“Oh The Places You Will Go… With Your Fitness!”
By Coach Andrea Moreira
About six months ago I received a once in a lifetime invitation to backpack the Grand Canyon. My friend had the backcountry permit, trails mapped out, and excel sheets packed with information. I was in! I had never been backpacking before but I had six months to prepare, how tough could it be?
Well, one month of no backpacking training turned into six months of not training and finally the day was here. Of course, I had kept up with my CrossFit and running regimen (luckily).
The first day going down into the bottom of the canyon was difficult to say the least. We started at 7500 feet in elevation and our camping spot was at 2500 feet. That’s a loss of 5000 feet in elevation in one day! If you ask me this was the worst day of them all. I despise going downhill and feeling my toes jam into the fronts of my boots. I would much rather climb uphill all day long.
The rest of the trip was filled with several life or death moments, walking on “trails” with a straight 2500 ft drop right next to you, blisters(lots), rock climbing, rock sliding, and a plethora of beautiful views.
The originally mapped out trip was meant to be 35 miles in five days. It ended up being 57.6 miles total. The weather was supposed to be sunny, hot, and dry. It ended up raining, hailing, snowing, and having 30mph wind gusts. The one thing that did not change throughout this trip was my appreciation for my fitness and wellness.
Not only was I appreciative of the physical aspects CrossFit has contributed into my life but I was grateful for the mindset that CrossFit has instilled in me. My fitness was able to endure the seemingly never-ending miles of hiking with a forty-pound pack on and the thousands of feet in elevation changes. More importantly, though, I was able to identify what my limits were physically and how to put aside the negative mentality telling me that I need to stop or that I cannot do this. The CrossFit and AMRAP mentality allowed me to put aside those negative thoughts, know that this discomfort was only temporary, and to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Although it wasn’t the brightest idea to not pick up a backpack and walk with it before embarking on this trip… I am forever grateful for the physical and mental fitness that CrossFit and wellness have brought to me.