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It’s been over six long months training this middle-aged body of mine using a new regime of high intensity circuits, plenty of strength building and some help from my personal trainer Magesh who identified several weaknesses and imbalances I had. Basically over the decade since I became partially-disabled from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), I’ve learned to compensate and ‘cheat’ – allowing my stronger muscles to take up the slack  – resulting in my weaker muscles really deteriorating when i should be working them harder – much harder.  I work on a typical 3 days ‘on’ one day off’ routine with a minimum of 5 workouts a week.  From Feb to April, the P90X system kicked ass in building a tolerance to high-intensity work, and helped me, for the first time ( in the  14 years since GBS) actually be able to crank several chin-ups at a go. Since then a week might comprise:

- 45 minute runs with a hill section
- maximum intensity staircase sprints up a 22-story block x 4
- weight circuits including core work
- mass building work, including heavy squatting and lifts
- Bukit Timah hill climbing sessions with reps on staircases or long hikes with a  15kg pack ( a lot less of this with the new fitness regime)

The tough part is actually getting enough of the right nutrients to feed the body the right way, and getting enough protein sometimes requires drinking it – in the form of protein shakes like GNC’s 100% Whey Protein drink mix; and combing some vitamin supplements like GNC’s MegaMens multivits.

Work is now moving towards gear, clothing selections, expeditions meds, communications, and this week – food for the upper camp of the expedition. Our high camp tent: a toss-up between my 2 kg Macpac Summit tent (it’s so small when you smile your teeth touch the walls) and the 3.7kg Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT (see pic on left, cat not included ). The most time consuming part of these trips is the tweaking, repairing of new and old gear for a climb. Packing, by comparison, is the fastest part of the preparations.

My crampons will be lightweight aluminium, and my new plastic Koflach insulated boots come in at a manageable 1100gms. A new brain bucket comes in at 280grams instead of my 10-year old helmet that’s well over 400grams.