I said no to a muffin

I just went to get a coffee – my second for the day. I haven’t had breakfast, and I’m hungry. I strongly considered a muffin, then a pastry, then a piece of slice, and then I said no. No muffin.

So I ate a whole lot of chocolate over the Easter weekend, and I also ate a bunch of other stuff I shouldn’t (hello McDonald’s dinner while driving on Saturday night), but today I’ve had a victory. No muffin.muffin

Workout 26/02/2016

Leg day today. J asked me how it was afterwards, and I reflected that given the low energy I’ve been feeling all week I was pretty happy that I dragged myself out of bed, showed up, and completed the right number of reps and sets (in the past, energy like this has resulted in less sets). So with that in mind I was happy – and I worked through some technique issues too. Having said that, today’s workout involved at 45cm box jump which I seemed to be only just clearing. In the past I’ve easily clear a metre, so I’ve definitely lost some punch there! Something to work on, I suppose.

5 sets:

  • 10 x box jumps (45 cm)
  • 20 x walking lunges

1 set:

  • 15 x horizontal leg press (90kg)

2 sets:

  • 10 x horizontal leg press (90kg) – reduced reps to work on where I’m driving through in my foot. I’ve been finding I drive through the ball of my foot on this machine, so we were working on driving through the heel instead. It’s a bad habit, so the heel work made it a lot harder – thus the reduced reps.

Workout 4/02/2016

Today was leg day with my PT – and it felt like the total opposite to my last workout. I had energy, drive, and pushed through the tough bits. I got a PB on the trap bar, pushed through walking lunges (which I often can’t) and did a new exercise on the leg curl. Positive stuff.

3 sets:

  • 6 x trap bar deadlifts (75 kg, 85 kg, 85 kg)
  • 24 x walking lunges

3 sets:

  • 10 x 1 and a Quarter leg curls (17 kg, 20 kg, 15 kg – I went down a weight at the end because I completed the last set by myself, and needed to get through to the end of the 10 reps)

Cutting the crap: kicking some goals

cut the crap

I haven’t posted on here for a while. The 5:2 kind of faded away – there were a couple of weeks where it just wasn’t possible, and without the gains (aka: losses) happening that I’d hoped to see, the inspiration to get back onto it was sparse. I intend to come back to it, but with some alterations to the 5 part of the 5:2. I was getting my two days right, but the rest of my week was letting me down.

A couple of weeks ago something clicked, and I started acting. I was going to write ‘I decided to change’, but that’s not right- all I did was starting acting the way I need to. Put simply, I cut the crap. To elaborate, I cut the refined sugars and refined carbs. Non-refined carbs and sugars are fine – I’m eating the sweet potato and corn, and I’ve actually upped my fruit intake, but the processed stuff is (mostly) gone. There’s been a few days in there where stuff has slipped through, but it’s been a conscious (and planned) decision. The result? I’m down 1.6 kg since 5th October, and down 3.5 kg since the start of August (around when I started 5:2. This ‘eating real food’ thing seems to work for my body, and I think that once I get the 5:2 happening again it’ll kick start it even more.

I’ve also kicked some goals in the gym lately – I’ve leg pressed 180 kg, and deadlifted 85 kg for three reps. I’m super happy with that, and now I’m aiming to lift 100kg by Christmas. My trainer thinks it’s possible, as does J who’s been planning out a bit of a training strategy to get me there. I don’t know why 100kg is so momentous, but it is. And it’s only 15 kg away.

In other news – I’m heading to Bali in a couple of weeks. I absolutely cannot wait, but I’m also starting to do some mental prep. Do NOT eat all the rice. Do NOT drink all the cocktails. Some rice, some cocktails. Moderation is the name of the game 🙂

Review: Spartan Race (Sprint – 7km), Melbourne 2015

My weekend involved a couple of blog-worthy events- on Saturday I took part in my first Spartan Race, and on Sunday I attended the Swift Health & Wellness Summit. I’ll write about the summit later, but I thought I’d kick off the week by writing about my Spartan experience.

I should start this post off with two disclaimers:

  1. I’ve been sick recently. I didn’t fast on Friday, and I woke up on Saturday unsure about whether I was in any kind of shape to do the race. I did it anyway.
  2. This is my second obstacle race. My first was The Stampede, late last year. Having done both, I’m finding myself comparing them quite a bit.

