“I’m in pain and I’m suffering here and it’s a wonderful thing.”
-Andy Van Bergen
In all the time that I have spent adventuring in the outdoors, I have always had a fascination with going up. Running, riding, or clawing my way up the most elevation gain that I can find is always my focus. In many senses I don’t particularly even like the flat or downhill sections, to me it’s all about the uphill and the discomfort that it brings. Thankfully there are many other people in the world who share my fascination and cyclist Andy Van Bergen is one of them. Andy is the head of the Hells 500, a cycling group focused on and almost obsessed with epic hill climbing adventures, one of which is Everesting. Andy himself is the creator of Everesting, the concept where over one continuous run or ride activity the athlete does enough hill repeats, on one hill of their choosing, to match their elevation gain to the altitude of Mt. Everest: 29,029’ (8,848 m). This idea has taken the world by storm in the five years since its inception because of its brutal simplicity. Anybody, anywhere on the planet can attempt this challenge, all you need is a mindset that will propel your body up and down a hill enough times to climb Everest. This idea and the straightforward difficulty of it captured my imagination as well and in today’s episode, we explore what it means to go upwards powered only by your own body and mind. We delve into who Andy is, why he continuously seeks to push his limits, and the mindset that it takes to endure seemingly impossible tasks.
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