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.