So, Spartan. After completing the 10km Stampede event last year I was certain I wanted to do more obstacle racing, and the 7 km Spartan Sprint is the first opportunity I’ve had. Each of the different obstacle races out there have their own unique approach (some would call it a selling point). Some claim that you might die, and they don’t care (*cough*Tough Mudder*cough), some provide you with cammo gear and tell you to make like a solider (Operation Blackhawk), some are about pushing boundaries while keeping it supportive (The Stampede). Then there’s Spartan, who’s war cry is “I AM SPARTAN”. They’re tough (but not as tough as Tough Mudder), they’re warriors (but in a more Gladiator style than Operation Blackhawk), and while like Stampede they tell you you’ll need a team, they really don’t push the teamwork aspect.

The ‘festival’

I hate the ‘festival’ concept for these events. Reality? They’re a bunch of food stalls with some merchandise tents. This festival was particularly annoying. It was completely unclear from the outset where we were supposed to go to get our race kit or where we were supposed to line up to start. Perhaps unsurprisingly the festival area was already so muddy when we arrived at 10:30 that we were in ankle deep mud – although it was amusing seeing spectators traipse through the mud! Less amusing was post-race, where there was absolutely zero signage pointing to the showers. At least at Stampede these were obvious, and easy to access.

Pre-Race

I’m never one for pre-race antics- I very much dislike the DJ yelling over blaring music telling us all to stretch, to give your neighbour a shoulder massage, and trying to keep us excited for the 15 minutes we’re required to marshal before the race. Major fun runs do it, Stadium Stomp does it, and it seems that all obstacles races do it. To compare Stampede and Spartan, at Stampede these pre-race antics were received reasonably well by the crowd. The voice booming down the mic made some jokes, spoke to people about costumes, and overall the crowd seemed to be smiley and super pumped. Spartan was somewhat different. I don’t know if it was a rain that was starting to drizzle on us, or the fact that one of the hardest obstacles on the course was sitting right next to us with people failing to complete it left, right and centre, but the crowd was considerably more demure. There were some genuinely scared faces in that crowd.

In my experience at fun runs/obstacle races/stair climb events etc, once the siren goes the crowd normally sprints. You can’t help but run along, for the first hundred metres at least, before a bottle neck begins. Not here. We walked, as a group, to the first obstacle where we all politely helped each other under a net without much ado at all. Which brings me to the obstacles…

The Obstacles

Spartan’s obstacles genuinely ranged from 1 (so easy. So so easy) to 10 (could not even attempt) on my scale. They also ranged from 1 (hated it) to 10 (loved it) in terms of engagement and enjoyment for me. I’ve really got no idea how many obstacles, or indeed how many of the obstacles I encountered were official or just part of the terrain (Spartan does not publish race maps or obstacle lists), so I’ll list some below and rate them on my Difficulty and Enjoyment scales. In no particular order:

