I am reading the new book too, great so far.
That hike sounds awesome.
So glad you are losing still too :)
I am reading the new book too, great so far.
That hike sounds awesome.
So glad you are losing still too :)
With the wind howling and my heart pounding I don't feel the cold. I don't feel the snow, the ice that is frozen in my hair, nor the sweat trickling down my neck and back. My legs, shaky from the climb, don't register any longer as I drop my pack to the rocks I stand on. All that matters is the view, the stunning panorama that surrounds me and stretches as far as the eye can see. There is nothing like the feeling of standing on the summit of a mountain after a long, hard, slog up the hill and knowing that you have challenged yourself and made it to the top. It's adrenaline driven, and super addicting. Even as I sit here a day later typing this with legs full of lactic acid I am itching to do it again!
We left for Powderface at 7am in the dark with skies overcast and the threat of snow looming. After driving an hour to the winter gate, a road block that closes off the highway from late October to May, we loaded up our gear and headed out on our 19km hike. Our destination - the summit - come hell or high winds we were going up! For me this was the first time up Powderface and only the second mountain I have summited ever. The first being nearby Prairie Mountain last summer. When my buddy first approached me to hike this mountain I said no - mountain hiking in the winter??? He has to be crazy. After thinking it over and doing a little research I relented and decided to join, after all I've been saying I want to start summiting mountains how would I ever manage to accomplish this feat if I made excuses every time an opportunity to hike one came up?
About 2km in our one friend bowed out. He had been suffering with a bad cold and the night before only got about 30 minutes of sleep. He bid us good luck and headed back to the vehicle to wait for his wife to come collect him. We carried on and within 1km encountered the first of the snow storms that would plague us off and on all day. As I discovered last summer hiking a mountain takes determination and doing it in the winter takes pure determined stubbornness! The falling snow, and snow on the trail added resistance and coupled with the constant uphill climb at times it was almost enough to make me stop and throw in the towel. My buddy was very supportive - he is much more in shape than I am and hikes mountains on almost a weekly basis all year long! Each time he would reassure me the summit would be worth it - just put one foot in front of the other and carry on.
At the four hour mark the trees started to thin out and shortly after we emerged out onto the pass. This bare rock ridge overlooks some beautiful country and although I was exhausted I glimpsed the summit not that far up from us and I was determined to reach it. We stopped at the pass for a quick lunch and then loaded up our gear to push on to the summit. Although it was only about 400 m up from us it took almost an hour to reach it as we had to climb a slick, wind swept slope that was very steep and covered in loose scree and ice. At times I was on hands and knees crawling up praying to whatever god might be listening for the rocks supporting me to stay in place.
About halfway up the slope I hit total exhaustion and my ascent became a game of inches. I literally put my head down and pushed on and before I knew it I was at the top enjoying the stunning views and that feeling, that feeling you only get standing on the top of a mountain - I never used to believe people when they said you just don't get it - you don't get that feeling anywhere else only on the top after pushing yourself to your limits (and beyond). I get it now - I love that feeling!
We high fived, cheered and pointed out all the ridges and mountains we knew. I marveled at the fact that I could see the city we live in from the top of the mountain and snapped a ton of pictures while the wind hurled snow off the edge of the summit around us. All to soon there was nothing left but to head back down. As it was already 1pm and we were only at the halfway mark we had some distance still to cover and with the weather nice for the moment we lost no time getting off the ridge and back down to the pass where we enjoyed lunch earlier. It took almost an hour to reach the summit from the pass but only 20 minutes to get back down. Riding the wave of satisfaction that comes from reaching your goal we made great time back to the closed highway where mother nature really threw her fury at us. We hiked the last 1.5km back to the winter gate in near whiteout conditions, by the time we made it back into the city the snow storm was over and the skies were clear. Funny how that happens here this time of year.
One summit down... 4 more to go to reach my goal for this year!
Bring it on!
I think I have been bitten by the travel bug...
