Everest has always been the dream for Loveland resident of 26 years, Matt Brennan. At the end of May, he will attempt the 80-day climb that has only completed by 4,000 people in history. Brennan will be the first in the Cincinnati area to make the trek.
“I dreamed of this as a kid. I had posters on my wall of Mt. Everest as a kid. I’ve dreamed about it, so the opportunity to climb it is really quite emotional,” claimed Matt Brennan in an interview with Loveland Magazine.
Matt Brennan caught the climbing bug at the age of 14, and has been climbing for the 45 years since. Brennan, founder of the Cincinnati Center For Autism along with Loveland Excavating and Paving Inc, has climbed four of the “Seven Summits”– the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. He estimates he has climbed over thirty mountains from Ecuador to Washington and “everything tall in the lower fourty-eight”. After months of rigorous daily training as a full-time job, he is nearing the climb. On March 25th, Brennan will begin his trek to conquer the tallest mountain in the world.
Matt Brennan claims that the real draw to climbing mountains is their beauty, rather than the physical endurance involved. However, he still sees the physical duress involved as a challenge and climbing as a competition of sorts.
“Everybody’s got some sort of competitive nature in them. To me, it’s a competition, it’s a grind, it’s a challenge, it’s the ability to dial in mentally and physically for a long period of time to achieve a goal,” said Brennan.
Of course, the climb itself is only part of the journey. The soon-to-be Everest climber can be found running up and down the Loveland High School bleachers most Saturdays, and estimates he has been training 30 hours a week since the first of the year, Brennan has been training for over a year and focuses on long-endurance building cardio.
“Instead of running eight minute miles, I’m trying to run ten minute miles but I’m following up that run with a 25 mile bike ride and an hour on the stairs with a 45 pound pack,” continued Brennan.
He went on to explain that he will often follow this routine once starting early in the morning and again in the evening. In addition, he gets regular massages along with physical health and progress checkups. All this is risk mitigation, but Brennan explained that if something unfortunate happens above 21,000 feet, it could very well mean death. Something like 1.5% of Everest climbers die. It’s not uncommon to see corpses along a trek.
But, for Brennan, this is a calculated risk worth taking with an incredible potential payoff. Matt Brennan hopes all his work will culminate in one single event: summiting mount everest and standing on top of the world.
“I’ll probably be on my hands and knees crying, because that’s typically what I do. It’s pretty emotional. You work so hard, so long. […] In some respects, I’ve been training for a year and a half. So when you reach the top, the culmination of those goals, those emotions… I’ll probably be on my hands and knees crying,” predicted Matt Brennan.
The thousands of hours of training and years of work lead up to one potential 5.5 mile-high peak. But, Brennan, explained, the climb to the summit is only half the trek– the rest is getting back down.
“On these big mountains, there’s no guarantee. Nothing’s guaranteed. Nothing’s given to you. I’ve known some of the best climbers who get to these mountains and they get stuck. I’m going to keep walking uphill until somebody tells me to stop or my body tells me to stop or I’m standing on top,” Brennan finished.
You can follow Brennan on his Facebook update page.
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