In July 2015, Dimitri attempted to climb to the steep summit of Banff’s Mount Rundle— an elevation gain of 5,175 feet. This Preferred Member in Edmonton, Alberta, had AIM on his side. As for the fear factor, Dimitri admitted, “I’m really afraid of heights.”
Dimitri has been taking a variety of AIM products, including BarleyLife, since he was a young boy. He and his family had been introduced to “Nutrition that Works” by AIM Director Janet Breitkreutz.
A few days before the climb, Janet recommended that he take Peak Endurance and Red Rush. “I needed all the help I could get,” Dimitri acknowledged. “My friends and I made a pact in the spring to get in shape for the climb, but it never happened for me. I’m thirty-four now. I used to be quite athletic and fit, but I never kept that up.” At the same time, Dimitri had resolved to, “. . . push until I get to the top. I know myself. Even if I’m hurting, I’m not going to stop.”
The day arrived, and suddenly the peak loomed before Dimitri and his five friends. The idea was to scramble: climbing to the top without ropes. “The mountain went from flat to immediate elevation,” Dimitri stated. “Most of the guys were starting to hurt. Not even a quarter of the way up, I looked like someone was pouring water on me; I was sweating so badly.”
At midway, Dimitri continued to feel the burn, but each time it would go away after a few minutes of rest. “I didn’t feel any muscle cramping or gasping for breath,” he stated. “I was sipping water and Peak Endurance all the way up. Earlier I had taken one bottle of Red Rush, which really helped my breathing.”
At one point, the trail unexpectedly narrowed, and Dimitri felt his legs buckle at the sight of a vertical 1,000-foot drop. “I could feel my backpack tipping me over the edge. I had to lie down on the ground and was too scared to move,” Dimitri recalled. “Even though I could see the mountaintop, I really felt that was the end of the climb for me. All I could think about was my wife Jamie and our daughter Zarah, and what would happen to them if I fell.” One of Dimitri’s buddies encouraged him with the news that the path widened just ahead. Slowly, Dimitri moved through his fear and continued the climb.
When the group was only 400 feet from the peak—still at least an hour’s climb—dark clouds began moving in and thunder sounded. The risk of being caught on a sheer peak in a storm ended the ascent for half the group. “We were so close,” Dimitri exclaimed, “but it just wasn’t worth the risk to my family.” The remaining three who reached the top were fortunate. The storm passed them by.
“The truth is,” Dimitri added, “I was out of water and Peak Endurance for the descent. If I had tried going to the top, I never would have made it down the mountain. God was taking care of me.”
The days following the climb were not as painful as Dimitri had expected. “I thought I wouldn’t be able to move the next day,” he explained, “but I was okay. The other guys were really sore, looking like they had been horseback riding.” Dimitri believes his recovery had a lot to do with taking AIM products. “They’re amazing!”