Updated: Aug 23, 2021
A month ago I was able to cross off a bucket list item; Make it to Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro. It was a six-day hike through four different climate zones, camping every night after a grueling day of climbing up hill. At the start of the trip, there were nine people in my group. By the time we reach the summit early morning on Day Five, there were only four of us that had made it to the Peak.
I get asked a lot about what was the difference that let me make it to the top when over half the group didn't. If I had to sum it up it boils down to three things: Familiarity with High Altitude, Physical Conditioning (Cardio!), and Mental Discipline. The last two, especially, are things I can trace back to the work I put in at Boxing class.
Hiking up steep uphills for over eight hours a day takes a toll on both the body and the mind, especially when the oxygen gets thin.
Every week at boxing I learn to push past that mental wall; that point where the brain and the muscles think they can't go on, but they can. It's really more of a mental barrier and if you keep pushing, you can keep going. Boxing has been a part of my weekly exercise plan for a while now, and the results I've worked towards in class definitely helped me up the mountain. Sometimes it helps to break it down into 30 second pieces; Like Joanie says, you can do anything for 30 seconds - even climbing a mountain! That made all the burpees worth it.