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Jennifer's story: Everesting

After participating in the 2021-2022 session of BaseCamp, Jennifer joined the Giddy Up Challenge and aimed to complete her first Everest.

My Full Everest turned into a 1/4+ Everest with a lot of key learning points to accomplish the Full Everest.

  1. Doing all the training leading up to an event is really important and the base for execution (Score A)

  2. Sleep/nutrition are the keys for the week of the event and are make it or break it (Score F) - need to take off at least a day from work before a large event - i.e. not pushing so hard to accomplish a work project the night before till 2:30am - especially when SolidWorks/drawings/models are just not in Zen

  3. Stresses the week before and of the challenge. In early March we had gotten the bike roof rack - first use headed to a group ride - the bridge seemed low, but not that low - Frank had slowed to a crawl to make sure of clearance, but noticed a car behind him and rolled forward - the on-coming driver's face went into a huge - oh shit as the bike hit the bar before the actual bridge - my bike had taken the brunt of the hit, but didn't seem too bad. With it being a carbon frame - Frank didn't want to take a chance of a micro crack internally that could cause a break - new Niner RLT RDO frame ordered that night. After shipping issues, the frame finally arrived the end of April - now to just get all the components switched from the original frame to the new one - oh there is a change in front axle from 15mm to 12mm need to get a sleeve to convert the hub - no problem easy fix (the sleeve has yet to arrive). Thankfully, great bike shop here has everything together and then loans me a converter sleeve for the front hub - first ride on the new bike just in time a week before the challenge. GU Roctane ordered almost a month early arrived the day before (leading to trying to modify nutrition/hydration the week of the event) Score D - order at least 2mos early.

  4. When sleep deprived - don't believe yourself when you say all is good and I just need to get riding.....

  5. Execution of the first aid station (Frank and Mishka) - great!! Bonus points for having a bonfire - such a happy sight in the dark to come around the curve. System of trading off Gu Roctane bottle each time I pass the station worked well - good way of measuring the amount I was taking in. Grabbing pre-made baggies of food - very good to have variety

  6. Beginning of the ride was fantastic - beautiful weather, legs feeling good (remembered to take it easy and not burn extra matches at the start) Score A

  7. Selection of the route with varying surface conditions, open valley at the start to wooded climb - beautiful views (pavement, gravel, curvy, shaded in places, waterfalls, mostly blocked from high winds) Score A

  8. First 4 laps - did well at staying in the moment - allowing the ups and downs to flow over - dedicating laps to a dear friend who lost her battle to breast cancer in April, to aunts who lost their battle to optical melanoma, to those lost fighting for our country.

  9. The 5th lap started the downfall - trouble keeping my eyes open and focusing on the downhill - with the narrow road having a drop off for most of the way. The foliage/rock/water on the road earlier in the ride that made things interesting and fun were now becoming slipping points and last minute swerves.

  10. Decided to change into dry tank and biking jersey - lay in the backseat shut my eyes for a ten min nap - felt much better and proceeded to the 6th lap - thought sweet that worked and I can continue no problem.

  11. By the end of the 6th lap was completely soaked through again and realized I had created a big deficit in food consumption/hydration - had taken a break after 3 hrs to consume some additional food, but this had not been enough. The hydration occurred as dark set in - didn't drink as much - was overthinking getting the water bottle back into the cage (go with hydration pack at night for ease of fluid consumption).

  12. Reaching the aid station - pouring rain started and ducked into the car thinking a quick nap would do the trick - as I lay in the back seat with my legs cramping and shivering even though it was not cold at all. Frank was encouraging me to get up and go, but my body was hitting a huge brick wall and SLEEP won out. Thought if I could get warm and take an hr nap I would be able to push through.....

  13. At 3am decided it was just not happening - felt a terrible guilt for giving up and that I was letting down the people that had helped me to prepare for the challenge.

  14. We packed up the first aid station - fit the bike and everything in the car (cannot put the bike on the roof - too many low trees - lesson learned see #3 haha)

  15. The plan was to finish the Everest Challenge – sleep and then head to the west side of Japan for a camping trip – this was a great way to gain perspective and to stop beating myself up for my perceived failure of the challenge. The camping location was just back from a very nice sandy beach with beautiful water.

  16. At the end of the camping trip on Memorial Day, I still had some reservations about posting a follow up of how my challenge had gone. Had been thinking about all the participants and cheering them on during the weekend. Then, I receive an email from Colleen about winning the Refer a Friend to the Challenge and that Rebecca wants to interview me on the live awards Instagram – Wow!!! Amazing – how to make the best of a failed Everest attempt. The practice run of joining a Live Instagram with Colleen and Rebecca was an opportunity to express my feelings of having let down Rebecca, Tim, and all of BaseCamp by not completing the full Everest. This was met with Rebecca’s thoughts of I hadn’t let anyone down and safety (not falling asleep and riding off the road ledge) was the most important factor.

  17. Being part of the The Giddy Up Challenge Awards ceremony was something I could not have seen as a possibility – hearing Rebecca’s thoughts of my improvement in climbing ability and taking on a huge challenge are words that I will treasure and keep as nuggets for pressing forward into future challenges!!

  18. Also, learning how to leave a Live Instagram LOL.

A huge THANK YOU to all of BaseCamp for the support, encouragement, laughs, lessons of biking/life and looking forward to many more rides together.


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