Saturday, November 10, 2012
As the 5% Fall Challenge makes a "virtual" trip to the Grand Canyon, I remember back to a hike I made in March of 1984 with my 10-year old son. It was a trip I'll never forget.
We were to hike down the South Kaibab trail, walk along the river, and hike back up the Bright Angel trail (15.8 miles total distance). This is a hike not recommended in a single day, but I was confident my son and I could do it with no problem.
We started out early in the morning at a comfortable temperature of 56 degrees. By the time we reached the river (almost 5,000' change in elevation), it was 82 degrees. As a former Boy Scout, I was prepared for anything that could possibly arise (or so I thought). Relaxing at the bottom with my feet in the water, I slipped on a jagged rock when I tried to stand up - leaving about a 3" cut on the bottom of my foot. No problem, I cleaned the wound, put "mole skin" around it, and covered the cut with gauze and tape.
Then we started the hike up... My sore foot made the hike very difficult and my son was actually having to wait on me in places. All of a sudden, the weather took a turn for the worse - the temperature dropped and it started to rain. No problem, I pulled out the rainjackets I brought. Then it began to hail and we had to "scrunch" under a rock ledge to keep from getting pummelled too badly. As the temperature dropped some more, the hail turned to ice and snow, and we continued our hike out. I, obviously, didn't see the weather forecast - a critical mistake on such a long hike. I had become drenched from all the wet weather, and was getting chilled as the temperature dropped below freezing. To make matters worse, I was still hiking slow from my foot injury. By the time we finally reached the top (just before dark), it was 22 degrees, and I am certain I had hypothermia - it took several hours to get warmed up - even sitting in the car with the heater on. But I felt good!
Why did I feel good? Because we had done it! Despite everything that could possibly go wrong, we still finished the hike! I learned some very valuable lessons that day. First you need to be better prepared for any difficult undertaking. Plan, plan, and plan some more. Second, it taught me a great lesson about handling challenges in life overall. Never give up when life gets tough - you may have setbacks along the way, but you can reach your goals if you just keep going. The trip may seem slow at times, but if you get there, who cares!
Good luck to all of you in your journey to a healthier lifestyle!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I had a freakish accident about 8 years ago and broke both of the bones in my lower right leg (freakish meaning I broke my leg jumping for beads at Mardi Gras... ). Although the doctors put it all back together with plates and screws, my tendons were a mess and they said I would never run again. This was extremely disappointing as I was an avid runner before that. I gained weight and just couldn't find another exercise I liked as well until I started going on long hikes. I tried playing softball several years ago, but the pain was always too unbearable the next day.
Anyway, to make a long story short, my recent health improvements made me want to try it again. I started my jogging slowly - only an eigth of a mile. I gradually built it up to a quarter mile, then a half mile, and then a very slow full mile. Today I ran a mile in 9:52. Nothing spectacular, BUT I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DO IT! Although I'm tired (especially since I did strength training afterwards), the legs are fine! My right ankle is permanently swollen a little bit because of the past tendon damage, but it didn't bother me!
I won't be running a 5K within the next few months, but I do plan on getting there!
I saw a quote recently on the SparkPeople site - "A great pleasure in life is doing something that other people say you cannot do." (Walter Bagehot) I'm feeling pretty pleased right now!
Saturday, October 27, 2012
I'm not perfect. While I exercise regularly now, I still have my challenges with the calories. But overall, I am eating much better than I was 4 months ago when I finally decided to get healthy again. So ... did it work?
In June, I weighed 238 pounds. Today I weighed in at 204.4.
I just saw my doctor this past week. Here was the result of my lab work:
In July, my cholesterol was 181 (I had already been on the program for a month). It's now 152!
In July, my HDL was 35. It's now 42.
In July, my LDL was 111. It's now 94.
In July, my triglycerides were 175. They are now at 81.
So I not only feel better now, but I am actually a lot healthier!
None of us are perfect. We all have our weaknesses and setbacks. But as long as we journey towards a healtheir lifestyle, we will get there!!
Friday, October 05, 2012
I've tried to clean up my SparkTeams by deleting ones I haven't been active in. Unfortunately, this inadvertantly deleted my "streaks" associated with them. Yesterday was also an extremely busy day and I only got 9,500 steps in - stopping my 10,000 step streak at 102 days and my 12,000 step streak at 28 days. So today starts a new day and I'll start working on those streaks again. Taking part in 5% Fall Challenge as a Teddy Bear will help make it easier. Good luck to all of you in your journey to a new lifestyle!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
All of us have bad days. For example:
You're so busy you revert to old habits.
Those food tempations are just too great.
You feel tired, so you quit your program for a day or two.
Something happens in your life making your fitness efforts much less important.
These things happen to all of us - just don't get discouraged and give up. As I've said in previous blogs, remember the progress you've made and remember how hard it was to start over again when you gave up on a program in the past. Use exercise to help relieve the stress - even do it (in moderation) when you're tired. Just don't give up on yourself - you're worth the extra effort!
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