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I’m In Good Shape!



You may recall a post I wrote in April where I mentioned that I need to get in shape.  I climbed Snowdon with a couple of friends and although I enjoyed the experience, I also found it exhausting.  This was unlike me because I have always been quite athletic and outdoorsy.  As a result, I vowed to get in shape!

Whenever you are aiming to achieve something it’s important to set goals.  This goes for all areas of life; business, relationships, finances and so on.  The last time I scaled Snowdon we followed a route called the Snowdon Horseshoe via Crib Goch.  We did the first half of this.  I figured – since I struggled with the first half of the route – the best way to conquer my nemesis would be to return with the aim of doing the entire thing.

This picture shows part of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

The route itself isn’t particularly long (8.5 miles / 13.8 km) but it includes almost 3 km of vertical ascent with numerous sections of scrambling and narrow ridges in parts.  It’s commonly accepted as a very hard route.  Definitely not for the faint-hearted!

I’m pleased to report that I not only completed the route but I did so with relative ease.  And we actually parked over a mile from the starting point, so in all we covered about 11 miles.  Not once did I feel out of breath, I didn’t slow my buddies down and I wasn’t in any discomfort at the end of the experience.  So why was it so much easier this time?

There are numerous factors which all played their part:

I Was Better Prepared

The last time I went up Snowdon I stayed up until about 2am the night before drinking whiskey.  Within itself this was thoroughly enjoyable; but it was also the stupidest thing I could have done.  It’s no wonder I struggled so much last time.  I also slept badly the night before and I skipped breakfast in the morning.

This time, I loaded with carbs the previous day (brown pasta, tuna and tomatoes) and tucked myself up in bed by 22:00, completely sober.  The morning of the hike I ate a big bowl of fruit and fibre for energy and by the time we got to the starting point I was raring to go!

I Had Better Equipment

While some of my equipment was the same, I did make a few small but significant changes.  In April I wore a pair of old Nike Air trainers with a thin pair of socks.  This time I wore a pair of Merrell Hiking shoes with proper hiking socks.  The latter were lighter, more supportive and infinitely comfier.  I didn’t have any blisters this time.

I also removed any unnecessary items from my rucksack like extra layers, waterproof jacket and trousers.  The only thing I didn’t scrimp on was water; I had to ration it last time because I didn’t take enough with me.  This time I made sure I took more than enough.

Picture taken from the summit of Snowdon - the mountainous ridge in front is the route we took to get there.

I’m Lighter

Perhaps the most significant difference is the amount of weight I’ve lost over the past few months.  I recently bought some FitBit Aria weighing scales to keep track of my progress and I’ve gone from weighing over 13 Stone to 11 Stone and 12 Pounds.  That means I’ve lost 16 pounds!

I was talking to a colleague of mine recently about the huge sums of money people spend on bikes and hiking equipment just to save a kilo or two when they could achieve the same for free with a little more exercise and/or eating more healthily.  I’ve been doing both these things.  I really do feel great.

I’m Fitter

I drew on the embarrassment of holding my buddies up last time as motivation to do a lot more exercise over the past few months.  On average I’ve been wakeboarding a couple of times a week with some snowboarding and hiking thrown in on top.  As I say I’m actually feeling really good within myself at the moment and I’m convinced it’s due to engaging in regular exercise.  I’m getting quite toned and there’s nothing to not like about that!  Bring on the next challenge :-)

Wakeboarding - I've been doing a lot of wakeboarding this year to get in shape