March 1, 2013 at 11:59 am
Last week we introduced you to our team member Steve Desson, who has decided to climb to the Mount Everest Base Camp and raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his parents.
Steve’s goal of raising £5,555 isn’t the only tough feat he will face; his challenging trek will take nearly two weeks of walking in high altitudes on the highest mountain in the world. We talked to Steve about how he is preparing for his challenge and asked what he is looking forward to most. Here’s what he had to say…
With the prospect of walking over challenging terrains for an average five to six hours every day of his trek, Steve has been training hard to prepare himself since last June.
“I started gently, walking 10 miles a week split over the days – which was a challenge, by the Wednesday my legs hurt! Now if I don’t walk I ache and I’ll start getting cramps.
I’m now walking 8 miles a day through the week, and I’m out there in all weathers – snow, rain and ice! Come Saturday I get up and go a big walk for four hours, which is over more rugged terrain.”
It’s not all hard-work!
Just because you’re in training it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Since beginning his walks, Steve has been feeling the benefits of exercising outdoors…
“The good thing about that is that you’re out in the fields and enjoying nature. I’ll see deer jumping around and some really great views – it really lifts your mood and by the time I get home around 12pm I’m in a good mood for the whole weekend. I’ve even been chased through a field by a herd of cows in the rain… that was a laugh!”
“The strange thing about walking is I can eat anything I want and not put weight on. In fact I’ll still lose weight even if I eat loads, and I’ll have to make sure I eat more or I’ll end up looking too thin.
“Right now I’m trying to eat for energy; I’ll get up in the morning and have some freshly squeezed lemon juice and ginger, followed by a banana and some other fruit about mid-morning.
“At lunch time I’ll have a big massive bowl of fruit with yogurt and rolled oats, then at dinnertime I just eat what I want. I do try to eat low fat and make sure I get lots of protein. Occasionally I’ll go wild with a pizza or a burger. You’ve got to get treats every now and again.”
Most excited about
“I’m most excited about going to Kathmandu; it sounds like an amazing place and a completely different culture. It’s supposed to be a very chilled out place once you get up into the mountains.
“And I’m really looking forward to spending time with the Sherpas that go with you to Base Camp, they seem like very interesting people. A lot go up Everest just to help people meet their goals, and many have lost lives helping others get to the top of the mountain.
“It’s not a job to them, they do it because they love doing it, and everyone I’ve spoken to says you become such good friends with the Sherpas that help you and develop a bond because of the journey you are both on.”
Most apprehensive about
“I’ve got two major fears about my trek; one is the actual flight to Lukla, which is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. I’m worried I won’t be able to reach the start of my trek due to bad weather which could mean my flight is delayed or cancelled, which can easily happen as they’re very cautious in bad weather with it being dangerous.
“The other thing I’m worried about is not reaching Base Camp because of altitude sickness. Having experienced a little of it before (on a previous trek to Machu Picchu) I know it’s very unpleasant!”
Donate to Steve
Inspired by Steve’s journey? Please donate to his JustGiving page here and help him reach his goal of £5,555 for Cancer Research UK.
For more information on coping with cancer please visit our Cancer Centre.