Guest post | Tori Hadley | 3 minute read
It’s 4:30am, 2009. I hit the alarm and roll myself out of my bed and into my training mindset. I face yet another winter season of training for ironman triathalon.
Just as I did almost every day, for the past 8 years, I take myself to training with my squad at dawn. We run miles, swim laps, cycle seemingly forever all before the masses get out of bed. The members of this squad were made up of many high performers in the top 10 nationally, or even top 5 for their age group. My coach, highly dedicated and professional, ensured that I stayed on track and worked my body to the best of it’s ability.
Over these 8 years fitness became my life, but eventually, after reaching a peak, and a high level of performance that I was satisfied with, coming second in … and being ranked as the highest amateur in my age group in Australia I began to search for something more outside of triathalon. After completely 8 yearly cycles of prepare, train, taper, compete, it was time for me to move on and find something more.
I knew that making a career out of being fit was the best option for me. I began to get more interested in strength training and how it related to endurance and performance. After training and competing in CrossFit for 3 years I sought out qualifications and began training and coaching in CrossFit whilst living in Dubai. Being relatively close to the Himalayas, I took my first trip to Nepal and trekked with my family through the
foothills of the highest mountains in the world. I began to feel inspired again. With the renewed energy and power I felt from being in the mountains, I began to look for opportunities for mountain based sports. I began dreaming of bigger and better things in the mountains.
Back in Australia, I found an advert for a position as a strength coach for a small business in Brisbane that focused entirely on preparing people for mountain sports. Trekkers, climbers, mountaineers and skiers trained with Base Camp (on this large, flat continent!) for the highest and most beautiful peaks of the world. For me, working in the general fitness industry in a regular gym simply wasn’t inspiring, but when I found this tiny niche of passionate people, I immediately felt a connection to the community.
For the past 2 and a half years I’ve been a coach with Base Camp.
I’ve helped train people in strength, conditioning, advanced mobility and endurance for the mountains. It’s a culture of building a base of general strength, in all kinds of movement, with more advanced and specific sessions for rock climbers, alpinists, mountaineers or first time trekkers. The community we have at Base Camp is incredible, and the people who train for mountains are in many cases as committed and dedicated as I was for my triathlon preparation. There’s something to be said for shared suffering, and striving towards a common goal just brings people together.
In 2015 I had the opportunity to lead a group of beginner mountaineers up a mountain in Nepal called Larkya Peak. Here I discovered that the mountains have a lot to teach us about ourselves. Experiencing very high altitude for the first time will show you the importance of being strong and fit, and having a high performing body. But what is equally as vital is knowing how to dig deep, how to be mentally strong when it counts, which luckily for me, is something I had a surplus of from my past training in triathlon. Whilst it may not be the case with physical strength, I‘ve found that mental strength is totally transferable from tough endurance events to adventure in the big mountains. Mental strength is one things I am most grateful for in my life after triathalon.
If you have ever thought about climbing a mountain or trying adventure sports, then soon the time will come to stop thinking and just do it! You are capable of so much more than you could imagine when you train and prepare in the right way. At Base Camp we have the experience, expertise and the community to take anyone from any level, to succeeding at new heights in the mountains.
With so much in life, it’s just about having the right people around you to help you get where you want to be.