Training like Rocky, Limping like Bizkit

As noted, I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety all of a sudden around this trip. Maybe it’s because I signed up for it in March and have only gotten more inanimate since then. Maybe it’s because the idea of 56 miles that I’ll be walking…in the mountains…has finally settled in more. It could be any number of factors…It’s time. Time is making me anxious because it keeps going.

Thankfully, a kick in the ass came via app from our tour guides who, rightly and responsibly, believe we need to train for this, like right now. Thank god. And what training works best for essentially walking uphill for 4 days straight? One word: glutes.

Our program for the 84 days prior to getting to Cusco rests right in this handy app on my phone. There’s a couple things about this I like and one thing that’s somewhat annoying.

My Likes

1) that the training is fairly simple and straightforward. How does one train glutes? Squatting, lunging, and stepping up and down and, thankfully, that’s what we’ve done so far. I’m on day 12 and it’s been recurring series’ of bodyweight squats, lunches (of course, I meant to type lunges here but my Freudian slip was too good–I had to keep it in), back and leg extensions, box step-ups that basically repeat weekly with increased weights. Love it.

2) I’m shocked to be saying this but, the community part of this program is a real life-saver. I actually feel a huge sense of accountability to the others that my name is popping up here. The app records when you mark things done and my pathological need to look like I’m keeping up does motivate me to do this with more regularity than I might otherwise.

3) At first, I was somewhat annoyed that it’s the same program every week. The more I thought about it, though, I softened on this. It’s good to see some kind of progress or trajectory. I also assume the weights will increase as we go here.

My Dislike

There’s really only one…the workouts are locked and not able to be seen ahead of time. Now, we’re in about two weeks and both of these weeks have been exactly the same so far. I can only guess that the movements will remain the same and the weights will increase. I DON’T KNOW THAT. This is not a control issue thing as much as it’s a planning thing. I don’t have a set work out time everyday because my schedule fluctuates. So having to wait until that day typically means that workout gets pushed to the evening. Guess what wanes in the evening? Right, my energy I need to figure this out. I’ve missed some of these workouts and given the time, I’m not concerned about catching up because I already do a lot of posterior chain work in Crossfit but…I don’t want to risk it.

Let’s Talk Soreness

Let’s, for just a second, acknowledge that I’m sore all the time. My hamstrings are crying for mercy…as are my calves…as is my butt. I walk like I’m riding a horse 14 hours a day. That’s all part of the process I know…but I can’t shake the thought that if bodyweight workouts in my living room are exacting this amount of soreness, what will that mountain do?

Conclusion: I have to trust the process. This is a life challenge. In everything I’ve ever done I’ve been able to gut it out on the end. Walk in unprepared? Things usually end up just fine. That’s not the case here. I’m going to have to work for it. Actually grind for it.

That’s both the fun and the challenge, I think.

But my butt is really sore…

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