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Overcoming Fear of Heights
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Week 16: Ramping Up The Effort!
Written by Tina Sibley in April 2019


The hike in Chefchaouen has finally got my head into where it needs to do and determined to do this. 

I've realised that if I don't step up my efforts, I'm not going to be able to do the Inca Trail.  

Time to get serious!!

The same group I went to Chefchaouen with have a trip booked hiking up Jebel Musa - the mountain across the Gibraltar straits. It's advertised on various internet sites as difficult and not for those without a head for heights. 

So I had my doubts....  but then booked it!  And I'm determined that my fellow hikers will see a difference in me between Chefchaouen and Jebel Musa.

However - I still need to learn to pace myself while at the same time pushing myself!

Monday 15th April

Because of the ferry delay, I didn't get to bed until 5am this morning and then couldn't sleep - so today was pretty much wiped out.  Also, after very little sleep (about 2 or 3 hours) on Friday night and all the hiking, a rest day was needed. 

Spent most of my awake time uploading photos :-)

I did however go to dance lesson tonight. 

Tuesday 16th April

Back to the circuits!  Legs day - they need to be even stronger!!  And today I booked my place on the Jebel Musa hike! I'm really excited and scared about this one.  No dancing tonight because of holidays. 

Wednesday 17th April

Another circuits day - arms this time!  And no dance class again because of holidays.

Thursday 18th April

Rest day from circuits but kept busy, did some stretches and had a full-on fast day.  Dance party in the evening, which was awesome!

Friday 19th April

Legs and abs circuits again today, and really worked hard.  Also - 2 hours kizomba class which, while a slow dance, included lots of squat type poses so I could feel it on my legs!  

Saturday 20th April

Went hiking again - up Valdevaqueros Mt. just above Tarifa. 

Not a long hike in terms of distance - maybe between 6km and 7km (my total for the day according to my app was 7.93km).  Not even high in terms of floors compared to Chefchaouen as this was only 44 floors (Chefchaouen day was 85).

But it was much steeper. 

I was determined and started really strong, keeping up with the guy at the front.  I felt great, my legs felt strong and I wanted to go for it.  But about half way up, we stopped to wait for the others and I started to feel light headed.  I sat on a rock and when the rest had caught up and were ready to go on, I sat up - and then became really dizzy.  I had to sit down again and started to feel sick too.  I drank more water (I had been drinking all the way) and had a bite of protein bar and splashed water on my head, face and neck as I was rather hot.  But I still felt dreadful and had to lie down.  However, once I was lying on the grass, I started to feel better again really quickly.  It wasn't long before I was able to continue, but I had to take it much more slowly. 

We got to the top and had lunch, which I was really ready for.  I was feeling much better by now and hungry!

There was yet another test of my capability with altitudes.  There was a huge, flat rock protruding from the edge of the cliff, some 300m or so above the ground below. We were literally up with the birds!

Everyone else piled onto the rock for lunch - there was a smaller rock on top of the big one that acted as a 'seat' but I stayed on a patch of grass safely away from the edge of the cliff.  

For a while....   

Then I decided I didn't want to be 'Billy no-mates' so I ventured onto the edge of the rock. 

I won't lie - I was scared.  But I wasn't in the grip of terror.  I gradually became more comfortable, although the senses were definitely on full alert.  Probably about a 6/10 in terms of anxiety.  I faced towards the cliff, so only looked out over the edge occasionally.  

Afterwards, everyone took it in turns to be photographed on the rock - including me.  I even managed to push myself to sit on the 'seat'.  I was mightily proud of myself for this achievement.  

Then we hiked a little more to the top and there were more rocks to climb and more rocks to sit on.  I am becoming so much better with all of this and it feels great to finally be kicking that fear into touch. 

Going back down felt much easier, my legs felt strong still - so it's the stamina and cardio fitness I need to work on. 

Still managed to go to a dance party in the evening!

Sunday 21st April

I decided to work on my cardio with a power-walk up Alcaidesa hill.  Just under 3km up a climb of 122 m.  And back down again.  I really pushed myself to go as fast as I could and went up in 33 minutes - my fastest time doing it so far.  5 minutes rest then back down again at a leisurely pace. 

Legs feeling really strong and no knee pain, so my legs workouts are starting to show results.   

Went dancing, but the tiredness really hit me.  My mood dropped like a stone, so I went home and went to bed early, but had trouble sleeping.  I still have to figure out how to push myself so I improve without crashing. 

Previous times to this point up Alcaidesa hill were 45 minutes and 40 minutes - so today I was 7 minutes below my previous fastest! :-) 

Health Overview

Weight has finally dropped a bit - 173.75 lbs

Blood pressure still stable. 

Legs feeling strong - cardio and stamina need work. 

Preparation This Week 


Monday 4629
Tuesday 2511
Wednesday 3983
Thursday 5048
Friday  10,064
Saturday  12,980
Sunday  16,197

3 Circuits, 4 hours dance lessons, dance parties Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

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