This seems to happen every year about this time... I find myself day dreaming of a beach somewhere with white sands, crystal clear turquoise water, hot sun and a cool breeze whispering through the palm trees. I don't know what it is about these tropical places but I love them! Come February with the days starting to get longer but the temperature still hovering around the negative numbers I find myself doing more random internet searches for tropical destinations, perusing travel magazines and humming those silly travel commercial songs like "dial 1-866-wow-deal and get away for less..." This particular one has been in my head for days! Great marketing if you think about it.
Does this happen to anyone else out there round this time of year? This year it seems to be an even stronger urge than usual. Thus far I have drooled over the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Fiji, and the Caymans. I have noticed that my urge to stay all inclusive is still there (its just easier) but my desire to explore and get out of the resort is much stronger. I want to see and experience the life that takes place in these places. See the old ruins, explore the jungles and hike to the natural wonders that are out there... yes I think I have been bitten by the bug - bring on the travel fever...
Anyone have any suggestions for places to visit or things to see?
As of late I have been taking stock in where I want to be in the distant and not to distant future with regards to my weight, health and overall lifestyle. I suppose we are all doing this but for me the changes that have started happening in my life have really caused me to focus on what I have and what I want/need. More so this year than any other I am seeing how stress can be a killer and that I need to focus on the positives in my life and make time for the stuff that really matters to me. I am working on being able to say no to people when my plate is full (figuratively and literally). I'm taking notice of the warning signs my body (and doc) are giving me about my past lifestyle and working to change it as best I can before I end up with a condition that can not be changed like stroke, heart disease or diabetes. In my quest to change myself I have started to form short term goals, (ones I want to see results in within the next week, month, year) and long term goals (years down the road). These in turn have lead to the start of a bucket list of sorts.
As of now my short term goals are as follow:
1. Fit into my NASA XL t-shirt by May - its still a little snug and I don't feel comfortable wearing it in public yet.
2. Be conditioned enough to hike Mount Yamnuska by August - I'm sure I could do it now but with more weight off I will be better able to climb and move. I also plan to hike Prairie Mountain and Powderface again first, followed by Ha Ling and Mount Fairview.
3. Starting Monday - stick to the work out schedule for a week - I want to increase this as the time goes one but one day at a time I guess - I find working out is the hardest part for me as I dislike it but it has to happen.
4. Move to the next smallest belt hole by Mid March - this means sticking to the proper eating plan and working out.
Long term goals - these have not changed
1. Get off of/reduce the blood pressure meds
2. Live an active and healthy life as a fit 180 - 200 lbs person
These goals forced me to really count for what I want in life and that has lead to the beginning of a bucket list. This is no where near done and will change as time goes on but here is the start of my list... in no particular order...
1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (one of the big 7 must do climbs in the world)
2. See wild Mountain Gorillas
3. Travel to New Zealand, Australia and back to Fiji
4. Travel to every continent
5. Hike the Camino de Santiago (780km trek through Spain)
6. Hike the west coast trail in BC Canada (75km of some of the most grueling coast line in all of Canada)
7. Join the Mile High Club (you got to be pretty skinny to fit two in those airplane bathrooms ;) )
8. Learn to Scuba
9. Tread water for at least 5 minutes (because I want to not because I have to)
10. Snorkel in the tropics somewhere (and look damn good doing it - I can do the snorkeling part already its the look damn good part that seems to elude me still)
11. Run 5km (and not feel like my heart and head are going to explode!)
12. Mountain Bike in Moab (when I was much younger I wanted to do this and never did - I want to get fit enough to do it now)
13. Take my shirt off at the beach and have people start (not for the reasons they do now - but because I am fit and looking good)
14. Explore Ascension Island - it is one of those places few people travel to.
15. Learn to kayak and then buy one and use it!
16. Go snow shoeing
Like I said its not complete and I hope never will be but it is a start. Sorry this entry was probably pretty boring for you but I needed to put this down and make myself accountable to it before its too late. I can and will be this person...someday soon. My pilgrimage starts with my next step. Off to play some dodgeball!
