Exercise and Mount Everest


Jim Whittaker and myself 2005

In 2006 I met Alain Robert alias The French Spiderman at the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2005 I had another memorable experience as I met a legend of mountaineering Jim Whittaker. Jim was the first North American to summit Mount Everest when he did it in 1963. Also, during the event I met the legendary rock climber Peter Croft author of The Good, the Great, and the Awesome.

Now I am a long term back packer but beyond having gone up dozens of peaks my experience in the outdoors is nothing compared to Jim and Peter. They are legends, I am simply a person who likes the outdoors but something happening during the festival that made me feel reassured that my approach to mental and physical health and wellness is actually ‘on track’.

I had the honor of being on a discussion panel with Jim and Peter to answer questions on how to manage stress and prepare your mind and body for outdoors activity. Before the discussion at other events I had shared that to train for an intense physical activity you benefit from doing the same activity on a lesser scale frequently and train your mind to believe more is possible. This is what I practiced and shared with people. When I wanted to hike longer distances I simply did more hiking. But many people have suggested to me I need to work out at the gym too but I have resisted because I don’t like exercising I simply like to hike. I had always wanted a legendary source to verify or deny what I believe and Jim Whittaker is a legendary source.

What made me feel reassured that what I believed is ‘on track’ is the fact that during the presentations Jim Whittaker made it very clear to the attentive audience that the main part of his training was going up and down Mount Rainer and training his mind that he was capable of going up Everest. Everything else was supplementary. He trained by doing what he loved to do – mountaineering.

To me, I was reassured. For you I hope this helps reassure you that you can grow to be the best in what you love to do by doing more of it.

Enjoy a great day, David

P.S. You can read more about Jim Whittaker’s adventures by getting a copy of his book A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond. Inside is a history of this great man’s life plus lots of fantastic photographs. I have the honor of having a copy as you can see me proudly holding it in the picture above. Yes! Jim is actually 75 in the picture and in great health. If you like the mountains I recommend you get yourself a copy