Words can’t explain my emotions as I packed up the van, picked up our friends (former roommate from college and his wife) and we headed to the Grand Canyon. A year ago this coming September I walked the south rim from east to west. But this was one of those things I had wanted to do but I was so unhealthy I knew it wasn’t going to ever happen. We spent the night in Flagstaff (AZ) and left for the Canyon on Monday morning. As we arrived, I’ll confess I was having second thoughts. As I looked down to the point we were going to hike to, I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. But I’m not the man I used to be!!! In fact, I’m half the man I use to be.
And I knew that my current physical conditioning had brought me to this place and even though I knew it would be a challenge, I knew I was up for it.
A note here about Eric, my hiking companion. Over the past year, Eric has been working on his weight after seeing the weight I had lost and all the races and other events I had been taking part in. As of this blog, he has loss 90lbs and he has been running around 30 miles a week.
As we started down the steep trail, the first thing that caught my attention was how much trouble all the college age people were having on their way up the trail.
As we spoke with some of them, my heart began to question my own conditioning. But we continued our descent and it didn’t help when a park ranger stopped us and questioned our resolve to hike to plateau point (6 miles into the canyon). But we continued on our way. Including restroom breaks and refilling our camelback, we reached our goal in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I was surprised at the steepness of the trail, though I shouldn’t have been. Especially as I did the math and found that we were descending almost 3,000 feet in elevation.
We were 6 miles in and within 5-6 miles from being at the canyon floor when we reached our goal.
According to the Park Ranger it would take us a minimum of double the time it took us to reach our goal to climb back out. I wasn’t excited about the thought of a 5 hour hike out of the canyon.
We stopped for lunch and then began our ascent. I’ll confess it was a true challenge and we took a good number of 5-10 minute breaks on the way back up. And even though it was a real challenge and I’ll confess there were times I was asking myself... “What have you gotten yourself into Steve?” we just kept setting small goals where we wanted to reach until we made it out.
Wow, the beauty of the Canyon looking up was just awesome. And to be so close to the Colorado that you could see the people in the rafts…
Awesome! I am truly blessed and God has done such a great thing in my life. Without Him I wouldn’t have been able to lose all the weight I’ve lost and be in the condition I’m in. I am overwhelmed and grateful.
And here is the kicker…Not only did I learn that my conditioning is much better than I thought, it only took us 3.5 hours to reach the rim and not the 5 hours it should have taken us. (total time 6 hours and 3 minutes)
The payoff of a healthy lifestyle far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined. So if you are reading this blog and you are struggling with your lifestyle change KEEP your FOCUS and set small attainable goals. You can do it. And before you know it you’ll be crossing off items off your bucket list.
Now let’s see which items I want to cross off next…..
My Skinny Man Bucket List
1. To be off insulin
2. To be in “wonderland” (weigh in the 100’s)
3. Hike 6 miles into the Grand Canyon
4. Sit in the booth at the 5 and Diner. As far as that goes to sit in booths period.
5. Play an Ovation without it sliding all around and without a strap
6. Be off all my meds
7. Play my guitar with proper form for classical/finger style without a strap this requires me to set it on my lap (or to just have a lap)
8. To buy clothes off the rack, not have to pay the extra for plus sizes.
9. Compete in a 5k (power walking)
10. Compete in a ½ marathon (power walking)
11. Be able to buckle my seatbelt on an airplane without using an extension
12. To have feeling in my feet again (the neuropathy is gone…Glory to God)
13. Return to Kings Island and ride the rollercoaster I was asked to leave because the safety bar wouldn’t lock (Go to an amusement park and ride the rides.)
14. Have the Doctor remove the label “Diabetic” off my record. (currently I’m classified as Pre-Diabetic)
15. Compete in a Marathon - running (To be completed January 20, 2013)
16. Compete in a ½ Marathon - running (To be completed October 27, 2012)
17. Enjoy life to the fullest and focus on my other bucket list
Baby Stepping to a healthier me,