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Today I was asked by someone, “What are you doing to get in shape?”

Normally, that is something that would be an unwelcome and impolite comment, however this time context totally matters.  Context here?  We were discussing my trip to Nepal.

Now, I’ve always been an athlete – I spent most of my grade school and Jr. High years as a three sport athlete.  Basketball in the fall, volleyball in the winter/spring and softball in the spring/summer.  When not playing on formal, organized teams, there were countless pick-up basketball games in my driveway, a lot of bike riding and swimming.  However, I’ve never been in what most people would call “good” shape.  I also suffer from what I lovingly refer to as “fat kids asthma” (always gets a laugh at the doctor’s office) aka exercise induced asthma.

What does this mean?  Anyime I exercise or generally do hard work, I am prone to shortness of breath and full-blown asthma attacks.  Now, in the upper midwest, this is compounded by high humidity in the winder and ubercold in the winter, but being near sea level I have never really seen how altitudes will impact my breathing.

In Nepal, I will be 3700 feet higher in elevation than I am in Minnesota.  I’ve only ever been near this altitude once before – the top of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and that was only for a few hours.  This will be 2 weeks.  With a lot of walking. And some hiking. Oh yeah, and a visit to the Mt. Everest base camp. NBD, right?


So, in order to make this trip as enjoyable as possible for me I am going to take steps to build up my endurance and fitness.  I’ve been taking longer walks with Scoutie, went for the first bike ride of the season today, and looking for other ways to stay busy and active.  This is a win/win.  Why? I get to take advantage of the great greenspace across the Twin Cities, enjoy the fabulous weather, and also prep for a trip that will be amazing.

We shall see how this goes.  I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my life over the last few years, I hope that this one is as successful as others have been.

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