Yesterday was my second go at the Rwenzori Boot Camp with our trainer George. As I got into my car to head to the exercise venue, I had that bad feeling deep in my belly, a feeling of dread, not knowing what lay ahead of me. As I drove to Joy’s office in Ntinda, I was glad for the slight delay the evening traffic offered, because that meant I was not speeding to my ‘death by exercise’. As I drove I felt like a sheep walking to its own slaughter, I felt like a cow leading itself to the abattoir – how foolish could I be?
I arrived before the trainer did, so I had time to have light banter with Shelly – a friend and fellow mountain climber. We got ourselves some seats and sat down at the veranda of Joy’s office, waiting for her to join us, and before she did, along came George. The first thing he said to me, as he jumped out of his car smiling, was: “So you’ve come to die a second time, once was not enough?” And in my head I pictured myself as that foolish cow that had led herself to the abattoir. Goerge pulled out a thick lime green skipping rope. I had never seen a thing like that! The skipping roap weighed one kilogram! He also pulled out a tire, and I knew we were in for tire exercises.
Without much ado, and without waiting for Joy to arrive, George asked Shelly and I to start skipping. My was that rope heavy! We did twenty jumps, then fifty jumps, then many more. Yes the rope was heavy, but it was actually fun. Joy joined us and she too got into the skipping exercise. That was the warm up. That rope really gets your heart rate going! Apparently, those skipping ropes are available at Game Store, at Lugogo Mall. They also have ropes that weight one and a half kilos.
After the skipping, we did tire exercises, which consisted of hitting a tire against a tree with all the strength one can muster, while staying steady. We then did suicide sprints, we did jumping jacks, we did an exercise called knees up where you bring your knee up to your chest, while clapping your hands between the leg and bouncing at the same time. George wanted to get us into the rhythm so he started chanting – “Swagger where? Swagger where, swagger where? People talk to me.” After the knees up, we did some more suicide sprints and then went to do exercises on our mats. We did one called ‘doggy pee’ which is literally going down on all fours and then lifting the leg like a dog would when it’s peeing. We did this for several rounds – it’s a great leg and butt exercise.
We jumped logs – five in a row. I still have to work on landing with a spring. When I jump, I land with a big thud, my whole weight coming down onto my feet. I need to learn to be nimble. In order to get us to jump faster, he told us to assume a lion was after us, but I was so tired, the mental picture of a lion chasing me did not get me to jump any faster. Maybe my mental picture was of a lion running in very slow motion. Then I started to think it might be cool to have an actual lion chasing us. I voiced my thought and George promptly told me to be careful what I ask for. After the jumping we ran five times up Joy’s steep drive way. Shelly, seeing I was all spent, ran beside me and kept encouraging me. Without her, I don’t think I could have ran up that hill five times. We ended the exercise routine with stretches – and my second death was over.
It was fun in the end, and I will go again this Thursday, and George already promised us that Thursday’s exercises will be harder – and he is a man of his word!
Going home, I reflected on the journey to Rwenzori. It is both fun and not easy at the same time. It takes crazy commitment and dedication. I thanked God for George. He is a heaven send. He is so committed to us getting in shape and being strong enough for the climb, it’s totally amazing! It’s great that God has put people in our lives to help us along with our goal. Just yesterday morning, a mutual friend had written to Joy and I, to give us tips on how best to prepare for the climb. That is another heaven send.
As you travel the journey to fulfilling your goal, God will place people in your path to help you along. Embrace them. Learn all you can from them. Do not take their time and talent for granted. Maximize those divine connections!