"I hit The Wall today...at 10 degrees above Zero..."...

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February 2, 2008...Beijing...Sunny...cold...but colder on the Great Wall like you wouldn't believe...Anyone who is a Tall Mountain Climber, well, hats off to you, briefly, as the experience I had today was one I won't soon forget...depending on how quickly my "not-so-smart" cells continue to defrost...When I left the RedWall Hotel (my hotel in Beijing) this morning, I felt pretty good overall, considering I was squinting from the sunshine at the entrance of the hotel..,plus, the chill factor was probably a reasonable 40 maybe, tolerable for sure, but nothing compared to the neuro-sensory assault on my "sometimes" nervous system...Remember how I described living in Coldchun, Northeast China for the last several months? And how the cold had no respect for articles of cover, leather or fur when it made your chilly acquaintance? Guess what? The Wall, yes The Great Wall, introduced me not only to its historical impressions, but a reminder that many thousands upon hundred of thousands citizens built by hand this truly incredible Wonder of the World, and it took over 2,000 years and covers over 4,000 miles throughout China...Ponder THAT "teamwork and commitment", coupled with the the thought that these workers were not only commissioned, supervised and honored for their service, they all had to experience what I did JUST WALKING upon the hand-carved stone steps: Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeze...I was accompanied by, Aaron, the Asst. Manager of the RedWall Hotel, who was my "Chief" inspector/detective when I lost my "BOX" upon arrival here 10 days ago...which has since been FOUND...back to the Wall...We chose the 2nd Exit, Badaling for our "freeze point entry"...now, I know we have the Space Needle and I-5 Corridor that runs from border to border, which is a remarkable passage in its own right, until you hit 'rush hour' traffic, and then the curses rain down from on High about the idiot who "designed this highway anyway...?"...But to look right to left and watch this serpentine structure, snake up and down hills and mountains, whoa Nellie, it IS a Wonder of the World...Keep holding my thoughts here, please, as I am still defrosting and reflecting...and it is cold, by Coldchun standards, yet, I think since the sun's out, "no problemos, I CAN handle this (warm blooded thinking for sure from a person who has NO HAIR on top)..."...UNTIL I make a decision with Aaron to "let's turn right, since we'll be walking into the sunlight and maybe stay warmer..."...Wrong Turn!!...As we made our way up the steps from the Visitor center, and me with my turtleneck, down coat. jeans and casual cross trainers (shoes), the only thing that was more important to me at this moment was the fact that I wore my infamous Coaches Who Care, Intl., hat, that at least kept a smile 'isle' of follicles insulated, or so I thought as we made our way towards a lookout point on the Wall...Now try to imagine this: about a 45degree angle upwalk, into the sun BUT more difficult wind coming from the South and hitting us face on...Anyone who knows anything about climbing, knows that at 45degree upwalk, you're NOT walking flatfooted, you're basically putting all the weight on your insteps and Achilles heels, so much so, I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND ANY MALE OVER 40 to EVER walk up a steep incline such as this without FIRST, stretching both Achilles', calves, hammies and lower back...otherwise you will have the following issues when you awaken the next morning: "What the hell "hit" ME in the middle of the night...Holy Molee, my achy-breakee=backee=...whooosh, wow, why are my Achilles a-killin me right now?...oooh, my hammies haven't felt like this since pre season practices in college over 40 years ago...where's Dr. Bob Greczanik when I need him NOW (Sports Acupuncturist in Bellevue>The BEST!!)!!

So to summarize because it is already Tuesday and I need to post this, I did defrost 45 minutes later, the headache, backache and hammies (quads were fine) were sore for two days and I feel "new" hairs growing on top...

Take care, stay safe, all the best...Coach tom

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