  • Atlas Carry
    Carry a dead ball around a (seemingly very short) circuit. Men 50 kg, women 35kg. Difficulty: 6 (35kg is slippery when you’re covered in mud), Enjoyment: 9
  • Barbed Wire Crawl
    Travel approx. 40 metres in mud under barbed wire. Commando crawling and rolling seemed to be the two methods of choice. I chose rolling, and it worked incredibly well. I got speed up, it was sustainable, and I didn’t tear any clothing. Difficulty: 4 Enjoyment: 8
  • Fire Jump
    Literally jump over a fire. This is a very small obstacle, and there’s not much to it besides a photo op. Difficulty: 1 Enjoyment: 2
  • Cargo net crawl
    Cargo net is layed out on the ground – in this obstacle, you crawl approx. 10 metres under the net. Difficulty: 2 Enjoyment: 5 (it was an easy first win)
  • Hercules Hoist
    Pull a kettlebell attached to a rope up a pully (maybe 5 metres up?) then lower it slowly. Men – 35 kg, Women – 20 kg. I feel like my pully was a bit caught up for this one – this made it simultaneously easier and harder. Either way, lots of fun. Difficulty: 7 Enjoyment: 9
  • Over Under Through
    A series of walls probably 1.5 – 1.7 metres tall. Climb over one, under one, and through the third. Lots of satisfaction in completing this one after watching plenty need help in getting over and through! Difficulty: 7 Enjoyment: 9
  • Rope Climb
    Climb a rope and ring a bell at the top. Probably 5 metres tall? I really wanted to ace this. I’ve never climbed a rope before, but I studied the technique, and I really hoped that I’d miraculously smash it. I definitely didn’t!! That’s ok. One to actually practice for next time. (note: Stampede had an unanchored rope ladder alternative for this, which was great for those of us who genuinely have nowhere to practice climing a rope) Difficulty: 10 Enjoyment: 1
  • Tractor Pull
    Drag a lump of concrete attached to a rope around a course. The concrete was, seriously, way too light. This was easy. However I did hear people complaining about how hard it was on their grip at the end, so you never know! Difficulty: 3 Enjoyment: 5
  • Deadball throw
    Throw a deadball over a 3 metre (?) wall. 12 kg for the girls, 20 (?) for the guys. This took me two shots, but it shouldn’t have! Difficulty: 5 Enjoyment: 8
  • Incline Wall
    The wall is on a 45 degree angle, like an A frame, with ropes hanging down it. Everyone’s muddy, so the surface is super slippery. Your job is to climb the wall. I’ve done this one before and succeeded, at Stampede, but this time is wasn’t happening for me. Twice I got to the top, twice I let go of the rope and grabbed the top of the frame, and twice I couldn’t get the foot grip to get myself up and over. So twice, I slid down the wall on my belly. I left this one with tears in my eyes, and without the mental energy to go back and try for a third time. Difficulty: 7 Enjoyment: 2
  • Dam Swim
    The location for this Spartan, Lake Dewar Lodge, has a man made lake on site, which we had to cross three times. Getting in the water that first time was hard, but the really hard bit came when your chest hit the water. My breath left me completely, and with a couple of slow movers in front of me I really struggled. None the less, it was a great mental challenge having to just push through. After all, you can’t just stop doing the obstacle when you’re half way through a lake! Difficult: 9.5 Enjoyment: 4
  • Monkey Bars
    It’s literally a series of (very wide grip) monkey bars, perhaps 25 of them, with some rings at the end. Cross them all and ring a bell to complete. Hanging is not a strength of mine, so set myself the goal of getting across five of the bars and made it. It’s something to work on next time, but I was please with it. Difficulty: 9 Enjoyment: 6
  • Wall Jump
    Approach the 4(ish) metre wall. Get over the wall. Simple. J and I approached the wall apprehensively, realising that our team of two was not enough to get over this wall. We ended up buddying up with two others, and completed it easily. I got a boost up, stood on the side support (pretty sure that’s not allowed), and boosted myself over. I then hung out up the top and pulled someone else up, and returned to the original side to boost the final person over. Difficulty: 5 Enjoyment: 9
  • Wall Traverse
    This is the penultimate obstacle, and it seems to be a Spartan staple. There’s a wall, maybe 8 metres long and 3 metres tall, with small bits of 2×4 wood across it like a rock climbing wall. I genuinely thought I’d have no chance on this, but I gave it a shot at surprised myself. I actually made it to the literal halfway point and was feeling like I was doing really well, when I got distracted. The lapse in concentration meant that I was off that wall in an instant, and by that stage I just had no mental energy to go back and give it another shot. Difficulty: 8 Enjoyment: 8
  • Final challenge
    I have no idea what this was called. Effectively, you had to climb up a negatively inclined wooden wall with bits on 4×2 on it, up the side of two stacked shipping containers, then cross a stretch of cargo net and climb down cargo net on the other side. This obstacle was incredibly disappointing – as the final obstacle, literally metres from the end, it was what I would consider to be the second hardest obstacle on the course. It was clear that maybe 30% of participants were actually succeeding, while the rest were trying and failing, and walking around it to the finish line. It left a pretty bitter taste in the mouth at the end of the race. Difficulty: 9 Enjoyment: 0

Post-Race

Despite the major let-down of the final obstacle, the finishing line was well manned. Unlike other events I’ve done where people are handing out medals still in their plastic bags from boxes, here there were people waiting to hang them around our necks. And I should say, these medals are massive. There’s a large Melbourne 2015 Sprint medal, plus the ‘pie piece’ that fits into the trifecta medal if you complete all three distances. Beyond the medals were people handing out water, coconut water and tshirts. I’m yet to try my tshirt on, but J reckons they’re nice to wear.

As I mentioned earlier, though, the disappointing thing post-race was the lack of signage to the showers. We ran past them several times on the course, but for some reason we just couldn’t find them again when we needed them. We ended up heading to the car, towelling down and getting changed, despite still being covered in mud. Most cars around us had people doing the same thing.

