Antarctica Countdown 72 Days and Counting: Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

One of the things I love about being in an active training phase is having the discipline to get up early out of bed. With that early deliverance from slumber comfort, comes the rewards of early morning light and sights. This morning was a “stamina” session with 500 step-ups and a 30 minute run. I decided since my last step up session was indoors, that I would move out and up to the top of Signal Hill for inspiration. A great orb of light was ascending from the horizon across the sea, bathing the entire world in a golden soft light. I grabbed my tape measure and went looking for a step of appropriate height. Much of the wall was too high coming in at 23 or 24 inches. I wondered over to the bench where we’d celebrated the third anniversary of our Kilimanjaro climb a few months back, and voila…a 19 inch step.

I could have used the lower wall (and a 17 inch step) but the landing area was sloping so I elected to step from the lower wall to the upper one. Given I am only 62 and change inches tall, stepping up nearly one third of my height with 15 pounds on my back got my heart racing…as did the view.

Recent research is revealing that it is more beneficial to exercise outdoors. Outside, we have to work harder to overcome uneven terrain, wind, surface tension, etc. but we don’t perceive ourselves as working as hard…a win win proposition for fitness and health. Walks outdoors tend to boost serotonin and leave us feeling better and more clear headed than when we first headed out.

Some research has shown something as simple as having a window in your hospital room that looks out at green space speeds recovery and leads to quicker discharge. After the fabulous time on Signal Hill I headed down to Quidi Vidi Lake to complete the second half of my training for today, a 30 minute run.

It’s been a true joy to be back at running and I’m hoping to have changed my run technique enough so that I can remain injury free. I hadn’t run around the lake in several years and it was fun to see some of the regulars out there this morning walking and running. It’s one of those cool, crisp, sunny and seriously gorgeous fall mornings that I’m so grateful that I didn’t miss by enjoying my bed too much. 72 days and counting…phew…got my Antarctica map on the wall this weekend-now I see it every time I climb the stairs. What an honour and privilege it will be to see my seventh continent.

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