On Friday the six students met Elia and our trainers Steph and Tanya at Goodlife Fitness. We were all eager to work with them in person after all of the videos they sent us demonstrating the conditioning routines. We split the group; the guys working with Steph while Tanya led the girls.
We started out nice and easy with maximum squats followed closely by max push-ups. For the squats we were side by side in front of a huge mirror so that we could watch our form and keep an eye on each other. Steph was correcting us and pushing us to keep it up. I have no idea how many we did but I remember thinking that I’m not going to be the one to give up first! I assume the others had similar thoughts. We were keeping perfect time with each other and rocked the squats. It felt pretty good. Until we found out the next exercise was step-ups… after another blast to the legs we took a break with dips. No sooner had we finished the dips, we made our way to the leg extension station to work the legs even more! The group was great and a few exercises later we all got to rest for the night before meeting with the trainers again the next morning.
Friday had been a strength day but for Saturday was all about cardio and conditioning. It was intense! We ran to warm up, no ordinary running though… it was the kind of warm up that takes you 5 minutes to do but 15 minutes to recover from before you can move on. Then came the burpies. So many burpies! It didn’t end there! Oh no, it keeps going. Good thing it was over when it was, I don’t think we could have handled much more. Our sore muscles from the day before were screaming at us and we sprawled out on the gym floor for a while. Once the workout was done we had a few hours to recover. We listened to all the tips and incites that Steph and Tanya had to offer and at around 3:30 the Hopewell exhibition started. There was a presentation in the gym where the members of the team were introduced along with the awesome volunteers who make everything happen. There was a bake sale, and all kinds of great activities. The five other students and I had our faces painted and joined some of the kids who had gone to do some training with Steph and Tanya. Everyone was wonderful. There were all kinds of posters and photos, as well as drawing that the kids from the school had made. All of them were in support of FindingLife and the community of Solio. We also had the fortune to see some of the notebooks the elementary school students had made about the expedition. It was truly inspiring! The day flew by! So much so that I actually forgot about my sore muscles from the training! I didn’t forget them for long…
Sunday morning was the day of the next group hike. Unfortunately Steph and Tanya couldn’t make it, but the pain in our legs reminded us of them and all the hard work they are doing. They are doing a great job and were missed. The team met again this time with a minimum of 30 pounds in our packs. It was cold out but we warmed up quickly. The hike was great. Aside from the pain in our legs we all had a blast (we always do!). A few hours after starting, we went our separate ways, ready for a break but already looking forward to the next time.