Last week on Thursday, after the Rwenzori Boot Camp session was over, George told us to prepare to undertake a tyre challenge on Tuesday 9th June. The challenge would consist of jogging/walking while pulling tyres of various sizes for a distance of 10 kilometers. We immediately felt dread because on that Thursday, we had done a similar challenge which was 4.4 kilometers, so doing 10 kilometers seemed a near impossibility!
George asked us to assemble at Ridgeway Drive in Kololo at 3:50 p.m. yesterday, so that we could get ourselves strapped to the tyres and do some warm ups before hitting the road. A few people came late, so we only set off at about 4:20 p.m. We were nine people in all and we started off in a jovial mood, trying not to think of the torture that lay ahead.
To date, I have not had a training session as arduous as yesterday’s! I have never sweated like I did yesterday! Most times the Boot Camp sessions last between an hour to an hour fifteen minutes. Yesterday, the tyre challenge took us a good two hours to compete! In the end we did 8.8 kilometers, 1.2 kilometers shy of our original goal. By the time we finished we were beyond spent. We had to take about seven to ten minutes to just sit and regain our energy before heading home.
I have found that often, doing exercise on the road means that you have to endure stares, smirks and comments from people – ranging from the encouraging to the downright rude. Many people gave us thumbs us, some slowed down in their cars to wave us on. Some asked if they could sit on the tyres so we could pull them along – like really – of all things?! One guy slowed down and asked whether we were practicing to push his car. We shouted a big ‘yes!’
The one thing I totally find strange is how good I feel after exercise, no matter how grueling the work out is. But I had a big smile on my face and a very satisfied feeling in my heart. I was happy that I got to do this and I got through it. I was happy that I had done one more thing in preparation for the climb of Mount Rwenzori.
When I started this blog, I committed to documenting our journey to climbing Mount Rwenzori. When I made up my mind to climb Rwenzori, I tried to dig up information about the climb and most of the stories I found were about the journey on the mountain, not the journey that led to the mountain. Many people advised that physical preparation was key, but no one told their story of what they went through to prepare themselves for the mountain. And so the idea to write this blog was born. I wanted both to document our story, but I also hoped my blog could provide pointers to how my friends and I prepared for the mountain. I hope this has been helpful to someone out there.
Over the next two weeks, I will be on the road and so will not be able to join my friends for the group exercises that we’ve been doing. That means, I won’t be able to tell our story, until I get back. I wish my friends all the best, and I hope and pray that all the time I have spent getting prepared will count for something especially during this time when I won’t be able to be as physically active as I have been over the last five months since the year began.