Archive for February, 2011

Trek to Nepal – 10 weeks to go

Posted on February 20, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Another week has flown by and yet I’ve still managed to keep in some great workouts and build my fitness as well as get some targeted professional feedback to keep me focused and help me step it up to the next level.
By seeking guidance even part way on the preparation I am making sure that I am on the right path.

And also recognising that my path and other activities are also putting me in touch with people I have not come across before and who be able to assist me. Greatly.

When you plan to do something do you keep testing and tweaking your actions? Do you check in to confirm that your actions are achieveing their intended outcomes? Of course. Yet many times in business we see people who seem to set and forget their plans. Sure the actions get done and status is reported, yet it is not always the case that additional expertise is sought along the way.

Som may say this is a good way to get confused or overwhelmed – my view is that I would prefer to test how well my fitness plan is structured. Because if it is not structured well I will find out for sure in Nepal. And that is not the place I want to discover that I have made a mistake.

This week I was privileged to meet a couple of personal trainers who were willing to share their advice and tips with me. Their generosity was brilliant.

One was Andrew Jobling and the other was Tanya Gendle of Strive Training Both happily offered advice and listened to my goal and actions with interest.

Nepal treks need enduranceWhat did I get out of their conversations:

– strength and core training are important

– endurance and cardio training are essential

– lung capacity is critical

– it is best to be fully fit inside and out before I go as many people actually lose weight and condition on these treks.

– being aware of the degree and type of challenge before I go is a major factor in successful preparation

So what am I now doing differently? Not a lot as my plan had been to start increasing my endurance work this week and next. With 10 weeks to go – it will be single figure weeks soon – the time is right to tweak the fitness and preparedness.

I have also bought a book – Eat Right For Your Type – as the evidence seems to be growing about how blood type can influence what your body responds best to. Although I understand the guide it is also reality that I am not entirely a product of my blood type – for example, my blood type is supposed to have a better dairy tolerance than most yet I cannot take lots of dairy or full cream milk. And so once again I am happy to take the information as a guide and monitor how it affects me before resuming or altering a course that is best for me.

That is probably enough for the week. This next week will be a good test of my endurance and weather adaptability as I will be outside all day every day except one for the next week. And then the week after I will revise my focus to lots of core strength and hill/stair work.

I’m still excited about this trek. And still working on fundraising.

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Trek to Nepal – 11 weeks to go

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: Inspired Adventures, leadership response, Nepal trek, personal leadership, Plan Fundraising |

Well another week has flown by. Still working on the plan – no pun intended (remember that this is a fundraising activity for Plan Australia). Getting more and more people saying how close it all is. And also receiving offers of support and help.

I guess that is really what this sort of trip is about – realising that there is only so much that you can do alone. Sure I am responsible for planning and my personal, physical and mental preparation. The support and encouragement of others is really important to that too. And the support of others in terms of financial support to help me reach the fundraising target is unquestioned. It is also the support of others who are encouraging and positive that really helps when you have a flat or platreau week. Those weeks two to three months out where it still feels far away yet not really and where the training has stabilised and is almost a routine of its own. That is really when the support of others kicks in significantly.

Support from others in offering to help set up and run fundraisers. There is only so much you can do on your own – especially if aiming to hold a large event. Other people have ideas about what to run and where to go and have experience from doing it before. So you learn from the experience of others and leap frog your own learning curve.

It also becomes reciprocal – if we share experience and lessons learned then we save others the same sort of pain and they are also encouraged and more likely to return the favour. That is what a community spirit is. When we are willing to share insights and information to help each other.

For me that is one of the essential elements aout Nepal. There is a sense and a spirit of community and sharing. It may be very different when I am there, however my knowledge and to some degree my expectation is that I will find and experience for myself a strong community. A group of people who are gentle and willing to help. No I don’t have to go to Nepal to find that – such support and encouragement is all around. I guess it is just not what first comes to mind when I think of Australia.

With less than three months to go, (and really close to two complete months because we are almost at the end of February) I am having some thoughts and possibly doubts about how ready I really am.  I am working on different things – still my cardio and strength are a big focus with some core work in there as well. The fundraising hurdles seem close and high yet I’ll get there. And that’s probably the theme for this post. Holding that internal unshakeable belief that I will do this, and do it well.

It’s also about variety – keeping a mix of things going (multitasking some would call that!) so that I avoid falling into boredom – a personal challenge – and also so that I am tracking progress on a number of different fronts. From a fitness perspective it is more than counting reps and assessing stamina – although those are important and still improving – it is also had me trying on old clothes that have been a bit tight and seeing how they fit again. Or wearing different tops and pants that I am once again happy to wear.

