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Members Stories: Jan’s Road To Everest

(Danny McKenzie, Gym manager and Head PT)

“Are You Mental?”

My exact words when one of our long time members and PT trainee told me she had signed up to the mammoth challenge of hiking to Everest base camp – the ultimate physical and mental endurance test!

Working in the fitness industry can sometimes become rather repetitive seeing as repetition is one of the key ingredients to get results, so it was extremely refreshing to have the chance to be involved with helping someone prepare for something unique like this.


(Jan at the top of Wernside in Yorkshire, getting the miles in)

Jan has been a regular PT customer at Maree Leisure for years and she has achieved some great results in that time, however from time to time the motivation of looking like a body builder isn’t the be all and end all for everyone.

Jan wanted a challenge that reaches beyond just looking good in front of the mirror and instead puts her mental and physical strength to the test – so being a keen hiker Jan will be embarking on a trip of a lifetime hiking to Everest base camp this December.

Now, I think the fact that it’s called ‘base camp’ really downplays the enormity of the task ahead of Jan.  It will take 9 days for Jan to reach Everest base camp, she will have to spend a lot of time aclimitising to the extreme altitude and endure sleeping, walking and climbing with very little oxygen, not to mention Everest base camp is an astounding 5.5 km above see level and temperatures reaching as low as -25 degrees!

So why would anyone want to put themselves through such a grueling environment, we asked Jan and here is what she said:

“I normally head to the sunshine with family in the holidays but this is always something I have wanted to do and I want to do it before I get too old.  It’s so easy to get into a mundane cycle as you get older so I wanted to do something to really challenge myself physically and mentally.”

“I’m extremely excited for the challenge but I’m not going to lie I am slightly anxious about the unknown and how my body will react to the extreme environment.  I have been training hard in and out of the gym so I feel strong and ready physically but I have a feeling that nothing will quite match up to the real thing so I’m just trying to get myself mentally prepared.”

Jan has been through a very tough training program that I have put together for her, designed to increase her level of endurance by pushing every muscle in her body to the limit – then a little further.  The final part of her training program will involve three 2 hour endurance sessions over 3 days just over a week before Jan starts her journey.

I’m sure you join us in wishing Jan a very safe journey, we will be doing another story on Jan when she returns from her hike of a lifetime so we’ll keep you posted!

Jan has a just giving page if anyone would like to donate to her chosen cause just click here to donate.


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