Robert’s Ramblings: So That One Time I Went To Peru and Hiked Up a Mountain

Robert’s Ramblings: So That One Time I Went To Peru and Hiked Up a Mountain Several months ago, I realized I had vacation time I needed to use up (or I would lose it at the end of the year). To make a long story short (and get to my CrossFit reference), I ended up going on a 13 day trip to Peru, which included a 10 km hike up what is known as Rainbow Mountain (peaks out at just over 5000m, which is about 15000 ft), and a 2600+ stair climb up Machu Picchu Mountain. We spent several days prior acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, which was at about 3400m. Our van (for the Rainbow Mountain hike) dropped us off at 4000m, so our 10km trek included roughly 1000m of elevation change. If you’ve never been at high altitude, walking in of itself is a challenging WoD. So quickly, you feel out of breath, your heart rate rises quickly. This essentially sounds like a WoD. Unfortunately, there really is no way to prepare for high altitude. Being the best CrossFitter in the world can knock you down. However, I do think CrossFit helped me. Not for the altitude sickness, but for me understanding how my body handles those breathless/high heart rate situations. I knew how to pace myself. This was a long hike up the mountain, so thinking back to doing Murph, you don’t red-line out. You need to find that pace you can sustain and stick with it. When we went to Machu Picchu, we had the opportunity to do an additional hike up Machu Picchu mountain (within the ruins). This was a 2600 stone (Incan) stair climb. While we were at lower altitude than Rainbow Mountain, it was still a challenging hike. We had 4 hours to get up and get back down. As we started the stair climb, I just kept thinking this as a WoD, 2600+ step-ups for time. If this was an actual WoD at the box, what would I do? From my experience with CrossFit, I knew how best to pace myself. Sidenote: of my travel group, I was the first to make it up in an hour and twenty minutes, the second group of folks arrived 10-15 minutes after I did. After all of these hikes, as I was reflecting upon these, I realized that they would have been very challenging to do pre-CrossFit. And while CrossFit can’t help for dealing with the altitude, it helped me in that I understood my body, I understood what it is capable of, and from that, I was able to make a plan on how to attack these challenges. Hey, that’s a pretty good plan for life too…

By |2018-12-16T17:07:23+00:00December 16th, 2018|Blog|

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