The next two weeks are occupied with speaking engagements and volunteer work so the training routine is going to need to vary. More core work and static fitness. It needs to be mixed up as gym fit is different to hiking fit. They are linked yet very different. When anyone is thinking of preparing for something I always encourage them to tyr the activity itself as that requires a specific set of fitness that is hard to gain from any other activity. Hence why my preparation is so varied.

Let’s hope it works – I’ll know in just over 11 weeks when I am there.

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Trek to Nepal – 12 weeks away

Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: command or control, expectations, leadership response, Nepal trek, personal leadership, Plan Fundraising |

What a difference a week makes! Suddenly an adventure that seemed so far away and with plenty of time to prepare for is just around the corner. In fact in some respects there are two complete months to go – given that we are one week into February.


What a different perspective this creates. Perhaps not in my mind as much as in the minds and responses of others. This past week when speaking with people about the trek (especially related to my fundraising targets) the responses have exclusively been “wow that’s really close”. It has been a sudden and complete shift.

In my mind there are still many weeks to go and I am tracking well on my fitness and training goals, preparing the right equipment, having test runs of all of my gear within the next few weeks and keeping up with the timing of progress payments for travel costs and fundraising donations as well. Lots of things going on yet all weaving together to form a complete tapestry of what will be a trip of a lifetime. A trip that will benefit me, will benefit Plan and will benefit communities. A trip that will also connect some of my friends and colleagues – and people who do not know me that well – with Nepal and a passion for helping others as the thread that joins us.

And that is what has really struck me about this week: many things seem to have shifted. It is not just the reactions of others, my own actiity and focus this week also shifted. It has been really hard this week to fit in the physical training due to weather and work commitments  and so I have shifted my focus to my mental and emotional state. Lots of meditation work and mindfulness. Rather than being physically active I have been mentally aware and focused. And perhaps mentally aware of what I have not been doing before I was able to turn that into what I have been doing. Making the switch from physical to mental activity initially felt like I was doing nothing and that was disappointing. Then I realised what was happening – the focal point had shifted slightly. It is all still very related to being ready and capable of trekking in Nepal. Just different.

For me one of the challenges has been that very thing: keeping my mindset positive and not lapsing into a self deprecating dialogue of how I have allowed the training to slip and what sort of risk that now poses to my making the trek safely and effectively. Progress physically has been so far great. There are lots of things I have improved greatly over the past month and persistence has been one of the kesy. For me to have a week of difference was probably a timely reminder that this trek is going to be filled with the unexpected and unanticipated. It was also a stark reminder that this is as much a mental and emotional challenge as it will be a physical one. And emotional and mental control is something I pride myself on highly.

Control. There are only certain things we can control in life – the main one is our views and mindset or beliefs about something. That’s where my personal focus has been this past week. And it has been a very different experience. There are things I cannot control and need to accept that. As Maya Angelou said “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

And I did – early in the week I realised I needed to change my attidtude. Actually it was closer to mid week. And as soon as I did so the change was startling. Letting go of that expectation and pressure allowed me to make better progress with what really needed to be done. For example, I was going to have fruit and yoghurt for breakfast this morning (as I usually do) when I realised that there was no can of fruit opened. Not planning to breakfast at home for most of this week I initially thought it was not worth opening a can and not wanting plain yoghurt that I would have toast. With homemade jam. And then it struck me: I have homemade jam because there is lots of fresh fruit in the house from my own backyard trees. And so I had fresh fruit with my yoghurt today.

A small example of how focus that becomes fixation is not healthy or helpful. So a little bit of letting go while still holding the bigger goal is the optimal way.

Self awareness is one level, the deeper levels are where I have been. A useful event I feel as Nepal and trekking is likely to pull on all of those resources and practices. And probably even more.

I’m amazed at how even preparing for a trip like this has pulled certain issues to the fore – the past week has been full of distractions and so my focus has been tested. As has my ability to retain a level head and clarity on the end goal while also being patient with myself (personally being patient with me is a major challenge!). I’m a firm believer that life throws at us what we need – and here is an example.

trek to Nepal

For the coming week I am reconnecting with my intense physical training while also continuing the mental focus.  A coming week of continuing with the small steps while charting progress to the big one.

Being focused without allowing myself to fixate and judge.

Preparing and being prepared.

My first fundraising event was quite successful. I need to do more, much more, yet have proved that it can be done and whilst having a good time.

Experiencing and being on the journey – because the journey is just as important as the destination.

Beginning to get more excited by the prospect of the trek.

It is quite close now.

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