It’s been a quiet relaxing few days around here as I timed my training to take a few rest days around the holidays. I had trained eight days solid since returning from Edmonton so spending Christmas Eve and Dad doing little physical activity was a welcome break. I hope the best of the holiday season found you and your family over the past week.
My training is divided into four phases named Camp One-Four after the camps we will us on Mount Everest next spring. I have one more week in Camp One before moving up to Camp Two. Each phase introduces new goals and new training activities and is periodized to gradually increase the workload. As my training progresses and the time to the climb becomes shorter, training or other injuries become more of a concern because there is less time to get them healed before the climb.
I aim to treat training injuries as they arise and be cognizant of staying healthy in all respects of my life. Some ask if I will give up hockey and the answer is “No.” It’s a critical part of my life for both training and mental health. I will play less aggressively and will do my best to avoid areas on the ice that are more likely to create injuries (i.e. racing for the puck near the end boards).
Along with my own precautions, I have privileged to have the support of a great body care team. Last week I said I would introduce the folks who are being kind enough to support by Everest efforts by donating their services/expertise. Dr. Amy Butt, Director of Allied Health Services at Memorial University of Newfoundland, mobilized the first group of folks. (http://www.mun.ca/hkr/ahs/about/) Allied Health Services offers a variety of testing and professional services to members of the Memorial University community and the general public.
Through Allied Health Services, Todd Row, a certified athletic therapist, is treating me. Athletic therapists have training and expertise in treating and rehabilitating athletes and getting them back into the game/back to training as quickly as possible. Todd keeping an eye on some of my nagging training injuries that seem to keep popping up (oh how I miss my 39 year old body:-). Todd uses a combination of modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, assisted stretches and exercise prescription to treat various owies. (highly technical term).
Also, through Allied Health Services, Mike Pollard, a certified massage therapist and expert in sports massage, is keeping my legs limber and able to handle the huge training load. Since flexibility has never been one of my strengths, Mike’s work on my legs is a real help in staying the training course.
Finding the right balance between energy expenditure (training) and energy intake (eating) is always a challenge. For me right now it is more tricky than usual because some days I am burning close to 2000 calories in training–that can make for some interesting appetite spikes. Fortunately, I have Holly Grant, sports nutritionist, on my team. Working through Allied Health Services, Holly assists athletes in finding the right balance of macro and micronutrients to maximize performance. I log meals into software that Holly checks in and offers suggestions on how I can make substitutions in what I am eating to hit the balance of nutrients she is suggesting.
Through Allied Health Services, I also have access to VO2 Max testing, Basal Metabolic Rate testing, and underwater weighing–all of which are being used to track the effectiveness of training. As January is often a time for setting up resolutions and making positive lifestyle changes, I highly recommend Allied Health Services if you need some expertise in bringing some of those changes to fruition.
Along with massage and athletic therapy, I also have Janice Drover of Core Insight (http://www.coreinsight.ca/), looking after my body. Janice is a certified Sports Chiropractor who uses Active Release Technique in treating my injuries/sore spots. Janice spent a year treating Olympic athletes in Calgary and will be heading out to Vancouver to treat Paralympians during their games in March so I know I am in good hands. Within the Core Insight office, there are several other practitioners so they are also a good resource for New Year’s Resolutions.
For me, mountaineering is a team activity. I am grateful to my pre-climb “Body Team” and appreciate their generosity, support, and care. On the mountain, there is the base camp medical clinic to draw upon as well as having some doctors and a dentist on our climbing team (I’m hoping not to use their services very much or at all this time!!!).
Time to go pull a tire up Signal Hill!
Take good care,