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A couple of thoughts for today – “no gain without pain,” as in the utmost importance of exercising/training even when you don’t really feel like it, and “you’re never too old to scale the heights.”

That second thought first. I was on my way in to the swimming pool when I overheard a lady clearly much older than me talking about a trip she had just returned from. It wasn’t clear to me exactly what she was talking about, just that she had found something “tougher than Kilimanjaro” - but she had made it there and back!

What was obvious was just how happy and proud she felt about it. Kilimanjaro? That’s something I would love to do – just a little nervous of the altitude and potential sickness.

I mentioned this on Facebook – and quickly learnt that the lady in question had just trekked to Mount Everest base camp and back! Wow! That’s impressive at any age, let alone 67 (again, I learnt her age through Facebook – from a friend knowing her, not through me stalking her!!).

I felt truly inspired by this old lady (not actually so old, of course) and it simply goes to show, you really can achieve just about anything if you put your mind to it!

Myself and some friends at everest base camp in 2006 (Tibet side).  We were on the way from Tibet to Kathmandu via jeep so our trek was only a couple of hours to get here.  And that was tough enough with Jaye suffering from altitude sickness and it being bitterly cold!  Even more hats off!!

As for me, never mind Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest, I hadn’t even felt like tackling my daily training session this morning. I was tired and achy, but I had got up and I was in the space so I was going to make the most of it! And I did. And unsurprisingly, by the end of the session I felt amazing! I almost achieved a four-hoop split, which is a trick I’ve been working on for a long time. Almost…it is a hard trick.

But the lesson – or rather, reminder – for me was how even when you really don’t feel like it you must keep going and eventually you will feel good! I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from a training session and thought “I shouldn’t have bothered – I feel awful.”

Tired maybe, yes, but I’ve certainly never thought it a waste of time! The rush and energy you get from exercising outweigh the effort you may not want to put in by miles!

And who knows where it all might ultimately lead to?

Next year… Kilimanjaro perhaps. Watch this space!

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