A strange thing happened this morning - I got up put and put on my VFF's for the first time in 4 months. Living in western Canada there is a good 6 months of the year where waring VFF's outside is just not an option - unless you are okay with losing toes to frostbite! I don't know if it is the unusual warm weather, or the longing to go to the tropics again or just the desire to get back to being active but I put them on and have yet to take them back off. I almost forgot how wonderful they feel!
I get a lot of weird looks when I wear my VFF's - they are not very common around my neck of the woods - but I love the feeling of walking in them and I can't help but remember past adventures when I put them on. These "shoes" have taken me to many places. Together we have climbed extinct volcanoes, hiked to the summit of a mountain, explored kettle lakes, played ultimate, and explored the different feelings of grass, stones, sand, gravel and many other surfaces. Putting them on today - even in the house is like reawakening my feet!
In addition to a bit of cabin fever given by the beautiful weather I find I am putting a little more thought into dropping the weight - I seem to be yo-yoing a bit staying on the smaller side of 300lbs but not losing the weight like I did the first go round with PB. A while back I put together a workout plan but sticking to it fell apart as the daily grind of life picked up - I have to work on that. I will be the first to say I have little willpower, I don't think it is a secret - the 100 extra pounds I carry around with me kind of lets the cat out of the bag - just a little. I'm working on it but I find that without a goal to work towards I have a very hard time staying on track. So my goal is to first slim down and then tone up for the summer bathing suit season.
It seems weird to me to make this a goal - the idea of being shirtless in the sun seems like a pipe dream to me - I can't remember the last time I was comfortable out in public without my body covered up - but I'd like to be able to do that this summer. I got a lot of work ahead of me but I think if I can keep the willpower solid I will be able to do just that. Guess we will see.
I'm not sure why but I'm finding the carb cravings are really coming back strong which is something I was not expecting. I've started to increase my movement and workouts but with the increase I find I am really eating more carbs then I want and moving away from the primal blueprint eating plan. If I don't consume the carbs I seem to never feel satiated and am constantly snacking on whatever is handy. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it normal or am I just not getting enough of something in my diet and as such compensating with carb dense meals? I've started to backslide with regards to weight as well and I'm just not able to follow the strict diet I was following earlier when I was having success with the new lifestyle. I seem to yo-yo on it one week really focused and good the next week one slip up leads to another which leads to another and before I know it I'm enjoying pizza and beer with my buddies again! I need to find a way to make this yo-yo crap stop. Any advice and direction on this would be welcome. I'm starting to become a little frustrated with how things are going and wondering if primal is really for me...
Consult with the surgeon this morning re: gallstone removal - fingers crossed it all goes well...
[QUOTE=Primal Primate;1103159]Consult with the surgeon this morning re: gallstone removal - fingers crossed it all goes well...[/QUOTE]
Had mine removed via laporoscopy last Feb. Was up and walking, gingerly, about 5 or 6 hours post-op and released from the horse-pistol the next morning @ 8 am. Hasn't bothered my eating meat or fat in the least... yeah! cuz I loves me some fat and meats! Good luck with the scurgery!
Great news this morning from the surgeon. I will not need to have the stone removed. As it is not causing me, nor has it caused me any trouble he feels it is better to just leave it alone. He said he doubts it will cause me any problems and until it does surgery is not needed. Been on cloud nine most of the day after worrying for the better part of a month about all the possible outcomes.
[QUOTE=Primal Primate;1104093]Great news this morning from the surgeon. I will not need to have the stone removed. As it is not causing me, nor has it caused me any trouble he feels it is better to just leave it alone. He said he doubts it will cause me any problems and until it does surgery is not needed. Been on cloud nine most of the day after worrying for the better part of a month about all the possible outcomes.
Good news that... congrats!