The boys are back, in a big way. 3 jungle gym sessions, 5 adventures, 25+ hours on the legs, 65km of hiking, and over 4000m in climbing elevation. Our cheese intake and fatigue were put on the back burner, and as a result, we were back in action.
MY FAVOURITE WEEK IN SWITZERLAND
This was my favourite week in Switzerland to date. As Jackson said in his blog here, we became ‘Suburb Sardines‘. We had a good chuckle about this term, but what it has actually allowed is for us to go hard on the adventure front.
At The Siargao Session, an event I held earlier this year, one of my workshops was named ‘Go Slow.’ One part of this workshop was analyzing the way we spend our hours, days, weeks and months. Too often, I hear people talk about how busy they are or see people who seem to be living their lives in such a rush. Whether you are in a 9 to 5 job or traveling the world full time like Jackson and I, it’s easy to fall into the ‘busy vortex’. It’s a trap, people love to tell you how busy they and how much they have to do. When you start to slow things down, you give yourself permission to stabilise, manage yourself better, prioritise what really matters and live life on the terms you intended to.
Sign up for The Siargao Session: Round II here!
SLOW IT DOWN
So how does slowing down relate to my best week in Switzerland? We slowed down locationally. At my first skyrunning event in Spain, I made a new friend from Switzerland who offered his apartment and car to Jackson and I for 15 days. In our first week, we moved from a friends house to a hotel and then to an Airbnb. Moving around so much is not only logistically hard, but it is detrimental to many other areas of our life.
Moving into a small apartment in a very quiet town called Fribourg has been a real game-changer. Being a ‘suburb sardine’, packed in amongst streets of 100s of other houses, going to the local supermarket, watering the garden, feeding a cat and teaching myself to cook has been a terrific life decision.
Having a base has allowed us to do the following things:
- Shop at the supermarket, allowing us to cook healthy meals (with lots of veggies) and save money on eating out.
- Make smoothie bowls. You’re probably laughing, but I have missed my smoothie bowls in Europe.
- Drink copious amounts of lemon and ginger tea.
- Set up a work station so we can do work, write and edit photos.
- Get more sleep.
- Head to the local gym, several times a week. We’ve unexpectedly found an awesome gym in a very random forest off the side of the main highway.
- Watch documentaries. I never do that. I’ve actually sat down with dinner some nights and watched Netflix. If you know me, this is just something that doesn’t happen. Ever.
AN ESSENTIALIST APPROACH
So you get the picture, we now get to do all these typical ‘day to day’ things because we chose to have a base. However, that’s not the point. What was important was that we created systems and space so we could adventure harder. We now know where we will be sleeping each night, we don’t have to pack everything into a backpack and lock it a cupboard each morning, we can prepare our meals or leave a pizza in the fridge in case we get back at midnight from a late sunset hike mission. These are just a few examples of trivial things we don’t have to think about which allows us more time to focus on our priorities.
By slowing down locationally, we have been able to adventure harder and keep ourselves healthier. Live smart, adventure harder. Now you know the logistics, it’s time to get into the fun stuff, the hiking!
HIKES WE COMPLETED THIS WEEK
You can click through to read Jackson’s blogs about the hikes.
RUNNING AND PREPARATION FOR YOUR NEXT RACE.
On August 23rd, I will be racing the Migu Skyrunning – Matterhorn Ultraks Extreme. It’s a race in Zermatt, at the most famous mountain in Switzerland, the Matterhorn. It is a 23km race, with 2900m of climbing and 3000m of descending. If you put two and two together, you’ll realise that running may not exactly be all that possible with such extreme inclines.
Whilst in Switzerland, my typical running load of 80km a week has dropped to an average of 35km a week. It has been an interesting ‘experiment’ or change in training for me. In substitute for running, we have spent many hours climbing, running, walking, hiking and descending mountains. I’ve been telling myself that although I have been running less, that the hiking and time in mountains will be just as beneficial for my upcoming race. There would be no point in me running 100km on flat road a week, when I’m training to climb a mountain. I feel like my workload has revolved a lot more around the mountains which will hopefully benefit me when it’s time to race in Zermatt. In my first skyrunning race in Spain, I really struggled with the steep and technical sections of the course. I’m hoping, even if it’s only a little bit, that I will have improved on the downhill components of the race in Zermatt. The race director said that ‘people will cry’ in this race, so at this stage, I’m just hoping to finish.
HIGHLIGHT AND LOWLIGHT OF THE WEEK.
My highlight of the week was hiking Hardergrat trail. It has been at the top of my hiking list since arriving in Switzerland. The ridgelines of hardergrat were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I have hiked many ridges in Hawaii, but these were epic beyond belief. Hardergrat was on another level as you had a gatorade blue lake below, snowy mountains on the horizons and exposed drop offs on either side of your feet. The hardergrat trail we wanted to do was 20km but unfortunately we had to finish early. I fell on the top of one of the ridgelines, which resulted in my backpack falling 500m down the side of the ridge. Everything in my bag broke except a jar of salsa. It was a hard and dangerous retrieval. It was devastating and heartbreaking to open my backpack to unfortunately a broken camera, and both of my camera lenses snapped in half.
As my hiking buddy Christian said: “At least it was a bag and not a body.”
Swimming in Bachalpsee was also a highlight. It may have been a silly decision swimming in glacial/alpine water, but it made me feel so alive.
What a tremendous week in Switzerland!
Come join me and 10 other highly motivated individuals in what is going to be a life-changing week. Across the week we’ll be running the magnificent island trails of Siargao, and completing many thought-provoking and challenging workshops to ‘level you up’ as you move towards 2020. There are currently two positions left. If this sounds like something you want to be apart of, I hope to see you there.