Nina Spencer

Maximizing the Probability of Reaching Your 5,882 Metre/19,298 Foot “Summit”

Saturday, January 8th to Thursday, January 13th, inclusive

Well this is it my friends, the metaphoric 11th hour. And as for me? I've completely scaled back any walking or hiking now. Months ago I read that this is the advice offered up by modern-day coaches of elite athletes. Sounds good to me! However, I'm not on the couch eating bonbons, yet. As mentioned in my last blog, starting last Saturday I began six days of Dr. Greg Gannon's hypoxic training. This training has me hooked up to a depleting oxygen machine while pedaling pretty much non-stop for an hour on a stationery bike.

Little by little my body is learning how to work and recognize less and less oxygen. So far, so good. I seem to be doing well. Despite having as much as 25% less oxygen with which to physically work, I don't seem to be feeling it...at all. Weird, a bit, to me, but there you go. Apparently about 50% will feel the effects immediately and consciously learn the cues, thereby altering their breathing techniques accordingly; the other half won't "clue in" that their oxygen has been reduced (even if their body knows it). That second half will keep merrily going along as if they have access to the same 100% amount of oxygen normally available.

I'm in this latter category. The good news about THAT is, based on this technique, I should be fine, breathing-wise, at the Kilimanjaro summit. The potential BAD news, is my body doesn't seem to register that it's working with less oxygen and therefore, potentially, may disrespect the need to breath deeper and go slower.

Never mind. I'm okay with this. I'll work hard to be ever-mindful and apply all the meditative breathing techniques I've learned and championed through the years, to compensate. I'll be sure to go slooooooowly, even if I feel I can move along at a faster clip, and, as well, will breath deeeeeply, using diaphragmatic breathing techniques learned from both meditation and also from a few singing lessons I took along the way.

Actually, this last minute training has only fuelled my confidence and positive energy, but rest assured, has NOT made me cocky or arrogant about that which I'm about to embark. I'm ready. That's all. Ready. You know that feeling...when there's nothing else to be done but let the day arrive?

One again, I remind myself (and even you, for some of the professional and/or personal challenges you may be facing these days), take it "pole, pole" (Swahili, pronounced this way: "polee-polee", meaning: slowly, slowly). Slow and steady wins the "race".

And one last point to remind myself of, and perhaps you too:

Despite the philosophy that, "Slow and steady wins the race", some things really aren't a race at all, are they. And, yeah, it's about the journey (and not the destination, as the saying goes), for sure but, if you ARE interested in reaching the "destination", too, maximize your probability of success by pacing yourself and listening to your intuition regarding the timing that will work best for you...work with your own rhythm to get where you want to go.