Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Great Wall of China

Had a great day. Climbed the Great Wall of China. The section we walked literally had almost 2000 steps- all of different depths and height. I was really pleased that I could walk it independently. I did the best when I used my cane and the rock face or hand rails as my guide. Gwynne, Tom and I walked together and she provided us with some great description of the scenery and of the Touraine we walked. It was pretty cool. I had to tease Gwynne a little. She is the athletic trainer for our team. For me the wall wasn't really a cardio vascular challenge to the extent it was for my two walking companions- I had to slow my pace a little bit. I had to tease Gwynne and remind her that she was the one who created my cardio vascular endurance program that included the Harvard Step test- several times a week! The step test is used in the military and allows you to test your VO2 Max.
Essentially I'd step up and down on a 20 inch high step box at a rate of thirty steps per minute for five minutes, take two minute rest and do the step test for another 5 minutes followed by another two minute recovery and a final five minutes on the box. I am very used to stepping up and down on that 20 inch step box!
I am Glad we did the wall after competition- we took our medals and got some fantastic team photos.
Next we visited the Ming Tombs. This was also very cool- even though we did not actually go inside the tombs. There were statues and ornate carvings as old as 1400 that I was able to touch- the detail on some of the animals, knights and dukes guarding the tombs was really surprising to me. How often do you get to touch history/ art that old? 600 years later the stone still holds the original details perfectly well so far as I'm concerned.
This evening and last we went to athlete receptions. Last night the reception was conducted by Voltzwagon- we were given these really cool model cars and signed the Volts wagon gold medal wall of fame.
This evening the reception was at this beautiful hotel- I am told it is the hotel where President Bush stayed during the Olympics. This reception was put on by the Paralympic Committee and featured exquisite Italian food.
Tomorrow- closing Ceremonies.

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