By Mark Holloway
There’s something about fresh air. I’m clueless about the actual science of fresh air versus stale
Air, but my lungs know the difference. Have you ever said, “I need to go outside and get some fresh air?”
Maybe it’s all mental.
I spend so much time running the trails, mountain biking, and rock climbing, I decided to get some basic medical training. I wanted to be better equipped when we happen upon hurting folks out in the wilderness. This year, I became a first responder and learned about our lungs. I’m fascinated how oxygen gets transferred into the bloodstream through our grape cluster-like alveoli. Only a genius designer could have come up with this system.
I know fresh air when I breath it. Running through the smog in Ho Chi Minh was altogether different than when I traversed the sheep-filled pastures of Ireland. I’ve run the Andes of Ecuador and the Grand Tetons where the air is thin.
The Northeast Georgia mountains will challenge you. Grinding up steep ascents whether by foot or pedal, because your quads and lungs to protest.
My formula for fitness is quite simple. I own my body. It doesn’t own me. When we allow our bodies to dictate the day, we will most likely stay on the couch guarding our twinkies. But we have an amazing gift which is powerful and life-giving… our will.
I invite you to exercise your will. Dig deep and push further. Find that inner beast lurking inside who longs to breath harder, sweat liters, climb higher, and biker faster. We have this inner struggle to get going and remain sedentary.
Kill the latter.
I passionately believe we are wired for much more. Many of our recent ancestors worked physically harder, and lived longer. I wonder what would happen if we simply banished our remote controls?
Seasoned rock climbers and rookies alike arrive here dying for fresh air and adventure. I’ve guided athletes, doctors, lawyers, families, coaches, and kids. Rock climbing causes you to discover your weakness and do a beat down on your fears. Let me guide you and your team to prove my point. Being an adventure guide is reward enough. Seeing folks overcome their imagined monsters is a powerful and salient moment. I’ve belayed countless first-time climbers who become instantly transformed when they stretch, reach, scratch, and grind their way to the rock face’s top and ring the bell and safely descend harnessed to a new perspective.
True health is like a three-legged stool. Spirit, soul, and body. Remove just one and you fall over. I encourage you to find your fresh air. Expand your lungs. I’ve raced alongside folks with no legs and even a few athletes with borrowed hearts and kidneys.
Our excuses are our coffins.
Running or cycling around town is your cake. Let the mountains be your icing.