The preparation for this project - athletic, mental and physical - will pass many steps that seem small but that are all significant.
In order to transform this team of consultants into mountain professionals, scheduling mountain outings isn’t enough. We need to train and look after every aspect of this change: head, heart, legs, and stomach.
Without the right preparation of each single element, in synch with the others, reaching the top is impossible. The head is needed to keep us from falling into errors, to be prepared for anything; to discover the mountains with awareness and intention, so that the outings aren’t simple excursions, but real trips of discovery and growth.
The heart gives us the strength to face the next step, even when everything else is too tired: it reminds us why we are on this journey, what the final objective is; it pushes us to look inside ourselves at the end of every climb and to be amazed at how much we have changed when we return to the valley.
But we can’t forget the legs and the stomach. It’s our legs that bring us to our destination if we train them well. It’s them that will have to face a bigger change in elevation, a longer time, and a growing effort at every outing. How could they do it without the stomach? Without the right nutrition, without the right balance of all the parts of our body, our physical strength, our resistance?
Winter is almost on its way out, and if for our outings we expect to flourish like flowers in the spring, we can’t stop training all these components. Rather, this is the moment to build the foundations for facing the next challenging steps. And no one is pulling back.
LET’S START FROM THE BASICS
To face any change, we must work on what there is to begin with. How can we improve, grow, if we don’t know our own weaknesses?
It’s with this awareness that the team faced the physical fitness medical appointments and tests at the CONI Sports Medicine Institute. Some showed up sure of themselves and of their physical condition, others a bit hesitant and reluctant to know their results, but all curious to know their body better.
Because this isn’t a simple appointment at the doctor’s office for a cough. There isn’t a signed slip of paper to take home. No, here every physical aspect of the athletic preparation needed for this challenge was analysed: breath, effort tests, recovery times…
It’s a complete check-up that will be repeated in time in order to monitor our changes. It’s a check that will be integrated with other tests, such as the one for hypoxia, which evaluates predisposition to mountain sickness at over 4000 metres in this long journey.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
This question isn’t enough. And for that reason, there is another important partner that will follow us in this journey and will help us in our training: GetFit. With their philosophy, which is tied to “wellness”, and not just to building muscle, we know that we are truly in great hands. It’s with this awareness that we meet them for the first time in the Methodos offices in Milan. Them, and Tanita, obviously.
Tanita is the real game changer in this approach, the tool that will allow us to know ourselves at a deeper level, and to make the first steps with awareness. It’s a digital scale that does more than just unforgivingly show you your weight.
A bit curious and a bit surprised, one by one we get on the scale, holding in our hands the precision handles. We can’t feel it, but a light electric current is passing through our bodies, exploring and analysing every element that we’re made from: fat mass, muscle mass, visceral fat levels, metabolic age…
Many terms that most of us don’t even know! And from the Tanita analysis each of us gets a colourful sheet full of data, number, and graphs. This is us, at our deepest and most basic level. A knowledge of ourselves deep enough to surprise us!
In the following days, the question that was asked around was “How old are you?” There are people closer to middle age that have a teen’s metabolic age, and others that are young but that, according to Tanita, aren’t far from old age. For some it’s a surprise. For many it’s an enlightenment. Awareness, on paper, that we all have our own journey to undertake autonomously, in parallel to that which we are already on as a team. And that it’s indispensable.
STOMACH AND LEGS
Strengthened by this new awareness, we look to the real work: training in the gym. Once a week, all the Methodos consultant participate in a tailored lesson, and will have access to subsidies on GetFit memberships so that they can continue autonomously whenever they want.
Even this is a pleasant surprise for all: going to the gym with colleagues is just another sign of their belonging to this tribe. More motivation to come together. By now, after nights spent together at 3000 metres, ready to reach the peak the following day, we feel more connected than ever.
But the gym is just another element, an external one. It’s easy to see that something is changing from the inside. The fatty snacks, those heavily based on carbohydrates, and all the other food that could usually be seen coming out of our bags and backpacks during breaks starts to be replaced by dry fruit and healthy alternatives. Walking through the office, you can hear more and more talk about healthy eating and sports. Even weekend plans start to include less TV and more walks.
The river of change is starting to flow. It started as not much more than a spring, but its slowly meeting more and more tributaries. It’s always changing flux and trajectory, and so it’s becoming more and more unstoppable. Just like this expedition.