Outdoors - Climbing High with Marit Raaijmakers - Human Supported Health

Outdoors – Climbing High with Marit Raaijmakers – Human Supported Health

“The only way people will notice you’re a cyclist while you’re walking is with tan lines.”

whether that Bold attacks pushed to the top of KoppenbergOr fly around the racetrack or search for new mountain tracks, Marit Rig Makers He has a sense of adventure. Join the Dutch rider on a day off at Andorra while preparing for Women’s Tour de France avec Zwfitwhere she shares her favorite hobby on two wheels, which is hiking.

“Of course, bike training comes first, but I climb on my days off because it’s a little different,” Raaijmakers explains. “It’s still an activity and I need it on my off days because When I do absolutely nothing, I’ll have a bad night’s sleep, or feel bad. I have to do something, so hiking is a very good alternative.”

The journey does not start on foot, but via a ski lift suspended above Andorre Arcalis and looking down at the twisting road made famous by the ascent of stage winner Jan Ullrich in the Tour de France in 1997, Brice Feilu in 2009 and Tom Dumoulin in 2016. This is the circus of the grand tour stage, and many of those who attended those days probably didn’t realize that the real beauty of the area was only 700 meters away, up the mountain.

Unlike Dumoulin’s ascent six years ago, the day hike is blessed with good conditions and the Raaijmakers quickly make their stride up the hill. The destination is a circular walk around three mountain lakes over 2,300 meters high, known as Estani de Triestina (Tristina Lakes).


I simply like to do nothing but walk, watch and listen‘,” says Raaijmakers of peace and quiet that can easily be found above the hustle and bustle of ordinary life.

From the hilltop up to Lake Vista, the narrow nature of the mountain loop at Port de l’Albeille, Pic de Tristaina and Port de Tristainai makes you realize why this small country – which could fit the Netherlands 89 times – was so. Inhospitable to the Moroccans of the eighth century. The liberation of Emperor Charlemagne was the last time it hosted a battle over a thousand years ago.

Then the Raaijmakers ascend a little higher than the bowl, up a rocky slope to scratch the climbing itch, and look for a good view of the valley, at which point the hiking benefit for the athlete’s mindset becomes apparent.

“It’s not about what you look at, it’s what you see,” she says. “Some people only see a beautiful postcard picture, others see the story that nature tells. The plants, the substrate, the animals, and the shape of the mountains tell you a lot about the past and present of where you are.”

When you are in the middle of nature, especially in the mountains, the vastness of your surroundings along with the stillness of the environment very quickly overwhelm your senses, so you can only be present in the moment. Without realizing it, all other concerns are being put on the back burner, in this regard Hiking is perhaps the easiest form of mindfulness.


It’s a sentiment echoed by the Raaijmakers, as they stop for a snack in the middle of a hike, on a rock above interconnected lakes.

“I love being outside, walking around in nature. It’s just me and I love the quietness in it,” she says. “It’s easy to think when your thoughts are the only thing that speaks to you. “

The peace of the environment is punctuated by the sound of distant bells hanging around the necks of a gang of local Percheron horses.

“I really like it when the only thing you see for a day is cows or horses or rabbits or a beautiful waterfall, but mostly you don’t have a high phone network, which I love.”

Raaijmakers are not alone in her love of solo pursuits. More than 1,500 kilometers away, Mieke Kröger experiences a similar experience in the high mountains of Germany.

“I enjoy long walks, It feels like meditationOlympic gold medalist says. “Once I find my speed, I get lost in my steps and my head stops talking. I took the last hike not to get physically fit, but To give my head a break from the race of life,” she adds.

Photo that Mieke Kröger sends from her run.


The Reggae Makers player has always been so self-confident as she descends the slopes back home. Another pause, this time at the edge of the three largest lakes, Estany de Miss Amont For quick diving and cooling in its waters.

That’s when the benefits of recovery and cross-training for hiking also become apparent. At an altitude well above 2000 metres, Elevation works in favor of rag makers, boosting red blood cell count and allowing greater flow of oxygen This in turn enhances heart function and muscle performance.

When you are in the mountains, you are truly present in the moment, which is the easiest form of mindfulness.

“Physical activity is still very beneficial for your bones and smaller muscles that you don’t use often in a dynamic movement like riding a bike,” Raaijmakers explains. “Usually there is only training for your big muscles, but Walking is more for smaller muscles and bones and a bit of stability. “

Offline There are other, deeper benefits to this quest. This simple exercise allows you to focus on the moment, keep your mind sharp, increase creativity and build friendships as you take one breath and one foot in front of the other.

“I like to take a walk away from the trails at some point,” says Reggie Makers, echoing a similar thought. “To see places that many people haven’t been to before and also to find a place to take a break. Some food, reading and naps. A nap a day keeps fatigue away.”

It’s an easily accessible hangout day activity, says Raaijmakers, “Sometimes I don’t feel like putting all my tools and setting up my bike for just an hour, and It’s really good not to wear a cycling kit for a day. “

Rapid recovery in the largest of the three lakes.


Rejuvenated by the fresh lake temperatures, it’s time to head down the mountain, this time skipping the ski lift for some extra exploration. Raaijmakers lives on a farm, and is like a gardening world, picking a variety of flowers that grow on the banks Estani Primeras well as trying to catch a jumping frog out of the water and pointing out the tadpoles – or “kikkervisje” – which she calls home.

As the trails head down, providing a great view of the valley towards sarat, There’s plenty of time for one last treat of the day, a fresh recharge of the Bedoon in a cascading strip chute. A final blast of tangible physical freshness to accompany the day’s deep mental refreshment.

Marit’s hiking kit

> water bottle
> food (more than I need)
> Warm/dry/rain clothes
> Small first aid kit
> camera
> book
> sun visor

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