Not Sure if You’re Ready for Adventure? Consult a Coach

Not Sure if You’re Ready for Adventure? Consult a Coach

 

You’ve been dreaming about going on an adventure trip for years. As you space out during another boring meeting and scroll through Instagram, certain images catch your attention: jagged peaks surrounding an impossibly blue lake … ancient ruins in the midst of a jungle with vibrant birds and flowers … hills covered in vineyards with red-tile-roofed villas dotting the countryside.

Then the nagging doubts creep in. I haven’t done anything like that before. It’s been a long time since I’ve done something that strenuous. Can I actually hike in those mountains? Will I be able to keep up with the group if I go on that trekking trip or bicycle tour?

Whether it’s walking the Camino de Santiago, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, climbing Kilimanjaro, bicycling in Italy or Croatia, or whatever an adventure is to you, with some pre-trip preparation, you CAN do it!

As an adventure coach, I help clients prepare physically and mentally so they feel strong and confident when they go on their dream trips. We collaborate to create a realistic and achievable plan, with guidance and support over the weeks or months leading up to the adventure.

Here’s how it works.

1: Increase Your Strength and Stamina

By their nature, adventure trips include a lot of interesting, and some challenging, experiences. Most of us don’t have the time in our “normal” lives to spend several hours a day walking, hiking or bicycling like you’ll be doing on the trip. 

Yet you can build your strength and stamina over the weeks before you go, so you’ll be ready to crush it when you get there!

I’ll collaborate with you to design a plan that fits into your life and prepares you for your adventure. You’ll learn what works well for you, and the strengths you can build on. You’ll find the energy and motivation to keep going farther.

You’ll try new things in the comfort of familiar surroundings. And I’ll support you through the process.

After a few weeks, you’ll look back at your progress and get even more excited for what’s to come!

Here’s how one of my client puts it: I feel like my walk along the Cinque Terra would have been much harder without the training I’ve had with Becki. I am stronger. I am more fit than I’ve been in years! – Julie M.

2: Stay on Track

We all know the old saying, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. We have good intentions to train for a trip, but then there are the detours, delays and distractions that derail us.

As your adventure coach, I’ll help you navigate alternate routes as needed. You’ll get extra support to stay on track and accountable.

You never know what is going to come up before your trip, but you will know you have someone to keep you moving forward.

Here’s what another client says: I appreciated the combination of accountability and challenge! – Carly O.

3: Improve your confidence and comfort

It’s time to take on that little voice that’s saying “Can I really do all of this?”

I’ll remind you of all the reasons to respond to the voice, “Yes, I can do this!” The reasons will come from the successes you’ve had and what you’ve learned during your weeks of coaching.

When you show up at the start of the trip, you’ll be confident that you’re going to have an amazing time. You’ll be comfortable with the activities because you’ve been doing them. You’ll be able to focus on the new places you’re exploring and the memories you’re making.

What may surprise you is how this experience transforms how you think about other parts of your life, and what you do in the future! More adventures seem possible, life changes seem manageable, and opportunities seem to multiply.

Another client commented: The coaching plan and coaching sessions gave me confidence that I am preparing for my hike and will be able to complete and enjoy it. Peggy L.

Learn more about training for adventure travel on the Active Travel Adventures podcast episode I joined with Kit Parks.

Want to talk about how this could work for you and your plans? Email me at becki@trailblazerwellness.com  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Features to Consider When Selecting Trekking Poles

3 Features to Consider When Selecting Trekking Poles

I’ve recently researched new poles to replace my original pair, which is now more than 25 years old, ISO a lighter and more compact version. So I know that with dozens of trekking pole models on the market, selecting a pair can be overwhelming.

Here are a few key features to consider when selecting trekking poles.

1. Ease of adjustability and collapsibility

If you’re planning to do hikes with significant elevation changes, it’s helpful to adjust the pole length for the uphills (shorter) and downhills (longer). The ability to make these changes quickly and easily makes it more likely you’ll actually do it.

Being able to collapse a pole to a short length for stashing on scrambles and for travel is handy too.

2. Comfortable hand grip and its material

Definitely test the grip before picking poles – you’ll be able to tell quickly if the shape doesn’t suit your hand. Your fingers should wrap securely around the grip, though not touch the base of your hand. Also notice how the strap adjusts to cradle your hand and support it – watch for potential rubbing.

  • Cork. Some people prefer cork grips, which absorb sweat and hold up well. My husband’s poles have cork grips, which he finds comfortable.
  • Rubber. Others like rubber grips, which are a bit softer and are usually less expensive. My original Leki’s have rubber grips and fit my hands well.
  • Foam is another option, though it doesn’t last as long as cork or rubber.
  • Plastic grips are common on cheaper models, but they get slippery with sweat and don’t feel as comfortable as the other options.

3. Weight and durability of the pole shafts

Materials make a difference for this too, and they also influence cost.

  • Carbon fiber. Poles made with this are lightweight and fairly strong, though they can be damaged more easily than some other materials. They’re also more expensive.
  • Aluminum. Also pretty lightweight, and the “aircraft grade” heat-treated versions are more resilient than carbon fiber.
  • Composite metals. These may be heavier than the other options, though less expensive.

If you foresee a lot of hilly hiking in your future, investing in higher quality poles may make the difference in how much you enjoy it.

And it’s far cheaper than knee surgery!

Once you’ve found the perfect poles, it’s time to get out and use them! Check out 5 tips for using trekking poles.

4 Reasons to Use Trekking Poles

4 Reasons to Use Trekking Poles

If you think trekking poles are just for “older hikers,” I’m here to tell you that using trekking poles is how you get to be an “older hiker”! My original trekking poles are older than some of the people I’ve hiked with over the 25+ years I’ve been using them.

They became a part of my standard hiking equipment after injuring my knee doing the Dogwood Half Hundred 50-kilometer hike in the Shenandoah Mountains one spring day back in the mid-1990s.

Since then, they’ve helped me enjoy hikes in multiple states and countries, from Alaska to Peru.

Based on science and my experience, here are the top 4 reasons why you should use trekking poles.

1. Save Your Knees

I honestly don’t know how much hiking I’d still be doing without poles. They are an absolute savior on the downhills. Using poles reduces the pressure on your knees and other joints.  And let’s face it, as our joints get older, they can use all the help they can get!

2. Increase Your Endurance

By spreading the effort to include your upper body, your legs can hike longer and stronger. This is especially helpful when you’re carrying a heavier pack for a longer day hike or backpacking trip. Plus I love getting a full-body workout!

3. Improve your stability

If I had a dollar for every time I was grateful to have my poles for a sketchy stretch of trail, stream crossing, large step or other obstacle, I’d be on my world travel dream trip right now!

I’ll call out “four legs good” to my husband – less a literary reference to Animal Farm and more an acknowledgment that four points of contact have kept me from falling many times.

4. Enjoy more of the scenery

One thing I noticed soon after I started using trekking poles is that I looked around more during hikes. With the increase in stability and sure-footedness (is that a word?), I spent less time looking down at the trail for potential obstacles. I naturally stood up straighter and gazed farther down the trail.

And that’s why I recommend trekking poles to my hiking clients!

Ready to join the trekking pole tribe? I’ve also put together 3 factors to consider when selecting trekking poles, and 5 tips for using trekking poles.