The Verdict
Here’s the thing. This race broke me a little bit. I attempted every single obstacle except for one, and I reckon I completed about two thirds of them. But it was the ones that I failed that really got to me. I knew going into this that there’d be things I couldn’t do, but I wasn’t mentally prepared to race it while sick. It meant that I didn’t go back and have a third go after failing obstacles a couple of times. It meant that when I walked away from those obstacles, I couldn’t laugh it off. It upset me, and it affected my performance, and it affected how I felt about the event.

I walked away from the Spartan Sprint glad that I’d done it, but certain that I wouldn’t do it again. But then, as the days have passed, I’ve decided I want to give it another shot and do it better. I want to train for the obstacles I couldn’t do, so that next time I can give them a better shot. In December, Spartan is holding a Stadium Sprint in Geelong. Although it’s a similar distance, the emphasis really seems to be on obstacles rather than running (not that there was heaps of that on Saturday). So anyway, I think I’m going to give it a shot. If nothing else, just to do a Spartan while (hopefully!) not sick, but with any luck I’ll be able to up the training and hit it harder.

5:2 fasting day 9.5 – my day on a plate

After I wrote my blog post on Friday, my fasting day took a bit of a change of path. By change of path, I mean I decided to go out for dinner, halt the fasting day, and recommence (re-do) the following day. I was completely fine with the decision – it meant I’d still done a solid portion of the day with minimal calories and no refined carbs or sugars (just a coffee and some raw veg), on top of my full fasting day the next day.

That meant that yesterday was my first attempt at a weekend fasting day. I wasn’t nervous about it, but I also wasn’t sure how I’d go. Turns out, if I have a (reasonably) busy day, the weekends are a great time to fast. I got to eat different food to my normal fasting lunch, I didn’t get hungry, and at the end of the day I still had leftover calories for some fruit. Here’s my Saturday Fasting Day on a plate:

lunch

Lunch: chilli tomato and mushroom zoodles

dinner

Dinner: green veg stirfry with soy and red onion sauce

pearblueberries

Dessert: a medium pear and a punnet of blueberries

At this point in time I’m still triple checking my maths to make sure everything I’m eating is actually keeping me on track – I find it hard to believe sometimes that I can eat this much food for only 500 calories. The pear and the blueberries last night felt like a treat – it’s the first time I’ve had fruit on a fasting day, and I could only have them because I skipped the morning coffee. Given that that’s something I can do on weekends and can’t do on weekdays, it’s a good incentive to keep trying weekend fasting! Another plus was the massive plate of zoodles I had for lunch – well worth it, and much more satisfying than my normal ‘grazing box’ of raw veg at work.

Clenching my bum

I’ve had a realisation in the gym. I’m sure my PT’s been trying to tell me this for ages, and I heard him, but I didnt’ get it. So here it is: when I engage my glutes, everything gets easier. It doesn’t matter what exercise I’m doing, or what area of the body I’m focusing on – when my bum’s clenched, everything’s better. I’m sure there’s exceptions to the rule, and I’m sure I’m not supposed to be doing it all the time, but for now it seems that engaged my glutes in helping to engage other back and core muscles that I struggle with otherwise. It’s bringing some kind of balance to my body that I’ve been missing otherwise.

Last night I was doing some mid-weight clean and presses, and some bicep curls and presses. Often when doing these movements I do well for the first 6-7 reps (out of 10) but struggle for the final couple. Engaging my glutes meant that suddenly my stability increased, and although the final reps were difficult they were as hard as they’d been before.

So I’m sure this is something that the whole world knows. I’m sure I’m behind on the times, and what I’m saying is going to be pretty ‘duh’ for anyone reading this. But it’s somewhat of a revelation for me, it’s making life easier, and I’m excited to see what I can achieve now that I’m adding some of this stuff into my workouts.

Mt Bogong Conquestathon: up the Staircase Spur

bogong medal

As I mentioned last week, my friends and I were off to climb Mt Bogong. Well, we did it. It took a (very) long time, but it was a team effort and not only did we make it up the mountain, but we made it down too- which is no mean feat, when you consider that you reach the summit just 8 km into the 22 km round trip! This was my third ascent of the mountain in five months, having camped overnight on the summit the first time and done the full loop in one day the second, and each ascent (and descent!) has presented its own challenges and obstacles. In the lead-up to each of my climbs I’ve tried to do some research about the climb to share with others, but there’s not a whole lot out there for walkers doing the Staircase Spur – Eskdale Spur loop, so I thought I’d do a bit of a write-up here.

