What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

- Henry David Thoreau



Dec 22, 2016

Wild (and Weird) Workouts to Change-Up Your Routine

The holiday season (and the free pass to eat seconds) is upon us.


The Outdoor Journal

If your normal training routine is looking a little boring and easy to skip, here are a few of the creative—borderline gimmicky—exercises to inspire you to switch it up.

Get back to nature – in movement

Erwan Le Corre, a French-born ultra runner, rock climber, free diver, grappler, and all-around athlete created MovNat as “a complete and immersive experience with the natural world”. It is a training system designed to reintroduce modern man to the natural movements and escape the overweight, overspecialized beings we’ve become. Encouraging beginners to practice first in a workshop or affiliate gym, which are located all over the world, to start to explore their body’s full range of motion, the idea is to progress to the great outdoorscrawling through bushes, climbing trees, balancing on logs and any other skills our ancestors needed to survive.

Take a (yoga) hike!
Hiking Yoga

Another hybrid-yoga style to add to the list, Hiking Yoga was started in San Francisco by Eric Kipp as a way to integrate his passion for exploring his city and his yoga practice. It is the perfect combination of exercise and enjoying time spent in nature. Urging you to leave your mat behind, they offer fresh air and beautiful views in the various cities Hiking Yoga has now spread to.

Photo © Hiking Yoga

Crowd surfing
Crowd Surf Ready at Gymbox

This past summer, Gymbox and StubHub teamed up to offer music fanatics the ultimate preparation for festival season. Combining cardio and strength training, Crowd Surf Ready teaches you how to lift and be lifted—heavy objects and then each other. With a focus on collaboration, this is a safe and fun environment until you feel ready to make your way to the front of that mosh pit.

Gymbox and Stubhub create a festival fitness class.
Photo © Gymbox.

Become a ninja warrior
Brooklyn Zoo

Even one YouTube clip of American Ninja Warrior is enough to inspire you to want to go climb something. Opening as a parkour training gym, Brooklyn Zoo offers a safe and professional setting to do just thatand much more. With a huge facility, multiple levels of unique structures and a massive trampoline, clients also get the chance to try (and progress in) breakdancing, trampoline, tumbling, tricking (a blend of flips, twists and kicks), dance, and more.

Substitute your breakfast sandwich with a breakfast rave
Morning Gloryville

Born in London in May 2013, Morning Gloryville is the pioneer of sober morning raving in hopes to bring “conscious clubbing” to the world stage—which they have succeeded at as it is now thriving in 14 cities around the world. Part exercise craze and part party, Morning Gloryville goes from 6:30am to 10:30am and empowers people to “rave their way into the day” with inspirational, energizing music, a variety of visual entertainment and even free massages, organic coffee and smoothie bars, yoga and personal motivation from trained and costumed performers. Most ‘clubbers’ are professionals who will suit up and make their way to work afterwards—what an endorphin releasing way to start your day!

Release your inner beast
Zuu Fitness

Another zoo workout on our list, Zuu Fitness was designed in Australia by Nathan Helberg and inspired by the movements of animals. The basic movements used are lunging, squatting, bending, twisting, pushing and pulling, all while mimicking animals like frogs, gorillas and bears. Seeming a little bit silly at first, these primal movements are some of the most natural for our bodies. Plus, there’s got to be some extra release from starting your day with a growl or two.

Have you tried any of these creative ways to workout?

Do you practice any others you think should be on this list?

Feature image © Catarina Alenius Jensen practicing MovNat with Matt Pepper in Gothenburg. Read about their experience here.

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Athletes & Explorers

Sep 06, 2018

Getting to the Bottom: What It Took for Priyanka Mangesh Mohite to Climb Everest

Summiting Everest is difficult. However, it’s not all about climbing the mountain itself, especially when you’re 21 and on a budget.



Jahnvi Pananchikal

“How did you do it? But you’re really young!” That was what Priyanka Mangesh Mohite began to hear, when she told people about her successful ascent of the planet’s highest mountain. Mohite climbed Everest when she was 21 years old. As remarkable as the feat itself may be, what is also remarkable is her backstory, and the small circle of people that supported her in a part of the world and in an ecosystem where climbing, especially big mountains, is about much more than about just getting up the peak.

“You feel a question mark [on yourself] when others doubt your abilities.”

