SCALING NEW HEIGHTS: Westlawn Men's Premier League coach James Joyce (right) will be tackling a new challenge at the end of this month.
SCALING NEW HEIGHTS: Westlawn Men's Premier League coach James Joyce (right) will be tackling a new challenge at the end of this month. Debrah Novak

Joyce's novel approach to reach new heights

WHAT will you be doing after the 2018 football season ends?

For Westlawn Tigers Men's Premier League coach James Joyce, he will be quite literally standing on Mount Everest a few days after the North Coast Football grand final.

"It's been a long-term goal,” he said.

"I've always been interested in rock climbing and always wanted to go there, but you know how life happens; football tends to take out a quarter of the year and then summer rolls around and it's too hot to do much.”

Fortunately, Joyce overcame this procrastination and booked himself a 25-day solo trek to Everest base camp.

"If you talk about it and don't do it, you will never do it, so I just went ahead and organised the trip,” he said.

To prepare for the journey, Joyce has been doing double-time trying to balance between football and Everest training.

"It's been an interesting process fitting this extra training around football because when I look at it, every weekend until I leave, there's something happening with the Tigers.

"For example, I'll walk about 18km of a morning, then I'll jump on the bus after that and go to a game in Coffs Harbour.”

Joyce said he took advantage of the recent rain to prepare himself for extreme weather.

"The recent rain was the perfect chance to test out my rain gear,” he said.

"So far, it's holding up, but I've been asking my guide what the current weather is like over there. He told me it's pretty good for September where it's currently two degrees!”

Joyce understood this solo trip might not be everyone's idea of a fun holiday.

"I think the scenery alone will be mind-boggling,” he said.

"It's not going to be what you expect from a holiday. It will be rugged, with rocks, ice, big mountains... very bleak, but I think it will be an amazing experience.”

However, Joyce said the biggest challenge to overcome first will be the high altitude.

"For most of the trip, I'm 5,000 metres above sea level so I'll have to wait and see how I go with that,” he said.

"Once I get past that, the next challenge will be getting to a nice warm cup of tea at the end of the day.”



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