As a way of background, the Mt Bogong Conquestathon is an annual event run by the Mt Beauty Lions Club over the Labour Day long weekend. I’d love to link you to a website, but unfortunately that particular Lions Club is somewhat behind the times. To register to participate you simply turn up on the morning of the event, $20 in hand, and they’ll register you on the spot.

We started our walk just after 6:30 am, when light was only just beginning to emerge. The first 2 km of the walk are an easy undulating path along a 4WD track, with the occasional walking path diverging to cross footbridges. It’s a great warm-up, and you can power along it in about 20 minutes. The 2 km is over before you know it, and you find yourself at the start of the 6 km Staircase Spur. This spur is names the Staircase not for the hundreds (thousands?) of steps you walk up on your way to the summit, but rather the ‘stairs’ that make up the topography of the spur. The first half of the Staircase is nasty. It starts off ok, and you find yourself lulled into a false sense of security. Sure it’s steep, but it’s not too bad! Oh, did I mention that along the 6 km of the staircase spur you’ll be rising 1.5 km in height?!!

Around a quarter of the way (45 minutes at a reasonable trudging pace) there’s a giant log that’s fallen down and been cut into several pieces in a relatively flat small clearing. If you’re hiking in a group that’s split in two, this is a good place to re-group and catch your breathe. It’s also a good place to remind yourself to eat something, and drink more water. From this point the track gets harder. There’s very steep sections that are also slippery with dust and dry leaf cover, and it’s here that your legs will start to feel the burn a little (if they haven’t already!!). After an hour or so of this, you’ll reach the halfway point of the climb- Bivouac Hut.

I know some people camp at Bivouac Hut, but I can’t see the point- you’re only a few hours into the climb, and you’re asked not to camp in the hut itself anyway. Even if you’re not camping there, though, the hut makes a great rest point. There’s plenty of shade and flat ground, and a very well maintained drop-toilet (carry your own toilet paper!). Walking into the clearing on Sunday was a lovely experience- there would have been 60 or so people all resting and preparing to continue on their walk, but there was no more than a quiet murmur in the air. Although we were sharing the mountain with 240 other people, there was still plenty of space to enjoy the environment in which we were hiking. Everyone was super respectful.

After the hut, you enter what I think is the most beautiful part of the hike. Immediately after leaving the hut you find yourself surrounded my snowgums, and the terrain changes dramatically- we’ve now entered the ‘staircase’ section of Staircase spur. There are four ‘stairs’ altogether (I reckon, anyway). The first I would class as medium difficulty- you’re walking up well formed stairs of varying sizes most of the way, so it’s a constant uphill, but the length is not too long. At the top of each ‘stair’ the terrain flattens out for 10 or so metres, so you’ve got time to catch your breath. These are often the places with the best views, too. ‘Stair’ number 2 is what I would call the ‘arsehole stair’ (excuse my language). It’s not massively steep, but it just keeps going and going and going. You think you’re at the top- but you’re not!!! Stair 3 is much like Stair 1, but Stair 4 is where the magic happens- you can see the ridge you’re about to climb, but magically halfway up you round a corner and realise that the path is actually going to take you around the rest of the hill, not over it. It’s here that you get wonderful views of Eskdale Spur, which you’ll be walking down, and you can also see Michel Hut.

From this point you walk for about a kilometre on a relatively flat track through above-the-snowline terrain. It’s beautiful here, especially in summer when the flowers are out. Enjoy it while you can though, because the final climb before the summit’s a bit of a killer. Whether it be genuinely physically hard, or whether it’s just the fact that you’ve been climbing for four or so hours and your brain’s getting tired, I’m not sure. But either way, the combination of mental and physical toughness means many people call this the toughest part of the climb. I’m not sure I agree with them- if you take your time, pause for breath and a look at the view often, and remember to truly appreciate where you are, then the final 20-30 minutes fly by. From there it’s an easy 200 metre stroll along the ridge to the top.

bogong summitThe summit of Mt Bogong’s not exactly what you’d expect. Instead of the top of the tallest mountain in Victoria, it just kind of feels like you’re in the middle of a very highly elevated field. That’s not to say there’s not a great view though- on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt Kosciuzko (I had to google how to spell that).

