An uphill struggle.

I am settling in nicely to the spare room at Val and Brenda’s house, and am trying to develop some sort of routine that involves some excercise (for the six-pack abs), some harmonica playing, and hopefully when we collect them, some unicycling too. I am also wanting to get on with writing the book, and have to make progress with fundraising and website development.

But find that it is rather too easy to get distracted by other activities that seem a little less like “work”. Yesterday’s trip in Brenda’s car to get some groceries turned into a lovely drive around the local area. Poor Buddy got bitten by a rattlesnake, and had to be rescued. We went out to Val’s cousin Diane’s house for a BBQ last night. And this morning Val asked what I fancied doing today – sending fundraising emails wasn’t high on my wish-list for the day, so we’re off to see his dad, and hopefully arrange some target shooting!

But we have been doing some excercise too. Val and I went down to his local gym the other night, and yesterday I made the first use of Val and Brenda’s little home gym, which is right next to my bedroom.

And this morning, I am proud to say, we were all up before 6am, and along with Val’s climbing buddy John, we headed out to tackle “The Incline”. I did this once last year after we had completed our “7 Peaks in 7 Days” challenge. At the time I was pretty fit, having spent the previous week climbing 14,000ft peaks, and was acclimatised to the altitude.

However, I have only been in Colorado Springs for a couple of days, and the previous month has all been at sea level, with the toughest training I have done being sitting by a swimming pool sipping a frosty beer! So the climb this morning, from around 6,600ft to 8,600ft over a distance of a mile was a bit of a killer. The average gradient is 41%, and 68% at the steepest section! More info on The Incline here.

Last time I did this my time was a fantastic first effort of 43 minutes. This morning I was proud to achieve a respectable 47 minutes. I think I still have a reasonable level of fitness remaining after the Everest Base Camp trek. I think if I had been able to come directly to Colorado straight after two tough weeks in Nepal, I could have produced a fantastic time on the incline!

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And so the rest of this month looks like it is going to be physically challenging. Val is as focussed on the six-pack goal as I am, maybe even more so, and he was already talking about another trip to the gym tonight or tomorrow, a run on Monday evening, and a mountain climb later in the week.

It certainly looks like I face an uphill struggle for the rest of the month!

Oh, and finally….
My camera is working again! I can’t believe it! It has been drying out for the past few days, and when I half-heartedly tried it again yesterday, it seemed to work fine. The battery in it is fried, and won’t hold any charge, but I have a spare, and am back in business. The photos above are from the rejuvenated Canon. I imagine I will be able to hear Moe’s sigh of relief from here! She was feeling very guilty.

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