Ok, so I started getting back on track about 4 weeks ago. I started out mentally, then saw my doctor for a physical, started my new healthier eating and then last Friday started to incorporate my physical activity into my lifestyle change. Friday, we walked / jogged with the dogs and one of my daughters. Saturday, my other daughter went and played tennis with me. On Sunday, my oldest daughter took all of us hiking for my birthday. She knew I wanted to do something active, the weather was beautiful here in Phoenix and it would be a great experience. I was up for it, confident (yet a little concerned as my lack of experience). I had wrapped my knees, been drinking my water, stretched and was ready to conquer!
We went to this park called Usery Mountain and they mentioned something about going up above the yellow lines on the mountain, but I just wanted to get started. I understand that it was only 1.5 miles in (or up), so it makes for a 3 mile hike. The Wind Cave is the shadowed area just above the cactus on the right and that was our destination.
I can't tell you how many times I had to stop and take a breath or take a sip of water. I can't tell you how many rocks you have to climb over or around. I had to rest a few times and every time I thought we were close to the top, I was wrong. They kept telling me that we were almost there (well, they lied!!!). LOL...
I had gotten about 15-20 feet from where some of my party was which was at the top and I had said, "I'm good with this. I can consider that I made it... I'm close enough." My 2 youngest daughters were with me so we took a minute to catch our breath, and then they encouraged me to finish it out. "You've come this far mom, just take a breath and finish it," said my oldest. "Mom, you can't unmotivate yourself now... look how far you've come. This part is nothing compared to what you've already accomplished," said my youngest. That was it... those were the words that I needed. Another 20 feet and I made it to the top.
This is my family at the top of Usery Mountain at the Wind Cave. Although I accused a few of them of trying to kill me on my birthday, I can't tell you how much I appreciated this challenge, the support and encouragement that I got! This is truly a birthday that I will never forget!
This is me (shadowed) as we looked out over Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona. That day has now encouraged me to go for at least a small hike every week. Next year, on my birthday, I think I'm going to set a goal to hike Camelback Mountain because I will be in better shape and weigh less!!! :)