I am preparing again to summit Mt. Rainier. I gave it a go in 2011 but turned back on the top of Disappointment Cleaver.
This year my plans are to summit on August 12, my 60th birthday. I'll keep you posted and share the results, but I wanted to share some of the training I am doing to prepare for the climb and how that relates to my life-long spiritual training.
I am climbing again with the best guides on the mountain, RMI Expeditions. As part of their support, they offer a 16-week training program to get you ready for your climb.
The foundation of the program is what they call, The Rainier Dozen.
Here's the list:
1. Steam engine
2. Three quarter squats
3. Turkish Get Up
5. Arm extender
6. Triceps Dip
7. Deep squat
8. Steam engine laying down
9. Mountain climber
10. Push up
11. Ranger crawl
12. 8 Point Body Builder
These exercises can be done in about 15 minutes, and they engage every part of your body. Add cross-training exercises to these over a 16-week period, and you are on your way to being strong enough to complete the climb.
I am always looking for ways to connect physical exercise with spiritual exercise. Since we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, (Mark 12:29-30) I believe we need to exercise all four aspects of who we are to love God completely.
I couldn't help but wonder if there was a "daily dozen" to strengthen us spiritually. In my book on the Beatitudes, A New Way of Living, I offered ten spiritual exercises to enhance the spiritual conditions Jesus blessed in his inaugural address as King. (You can find them all in the Appendix of the book)
Building on that list, here are what I call The Spiritual Daily Dozen that you can practice to get you growing spiritually.
DISCLAIMER: Spiritual training is unlike physical training. Your soul/spirit requires more time for development. Racing through these exercises in 15 minutes WILL NOT strengthen you spiritually like physical exercises will build muscle. However, exercising these throughout the day/week/month/life CAN strengthen your love for God and others in every arena of your life.
Give both lists a try and see what happens. You may need more help with the spiritual daily dozen. If so, refer to the primer on spiritual exercises by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline.
- Sabbath Rest