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Machu Picchu at 70!
July 18, 2018

Machu Picchu at 70!

Valerie Dennis, an inspiring Trueform client, summited Huayna Picchu this past spring at 70 years young. On her descent, she visited what she describes as the “absolutely out of this world” Machu Picchu.

In order to achieve this, she hiked the Lares Trail for three days and conquered 4,461 meters of elevation. There were 15 in her group, three were 44 years old and the rest were in their early 20’s!

Valerie has been working out with Brian Starks twice a week for three years now (since August 2015) and with phenomenal results!

“Her strength, endurance, balance and posture have improved tremendously. In addition to her increased fitness, she has also seen an improvement in her bone density.” – Brian

We sat down with Valerie to find out more about her trip…

What did you do to train for your trek?

Once I decided that I was going I had two and a half months to get ready. I trained with Brian twice a week and he stepped up the intensity of my workouts big-time! I also walked hills and stairs two to three times a week in the river valley.

“We focused on a lot of lower body strengthening, I pounded on her legs. When legs get tired, that’s when you’re more likely to trip and fall. We also focused on core strength because she had to carry a daypack, and cardiovascular conditioning to help her breath easier in the lower oxygen levels that come with high altitude trekking.” – Brian

What was the biggest challenge?

Breathing in the thin air! The last 300 metres to the top of the mountain were very challenging. I went in the rainy season and the “trail” was almost always extremely slippery; thank goodness for my trekking poles. My hiking boots were soaked the entire time from having to walk through streams.

What surprised you the most?

I never thought that I’d be so tired that I would not want to eat, but at the end of Day 2, I was! We climbed to the top of the mountain that day, which took 9 hours.

What was the most awesome part?

Well, seeing Machu Picchu of course! Also, it was a huge feeling of accomplishment to summit the mountain (the day before we descended to Machu Picchu), everyone cheered for me when I got back to camp that evening.

One word to describe Machu Picchu?

Out of this world! Absolutely amazing!

One word to describe how you felt?


If you could do it again?

I might have done the Salkantay Trail because you hike through the Sacred Valley, but I’m not going to do it again, there are other things I want to do…

Congratulations to Valerie. Usually it’s my job to motivate people, but in this case she motivated and inspired me. This shows that hard work can truly delay the aging process and that you can still do things that are physically challenging well into your golden years.” -Brian

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