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Old 05-09-2004, 01:53 PM   #1
mark twight
Departed mark twight is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 129
Ok, I've been a climber and was quite dedicated to training in the past. Now I drive a desk and train as best I can when opportunity arises. I have written on this page about changing diet and fitness protocols, and how CF is applicable to the type of endurance effort that I do (ski mountaineering and climbing most recently). The benefit of CrossFit to a guy running two companies - read that as lots of hours a week - proved itself to me on a recent business trip to Europe. Defined, CF builds a level of fitness across diverse energy pathways such that I can participate in any sport at a decent level on a moment's notice, and I have the confidence to do so.

I flew to Italy, worked for three days and then took the weekend off. The weather in the mountains was perfect. Saturday I drove to the Valsavaranche to ski up and down the Grand Paradis, a 13,320-foot peak that dominates the national park of the same name in the Aosta Valley. The tour begins at 6430 feet, gaining 6725 feet in approximately 5 miles. Admittedly, after the late season, ski mountaineering racing I'd done here this was not an anomaly. I made the roundtrip in 5 hours and spent the afternoon eating and napping so I could go out again Sunday.

I borrowed climbing gear and drove early Sunday to Chamonix in France to catch the first cable car to the Plan de l'Aiguille with my friend Manu (who also drives a desk). We post-holed up to the base of the Col des Pelerins and climbed an 1800-foot high ice and mixed route of some difficulty (green line on the photo). I'm not sure what it was but even after the big day before I felt like I was jogging. I had not been on a route of that nature for three or four years and comfort in such a place does not return as easily as riding a bike. I have some experience on that face as I had made the first ascent of another big route right next to where Manu and I were climbing 12 years prior (violet line in the photo). The two ascents were shockingly dissimilar: one an all out 26-hour battle, the other a 6-hour romp. Granted, the levels of difficulty are dissimilar, my experience now greater, equipment now more evolved, and certainly, my level of fitness now better as well.

But it was the confidence engendered by this level of fitness that surprised me the most and that's why I'm writing a testimonial. Despite my desk driving it seemed perfectly natural to hop on a reasonably hard route right off the couch. The benefits of fitness are not merely physical. Successful completion of a series of WODs builds self-assuredness in a way that few other workouts can. I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment after a mere workout until starting CrossFit. I have never felt butterflies in my stomach on the way to the gym like I sometimes do when a benchmark workout (e.g. Gwen) is on the schedule. In everyday life and for my chosen sports dedicated participation in a CrossFit training program gives me a foundation of fitness from which I can do anything I choose.

For a bigger image you can hit, click on Ambassadors, then Grassroots, then Mark Twight and you'll find a link to the Aiguille des Pelerins on the intro page
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:57 PM   #2
Scott Parker
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver  CO
Posts: 489

i think it's awesome how well crossfit prepares one for almost anything. also, i am definately jealous! i have not been out climbing in almost a year because of school, but still dream about it everyday, and can't wait to graduate (one more year!).

i remember reading an earlier post where you mentioned that you don't follow the WOD. instead you make up your own. just curious if you have any WOD's or exercises in particular that you incorporate that seem to be more suited to alpine climbing?


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Old 05-11-2004, 10:15 PM   #3
Brian Mulvaney
CrossFit Staff Brian Mulvaney is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 475
Nice one Mark. Is that the peak you were about to crest when you took a phone call from coach?
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