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Motivation # 2: I love to go a wandering, along the mountain track...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've always enjoyed the outdoors and hiking. As a kid, I remember playing in the 40 acre woods next door to our house. We'd tramp thru the trees, pretending to be explorers looking for the source of the Amazon, or out collecting dinosaur bones. As a teenager, summers were spent down by the river, harvesting wild berries along the banks. Right after college, I spent over a week backcountry hiking in Glacier National Park.

Alas, many years later -- most spent behind a desktop -- I realized that I was overweight & out of shape. One of my wake-up calls was a relatively short & easy hike that left me breathless and miserable. A beloved activity had become an unpleasant chore.

Thanks to SparkPeople and Curves, I am well on the road -- literally-- to reclaiming my fitness and my favorite hobby. I've chalked up over 75 miles of walking & hiking on the Eowyn challenge over the past couple of months. This challenge, based on Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, has you follow in the footsteps of the Hobbits as they journey to Mt. Doom and back. The first leg is 458 miles, from Bag End to Rivendell. My goal is to be there by the end of the year.

The route has been scenic so far. Walking around my neighborhood has been quite lovely this spring. We live on a hill, and everyone's yard is slopped, so most people have interesting landscaping, and plentiful flowers & trees that have been in bloom for well over 6 weeks, now. The local park also turned out to be far more of a pleasant jaunt than I originally anticipated. On most days, the park affords an excellent view of the Olympic Mountains; and on clear days, when The Mountain Is Out, it's right in your sights for well over half the trek around.

I've also manged to go farther afield, and get in some real hiking on a realish mountain. Our most recent hike took us to Cougar mountain. We did over 3 miles -- 1.5 up with ~ 900 ft elevation gain, then back down again. While it is still a far cry from my Glacier hiking days, it's a tougher hike than the one that did me in last fall. This time I had fun. I'm looking forward to going back next month, and making that a 4-5 mile hike, with ~1200 elevation gain.

While some people like to say that losing weight and getting healthy is no walk in the park -- for me, that's what it's all about.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 4/17/2010 4:45PM

    I am so glad that you are getting back to your hiking. I too was pleasantly surprised at how pretty our Community Park actually is. I had only seen it from the car before a few weeks ago.
I can't wait to see the Park when Spring really gets here and everything is in bloom.
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SHAPECHANGER 4/15/2010 8:14AM

    Awesome blog, you had me right there walking and hiking with you. I love hiking too, although I've never done anything as ambitious as some of yours. I just love walking outside, and I'm thankful I live in a rural area, right at the edge of the trees, and have all kinds of trails to walk on. You've certainly come a long way back to being in top hiking form. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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Motivation #1: I hate clothes shopping more than I hate going to the gym.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I first signed up for Spark people a couple of years ago, but didnít really do anything with the site. It was this past fall, while out hiking, that it hit me -- just how out of shape Iíd become. We were out at a place where Iíd hiked several times before. But this time, I was out of breath and had to stop at every other switchback -- finally every switchback -- before I got to the top. Then of course, everyone else had been there for 20+ minutes, resting, and they were ready to head back down. Instead of enjoying a fun experience, I was miserable.

Then, a week or two later, I spoke to my parents on the phone about their health problems, and I became concerned about the future that awaited me should I continue down the same path. Not everything is avoidable, but there seems to be fair evidence that diabetes and heart disease can at least be mitigated by exercise and healthy living.

Finally, the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camelís back: my favorite pair of pants ripped, and could not be repaired Ė at least for wearing in respectable company. I realized that I had only two pairs of pants left that still fit me, and they were getting thin in several spots and a little shabby. But I had several nice pairs a size or two or three(!) smaller. If I just lost a little weight, I wouldnít need to buy new pants... The realization hit me like the light on the road to Damascus Ė I hate clothes shopping more than I hate going to the gym!

So I resolved to get fit, and healthy, and lose a few pounds while doing it. To the gym I went! Several months later, Iím still here, still going to the gym, and making progress, so I must be doing something right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINNINGSPARK 4/12/2010 9:29PM

    Right on! I hate clothes shopping when I can't fit in anything I want to fit in. I actually enjoy it when I'm at my lowest weight because I relish in the smaller sizes. That is so cool you used your awareness and your experience to motivate you to get going on this journey. I hang my smaller jeans up in the bathroom as a motivator. I once had a friend use my bathroom and comment on how she wished she wore that size! I had to get honest and tell her they were my motivator pants!
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MADEBYMARZIPAN 4/12/2010 10:25AM

    Yeah, I knew it was time to lose weight when I realized that I was still wearing elastic-waist pants 11 months after baby was born. I have dozens of smaller jeans stacked in my closet, gathering dust... I can't wait for the day when I can pull those out again!

Good luck, best wishes, you can do this!

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PEGASI51 4/12/2010 7:22AM

    Yea! Thank you for sharing your moment with us! Good job sticking to it, too!

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JUNETWO68 4/12/2010 6:32AM


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SUNRISESUNSET 4/12/2010 6:05AM

    I hate clothes shopping too! The nicest, fashionable clothes are in the smaller sizes. Bigger people get the leftovers.

Anyway, well done with sticking with it! emoticon

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FRANKI666 4/12/2010 5:34AM


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