Although I am sad to be missing my cousin’s wedding in December. I am happy that my climb to Kilimanjaro is intended for halfway through the winter in 2014. By then I should be well ready for the -22 degree weather that occurs closer to the summit. Toronto received its first official snowfall for the season on Saturday 23rd. It was a light barely there showing but was accompanied by some very decisively cold winds. There seemed to have been some snow fall over night but Sunday came out beautiful and bright.
The sun was high up in a bright blue sky and though it was rather nippy I felt there was no time like the present to start acclimatization for the cold walk up the mountain. I practically stayed under covers all day Saturday so I had to make up for it today which to me meant a good long walk cold or not. Before I set out though I did the 5 Tibetans, what’s that you say? No I did not actually DO 5 Tibetans..lolol. Ok OK I’ll take my mind out of the gutter. The 5 Tibetans is a series of exercises introduced to me by Trainer S. They are what I call simple yet Powerful. The moves are pretty straight forward 5 of them repeated 21 times as seen in the video below.
The first move makes me dizzy so I always find myself scrambling to find the mat right after. Move #2 has got to be the most challenging for me on account of my weak-ish core, moves 3-5 are pretty ok. The thing about this workout is that it doesn’t seem like much but when I am through I feel Like I’ve received the best burn ever. There is a sleek film of sweat on my body and I leave the mat feeling centered, well worked out and energized. It takes barely 15 minutes to finish these so the 5 Tibetans make an excellent daily routine that can be done anywhere. Plus they are the easiest sequence to remember!
Feeling really great after my Tibetans I was ready to head out for my walk. First though I had a delicious banana, oatmeal, egg and peanut butter shake to get my protein in order. Then I donned the layers; 3 pants, 2 shirts, 1 hoodie, 1 sweater and last but not least the winter jacket complete with the winter boots and socks plus my thinsulate toque covered by my Khemani Kreations Aviator hat! My Sunday Adventure was ready to begin! When I walk I generally have an idea of where I’d like to set out to and more times than not I tend to decide before hand how long I’d ideally like to walk for. This time was no different I decided to try a park that I had passed by in the past. I had noticed that there were exits on two major routes that were a good distance from each other and so would offer me great walking time. I didn’t know for sure but I figured if the park was not long enough I would just extend the walk elsewhere.
It took me about 20 minutes to get to the park entrance and I walked for about an hour and a half within the park itself. I am never sure what the paths will bring, but no matter the season, nature always overwhelms me with her beauty. This park is along my bus route and I had walked by it in the past. I had observed that a waterway – possibly a tributary from lake Ontario- ran through it. To actually get close to the water felt wonderful for some reason. I even found myself loudly singing ‘Climb Every Mountain’ from the Sound of Music (you know the one the Nuns sing ‘ford every streeeeeaaaammmmm, follow every rainbow till you find your dreammmmm…come on you know you wanna sing it to!) . There was beauty and life even in the winter dried trees. There were baby firs with their bright green leaves and shredding firs with their mustard pins shedding on the ground, that offered occasional contrast and a touch of color.
I heard and saw a woodpecker pecking and even glimpsed a reindeer, I tried to take a pic but didn’t want to disturb him so I enjoyed watching him for a little while and then kept on walking. Again I found myself singing, this time I softly belted out our country’s national anthem – O Canada- I guess I felt I was having a truly Canadian experience, walking in the park in a snowy landscape and feeling safe, alive and joyful. In that moment I really wanted God to continue blessing our Land and I felt strongly that I would stand on guard for thee…
I kept on going and found human impressions on the landscape in everything from footsteps in the snow to some truly stunning street art the on pillars of the massive bridge that crosses over the park. Speaking of bridges I believe I crossed at least 4 bridges inside of this park. You know me and the bridges, they are becoming something of a theme on this journey both external and internal as I can feel myself leaping and crossing my own symbolic bridges on the journey to Kilimanjaro. I found a little hill and decided to climb it as I always try to find a challenge on my walks that may resemble something I will encounter on Kili. This one was a short but steep enough incline to get my heart racing by the time I got to the top. Funny enough on the other side of the hill was an unexpected exit of the park that led to a main roadway. It was perfect timing to, by then I had already walked for just under 2 hours. The body felt great but I welcomed the fact that I was within reach of home.
The rest of the walk was along the major roadway back to home for another 20 minutes or so. Nothing much to report except another boost of energy accompanied by the tug of muscle fatigue. It was good to see the door…When I got in the house I noticed the ice had formed on my shoes enough to last some time after I had settled in which means it was damn cold. Gotta say layering rocks, except for my face and occasionally my hands which for some reason I chose not to wear my gloves, I actually did not feel cold at all on my 2.5hr walk. I did something different on my walk today, something I never do…I left a mark. I found a tree stump that somehow called to me with just the right amount of snow and I had a typical human moment. I wrote my initials in the snow…no reason really just felt like doing it… I think my joy at being out came out in my camera finger..so I ended up taking quite a few pics. You can check them out in the gallery below.
Is it winter in your side of the globe? Do you get outside and enjoy it or do you prefer to be inside completely warm and cosy? If you try the 5 Tibetans do let me know how you find it.