Mountain Grit: Training for the Long Haul

“I will adapt to what I do, or what I don’t do!”

The virius has forced us to pause, and take stock of our priorities. What an ideal time to give ourselves a check-up. Have I been doing ‘what it takes’ to prep and pre-hab for my 50+ mountain lifestyle ride? Let’s see!

1. Stability and suppleness

• Does my posture allow for efficient and deep diaphragmatic breathing?

• Can I ...
. raise both arms overhead comfortably?
. rotate my torso and arch my spine?
. look over my shoulder without turning my entire body? put my pants on standing up?
. touch my toes withonly a slight bend in the knees?
. settle into a deep squat position with my heels down for 30 secs?

. get down on the floor and with NO hands?
. crawl on my belly and rollover?

. sit X-legged on the floor?
. get up from the floor with NO hands?
. perform one perfect Turkish Get-Up with my shoe on my fist?

2. Speed

• Is my gait long and narrow with spring in my step?

• Can I ...
. sprint or run if I had to?
. walk 1 mile [no hills] in 15:00?

3. Skills [agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction, speed]

Can I ...
. react and stay up if my dog bumps me?
. catch myself if I trip or stumble hiking or fly fishing?
. leap up a flight of stairs, every other one?
. skip rope at a rate of 100 per minute?
. broad jump my height [or close] & stick the landing?

4. Strength [Climb, Step, Lift, Carry, Hinge, Lunge, Squat, Pull, Push]

Can I ...
. carry a basket of laundry down stairs confidently?
. climb up into a truck
with ease?
. lift groceries, kids, top soil, etc. and carry them as needed?
. lift and carry at least half of my bodyweight for 30 secs?

. shovel dirt or snow, and maintain my property?
. lunge in all directions quickly and with decent form?

. pop out of a chair on TWO legs with NO hands?
. better yet, on ONE leg with NO hands?

open a heavy door and maneuver through it while carrying packages?
. grab my baggage off the airport carousel with ease?
. move my kayak, bike, or gear on-off my vehicle rack?
. do one solid pull-up?
. do one solid push-up?

5. Stamina

Can I...

walk 2 miles in 30 minutes?
. Hike, bike or XC ski for as long and as hard as I want to?
. walk in my DH ski boots and carry my skis without sucking wind?

6. Specificity “I get what I train for. I keep what I do.”

• Am I ...
. active year-round? consistently doing the things that are necessary, so that I can continue living MY mountain lifestyle for decades to come?
. training to ‘beef up my buffer’, building up my reserve for my 50+++ ride?

7. Spirit

Am I ...
. optimistic that ‘I CAN change the way and the pace at which I age?
. re-wiring for future learning, growth and discovery opportunities?


Hanging tough, so far! MIXED IT:

YES’s + NO’s
Slipping - get after a priority ‘NO’ now
< 25 NO’s
Sliding downwards - start the crawl back up

Simple is not necessarily easy. See the ‘whys and how’s of the 7 Bucket System in future columns.

Next up: Bucket #1 – Stability and Suppleness

In closing, ponder this: “Do I change ME, or do I change my environment?”

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