Sunday, January 15, 2017

Health: The Yama Challenge

Dividends can come in many forms. What most people associate them with are the financial form - different size payments that slowly help you build your snow ball for retirement. However, life can give dividends in more than just financial ways. I feel that one of the most important dividends that life can provide is through physical fitness. That's why I came up with what I have dubbed, the Yama Challenge.

Yama is Japanese for mountain. The reason that it's called the Yama Challenge is because the entire program revolves around climbing mountains. Don't worry - it doesn't require that you book a trip to Everest. That would cost more money and take more time than most of us have. Instead, the challenge revolves around using a stair climber machine. The stair climber machine is used to keep track of how many floors you climb per day and per week. Eventually, you'll be using those floors to reach a combined total number that is greater than the total height of Mount Everest.

First, let's get into the math. Most stair climber machines average about 10 feet per floor. If we assume that each floor is 10 feet, we then take the total feet of Everest and see just how many floors it would take to reach the top. Don't worry about looking it up. I've done the math and it would take approximately 2,903 floors to reach the summit. While this feels a bit daunting, it is actually very surmountable if one gives it an honest effort.

Why stop there though? While Everest is clearly the biggest and hardest for climbers to surmount, there are other mountains along the way that present their own challenges. This is why I've put together a series of mountains to climb along the way until you finally reach the top of Everest at the very end. Each mountain leading up to Everest will be its own challenge and each one will be taller than the former. Just like life, when one mountain is finally climbed, another more taller mountain rears its head. Also just like life however, when you look back at the mountains you've climbed, you'll be able to remember how hard it felt when you were doing it but how you overcame it anyway. As long as you don't quit, the mountain can always be climbed.

The mountains and the total amount of floors required to climb them are listed below:

108 Floors - Mount Kinka - Japan
197 Flours - Mount Takao - Japan
320 Floors - Mount Edgecumbe - USA
420 Floors - Mount Vesuvius - Italy
659 Floors - Mount Le Conte - USA
903 Floors - Mount Olympus - USA
1,237 Floors - Mount Victoria - Canada
1,403 Floors - Mount Langley - USA
1,706 Floors - Mount Kenya - Kenya
2,178 Floors - Mount Kailash - Tibet
2,389 Floors - K6 - Pakistan
2,636 Floors - Shishapangma - China
2,903 Floors - Mount Everest - Nepal/China

Obviously if you choose to take on the challenge yourself, you won't be able to complete all 2,903 floors yourself in one week. That's okay though as the whole program is a process. An easy way to keep track of that process is to track each day of the week on a cycle basis. One week is one cycle and at the end of each week, you add up the total number of floors that you've climbed. For the first run at Everest, try to see how many cycles it takes for you to reach the top. Then once you've hit the summit, if you liked the climb, see about taking it for a second run to see if you can complete the climb in less total cycles.

Real Application:

I myself have been attempting this program and it has really been working for me. I feel incredibly fulfilled and driven to dig in and aim for more and more floors each day. My first cycle results were as follows:

Cycle 1:

Starting weight: 211.0 lbs

Day 1: 71
Day 2: 36
Day 3: 78
Day 4: 54
Day 5: 91
Day 6: 31
Day 7: 102

Ending weight: 206.6 lbs
Cycle One - Total Floors: 463


  1. Very nicely done. You've done well. Thanks for the post. Looks like you'll do well this year.

    1. Thank you and I certainly hope it continues to go as well as it has thus far.

  2. Hi DividendReaper,
    Thanks for the reminder that I should be using the stairs at work instead of the elevator!
    Congrats on increasing your exercising!
    Best wishes,

    1. It's my pleasure :). It's a great idea to always use the stairs when possible. Great for your health and as you can see above, your waist line!

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