It's been a while since I wrote a blog. I think it is more than time for me to write another. First thing I want to do is thank all my spark friends for their continued support. Every like, comment and goodie means a ton and helps keep me going. I haven't had time to personally thank everyone but I try to do it by paying it forward to support my friends here and so as my time on spark has been less I have been trying to use it to encourage others and in that I have found a great deal of encouragement myself.
This will be quite a long blog so I won't feel bad if you come back later and read it when you have time.
Ok well this summer was pretty rough for me. over the summer I gained about 15 pounds from where I was before the summer started. I am still 12 pounds up for the year. A lot of people would flip out if they gained that much. But I am choosing not to do that. I know exactly why I gained it. I stopped doing the work. I could blame or make excuses for a lot of things. Work, breakup, travel etc... But it comes down to the fact that I stopped doing the work day in and day out. My decisions and choices weren't great food wise and I chose to hang out and socialize rather to bust tail in the gym. The thing is I don't regret it. In 7 days it will mark 1 year I have been living in Hawaii the majority of the time. I have to say it has been the best thing to happen to me outside of the birth of my kids. I have been so blessed to have this opportunity and I have chosen to max it out. I was actually supposed to be leaving in a few weeks but my project has ran in to delays and it seems like I will be here till the end of January. I have felt so lucky and grateful to have had this opportunity I am not going to let the fact I have put on some weight here diminish how great I feel about this experience. I got a tattoo here (my first ever) so I will always remember how I feel about my year here.
So while my summer was over indulgent I enjoyed it immensely. So I don't regret it. However I know that what I want for myself is to feel good about myself and my body and do the work it takes to invoke those feelings. So in September I said enough was enough and decided to start doing the work again. Start making better eating choices. Start making the choice to be active. Start making the choices to be the person I want to be and I am proud of being. I knew I couldn't start back out at the level I was say a year ago. But I could start doing the work and I did. I ordered myself an activity monitor (fitbit flex) to help me track my work. Since it arrived over 3 weeks ago I have only been under my work goal once. I have walked over 100 miles since getting it and lost about 4 pounds. While the pounds are nice I really like how I feel and how it feels to have done the work. I know the weight will work itself out as long as I continue to do the work.
So I got the fit bit while in Texas for a week. but I started doing the work even before I went back home. The first weekend after I had made up my mind I started to do active things and make better meal choices. One thing I have truly enjoyed and have given me a great sense of accomplishment is hiking. Before the Summer I had done two hikes the first two I had ever done. Diamond head and Koko Head. (check earlier blogs for recaps of these hikes) I enjoyed these a ton and felt on top of the world literally. So I wanted to get back to that. So My first free weekend I did two hikes. Maka'apu light house and Manoa Falls. These were good hikes and got me out of the house and had wondrous views. Neither hike was extremely challenging like Koko Head was. But they helped me get outside and really enjoy the island. Here are some pics from those hikes.
So after those hikes and getting my fitbit I was really excited once again to do the work. Well my good friend and project manager got the idea to do the Haiku Stairs hike. This hike is actually closed and has been since 1987. To do it you have to break several trespassing laws and start well before dawn as to avoid the security guards. Oh did I mention several people have had fatal accidents on this trail as well.
So my friend ask me if I want to do and I of course say I am in. I usually don't do stuff like this. I am not a thrill seeker. I am not a dare devil. but after looking at the pics I made up my mind this was something I had to see with my own eyes. It was also fitting we would do it the day after the 20th Anniversary of when I lost my Dad in a car accident. What better time to do a hike called stairway to heaven.
So we went to sleep about 9 pm local time and i awoke at 1:15 am I got ready and met up with 5 of my friends at 1:45 am. We then met up with other friends and soon to be friends that wanted to do the hike when they caught word. by the time the full group assembled (about 18 of us) it was 2:40 am we carpooled and drove to where one of our friends new we could gain access to the hike. We have on headlamps as it is pitch black out. We had about a mile walk just to get to the head of the closed off trail.
Honestly i could write an extremely long blog about this hike. However I feel like I have written quite a bit already so i will summarize a bit. This is by far the most challenging physical activity i have taken part in. The trail consists of almost 4000 stairs and you ascend to about 2700 feet. Most of our group were in there 20's or early 30's and very fit. I was by far the heaviest of the group and the 4th oldest. Honestly I was breathing hard by the time we reached the bottom of the stairs. I fit wasn't pitch black out and I could only see the stairs and the person in front of me I don't know if I would have attempted it. I am very glad I did though. I don't have any pics from our ascent as it was 3 am when we got started. But I want to share with you all some of the pics. the pics don't do it justice. On the way up we encountered 30-40mph winds and driving rains as we passed though layers or clouds. By the time we reached the top it was about an hour to sunrise. I actually didn't make it to the very top because when I was going up the last section the wind and rain was so strong I didn't feel it was safe. So i made it to about 2600 ft elevation and did about 95% of the stairs.
While some would be disappointed not reaching the top it didn't disappoint me at all. Because I had done something I never thought I would be able to do. i went as far as I could safely and thats ok. the work I put in to get where I was was enough and I was satisfied. i think that is something we often overlook in this journey. Being enough... A lot of us turn to food because we feel like we haven't been enough for people in our lives. Parents, spouses, Boyfriends/Girlfirends, siblings. That we didn't measure up to someone else's ideas of us. All that matters is we measure up to our ideas of us. We have to be enough for us. that is a lesson that I had learned before but that hike really sunk it in. My work and effort is enough. That work and effort has carried me to places I wouldn't have even dreamed of 10 years ago. Who cares whether it measures up in someone else's eyes it is enough for me. I am proud of what I accomplished in the dark of night and even though I was exhausted and spent after wards and i am sore still as I write this.. I know that ANYTHING I put my mind to I can and will do. If a man who once weighed close to 400 pounds can will him self up the side of that mountain then there is nothing else I can't will myself to. I just have to do the work. Enjoy the pictures...
This is the first bunker and this is where I made it too.
Stole the quote above and added it to one of my friends pics from the hike.