When we spoke to Mohite, all we heard was laughter and gratitude while describing repeated trips to the mountains, and the people she respects. She continued to smile even when remembering difficult times of self-doubt and lack of financial support.

Mohite is a young and dedicated climber from Satara, Maharashtra, who got very lucky. She wanted to climb Everest, and had just been selected for a government-supported expedition to the world’s highest mountain. But she needed to raise additional funds to round up her share of the budget. Mohite spent six months visiting every corporate office in her town to pitch potential sponsors. She only had two previous mountaineering expeditions to show on her climbing résumé, which certainly wasn’t enough to help her case, despite her confidence. “You feel a question mark when others doubt your abilities,” she recalls. The experience of repeated rejection forced her to reconsider many times, and she came close to giving up the idea altogether. But she kept at it, and eventually, raised seven lakhs rupees (US$10,000) from several small companies and individuals. Then her parents stepped in to help, giving Mohite the remaining ten lakhs rupees (US$14,000) that she needed. [Ed’s note: Everest is most often climbed with commercial expeditions that charge between US$25,000 to US$50,000 per person].

Photo: Neema Thenduk Sherpa

Given her lack of experience, Mohite was not confident about making it to the expedition. She had completed basic and advanced mountaineering courses at one of India’s several mountaineering institutes, and regularly went rock climbing near her town. Despite the fact that today Everest is a commercially-guided peak, someone planning to climb Everest should ideally have been on at least one 8000m mountain, or several high-altitude peaks in a series of serious expeditions. Mohite had only done two serious climbs before, including one 6500m peak – just about the altitude of Camp 2 on Everest. She wasn’t quite experienced yet.

However, with a strong desire to succeed, Mohite found herself a supporter. Colonel Neeraj Rana, former principal of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was running selections for an Everest expedition they were backing. During training sessions, he noticed how she kept going despite injured knees on a 30km hike. The next day, he took a chance on her, inviting her to join his Everest expedition.

In 2013, Priyanka Mangesh Mohite became the third youngest Indian to climb Everest.

With financial support from parents and a few individuals, and knowing that Colonel Rana trusted her abilities, Mohite embarked on her Everest expedition. In 2013, she became the third youngest Indian to climb Everest. Since then, she’s continued to knock ’em off –  including Lhotse, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro.

Photo: Priyanka Mangesh Mohite

She is not a big fan of groups; others slow her down, she says, and often the expertise of many trip leaders seems questionable. In 2015, after climbing Everest, she went to Menthosa, the second-highest peak in Himachal Pradesh, India. The trip was led by climbers who took a group of 15 people to an advanced camp without checking for incoming weather conditions. The group turned around before the summit due to a huge avalanche, and returned to base camp the next day. Bizarrely, they blamed their lack of success on Mohite, telling her she’d been too slow, with insinuations about her weight.

“It’s hard to go in groups. You should know them; they should be your friends. Plus, you need to feel comfortable following the leader.”

Mohite prefers and respects the disciplined approach and rigorous training methodology of Colonel Rana. They regularly go on expeditions together, along with a couple of Sherpas.  “It’s hard to go in groups. You should know them; they should be your friends. Plus, you need to feel comfortable following the leader. I have that rapport with Colonel Rana,” she says.

Photo: Pemba Sherpa

Mohite feels a certain sense of pride. Her financial troubles are behind her after Everest. Since then, she’s had no more trouble raising sponsors. She met Shriniwas Patil, the former Governor of the Indian state of Sikkim, at an event after her big climb. Patil gave her his personal phone number, telling her to contact him in case she needed help. For her next expedition, she gave him a call, and Patil found sponsors to fund her entire expedition within ten days. This is yet another example that summitting the world’s highest peak despite adequate experience, is often an Indian climber’s escape from financial difficulties, in a country that lacks a healthy ecosystem for outdoor sports.

“I’ve heard Lhotse is very difficult and I really want to climb it.”

When Mohite returned to Everest Base Camp after summiting, she had a chance to speak with her family. Her mother was worried and crying, and her father put her on the speakerphone for everyone to hear. He told his daughter, “I’ll give you anything you want when you come home.” Mohite replied, “I’ve heard Lhotse is very difficult and I really want to climb it. Will you please let me go?” Her entire family burst into laughter. Her mother insisted that she returned home before heading off again on expedition. Mohite simply smiled, dreaming of climbing her next big mountain.


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