The walk down Eskdale Spur starts out well. The terrain is rocky and reasonably steep but the views are spectacular. Once you hit Michel’s Hut and the treeline, however, it goes downhill somewhat. By this stage you’ll have been walking for approximately 45 minutes (if you stopped to take some photos along the way), and you’ve got somewhere between 45 – 70 minutes left of downhill depending on how confident you are on your feet. And believe me, you need to be confident. The Eskdale Spur is steep, slippery, and the surroundings can become monotonous after a while. Take care to stay mentally alert- it’s when you forget to concentrate that you find yourself flat on your backside!!

Make it to the bottom of the spur and you’ll find yourself at Camp Creek car park. I think this car park is closed off most of the year, and is only accessible by 4WD track, so chances are at this point you’ve got somewhere around 7 km to go (the definite distance is debatable). First up is a solid 700 m or so of downhill through tree fern-laden bush. It’s a nice change in scenery, but there’s a lot of scrub over the track so keep looking down. Once you’ve hit the bottom of that hill you’re on the home stretch- it’s all undulating 4WD track from now on. Personally, the first time I did this loop in a day, I found this stretch the hardest part. I concentrated so hard on the climb and the ascent that I left practically nothing in the tank, and that was a mistake.

Speaking of the tank, make sure you carry plenty of food and water. I got through 5.5 litres of water on Sunday, and that included refilling in the creek somewhere on the final stretch.

This walk is spectacular, and if you’re a bushwalker you’ve got to give it a go. If you’re not, then the Conquestathon’s a great place to start- but make sure you get plenty of practice km under your feet first!!!

bogong view

Check out my legs!!

I made a discovery over the weekend. I put on a pair of shorts that I’d purchased in August (that honestly were a little bit tight at the time)… and found that they’re almost too big for me now. Here’s a before and after shot:

before and after shorts

The shorts: before and after

This is really exciting stuff for me- the scales have ground to a halt recently, with neither gains nor losses happening, but I’ve continued to notice change in my body. For one thing my knees don’t feel fat anymore- and I never knew I thought I had fat legs to begin with!! I’m starting to be able to feel my hip bone on my front, and although the fat continues to grip at the sides of the hip bone at the waist this is proof that changes are still happening.

But despite the stuff I’m feeling, it’s really nice to have visual proof of the changes that I’m making. Evidence that it’s paying off, and I’m still on the right track.

I climbed a mountain (and a great quote from Socrates)

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted (again!!). There’s been a bit happening since I last wrote here, and there’s more to come, but I’ll write about that very soon. Perhaps even this afternoon.

In the mean time, I’ve stumbled across a quote that I love:

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

– Socrates

I did a quick google search to see if I could find a great image to go with this quote, but none of them quite matched what I picture in my head. I love this quote- it quite nicely summarizes why I’m starting to do some physical challenges at the moment: because I want to see just what I’m capable of, and what my body is capable of.

mt bogong summit

The summit of Mt Bogong

On the weekend, I climbed Mt Bogong– the tallest mountain in Victoria, and second tallest in Australia. It measures in at 1986 metres, of which I climbed about 1600. The track to the summit at 6 km long, so when you consider that I was gaining a metre’s height for every 3.75 metres I walked, you’ll understand that it’s a pretty steep ascent!

My work colleagues (and my temporary PT, actually) have all been asking me why I did the Bogong climb. Why would I want to spend two days lugging a 15kg bag on my back up a mountain, only to turn around and come back down again (having spent the night in a tent eating re-hydrated food)? There’s a couple of answers. Firstly, I’ve been looking at Mt Bogong since I was a kid and wondering if I’d ever climb it. I always assumed I wouldn’t (couldn’t?). Secondly, my dad was doing the hike and I really enjoy doing these kinds of things with him. Thirdly, I love the Australian alps. I’ve spent time in them all of my life, and I have a particular affinity to them in the summer months when the flowers are out and nothing’s covered in snow.

But the main reason (although only marginally more main than the others) relates to the Socrates quote. I wanted to see what my body is capable of. What I’ve learned is that my body is most definitely capable of climbing Mt Bogong. Today I’m sitting at my desk feeling surprisingly good. My calves are a little stiff, and my hip flexors are too, but it’s only mild. My body has taken the recovery of the climb in its stride. It was slow going getting up the mountain, but I made it- and I’m even contemplating doing it again. In one day, instead of two.

Maybe I’m a little bit crazy, but I want to know what my body is capable of- and I think it’s capable of that.