Trek of a Lifetime

Posted on January 4, 2016

If you attend Cycle, Muscle Madness or Body Pump classes, chances are you’ll run into Deb Forkins. An active member of the Y for 35 years, she works out at least five days a week. Also a runner, Deb completed the Chicago Marathon three times—the first at age 49—and each time qualified
for the Boston Marathon.

In August 2015, Deb and her husband Marc set out to check an item off their bucket list: hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. In preparation for the four-day, 26-mile trek from Cusco to Machu Picchu, the couple spent a year planning and intense physical training—during which time Deb doubled up on group exercise classes.

“You could tell our guide was worried when he saw us—as we are both in our early 60s—but he later commented on what great shape we’re in,” says Deb.

Their group hiked 6-10 hours each day through the mountains, summiting two peaks. In addition to having to acclimate to high altitude, they also had to deal with stony terrain that was difficult to navigate.

“It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but the greatest experience,” shares Deb. “And I was thinking of my amazing instructors from the Y and thanking them during my trek for helping me prepare so well!”