but we will see if it helps.  I can go 3 laps in our pool which is about 12.5 meters in length. My goal is to do 4 laps.  I am highly impressed with one of my teamates, Michael, who rode 48 miles and did 5 mile hikes with a 65 pound pack.  He will be fine on the mountain and I hope I can keep up.  The last time I hiked was in 2005 from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Top.  It was 1 mile in vertical distance and a 5 mile hike.  It was one of the most challenging physical activities I have ever done.  I had to carry my sisters pack, which by coincidence, was 30 pounds - about what we will carry for this climb.

P.S. My resting heart rate was 49 and blood pressure was 118 over 78 when I went in for the steroid shot at noon on Wednesday.  The nurse said that was good.