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  • Writer's pictureLesley

Minion’s first stint at altitude

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

Back around 2005, I spent a few days in Atlanta being tested by the great Dr. Dave Martin. This consisted of Vo2 Max testing, lactate threshold stuff, power tests, lung capacity tests, blood work, a full body bone scan and a laser show. I’ve you’ve ever been tested by Dr. Martin, you know what I mean.

I learned lots of useful information about myself, such as my Vo2 Max, which was around 71 at the time, my supposed training paces, the fact that I clearly need more iron in my diet, and that I have huge lungs.

He told me that babies of women who were pregnant at altitude tend to have larger lungs. Being raised at altitude does nothing for your lungs once you’re breathing in your own, but altitude training in-utero is apparently the secret key. Compare this to premature babies, who tend to have larger hearts (according to him). Julia Stamps (now Mallon) had been to see the great doctor right before me and she, who was born premature at sea level, has a huge heart and unimpressive lungs. I was born at altitude, late, and have huge lungs and a relatively normal, though strong, heart.

Not to treat my kid like an experiment or anything, but here I am in Loveland, Colorado for three long weeks. More on why later, but essentially it’s for job training. It’s pretty brutal, living out of a Comfort Inn for most of three weeks (full disclosure, I’m sitting on my parent’s couch right now with Josh following our first baby shower), sitting in a classroom 8 hours a day and then doing homework at night, while making sure to stay on top of all the work I have back in NY. However, one of the things getting me through this is the idea that my little guy’s lungs are developing into future aerobic machines, which will come in handy in whatever sport he decides to be an Olympian at.

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