Everyday: I Beat Her

Somedays I wonder if there will always be two of me.  There’s the new me: confident, fit and outgoing and then there’s always the old me: overweight, uncomfortable and failing.  In my overweight life, I had a good career and an ok marriage.  I was mostly happy and pretty outgoing but part of me always knew there was more.  I knew there had to be more to life: more to see, more to do and more to expect from myself.  I always felt like a failure but I couldn’t figure out why: I was failing at life. I was so happy with living a half life.  Part of me wonders if I would have just stayed that way…..and for how long.

Now I feel like my life is FULL.  My relationships with everything are better.  My marriage is better. I have so much more to give to my husband and we get so much more out of life and our time together now.  I feel like my friendships are deeper and more meaningful because I have more value for myself now.  My job is easier and keeping up with day to day tasks of life are easier.  I feel more connected to nature and humanity as a whole.  I feel like I’m doing life right now.

But somedays I think about how easy it would be to go back.  Of course I have cheat days and rest day but what would it be like to give up? What would it be like to wake up as my old self? Part of me thinks this will never happen and the other half of me fears that it will. I have lived in two different worlds.  I have had two different marriages.  (To the same man!) I have had two lifetimes in one.  So each day I still fight.  I still fight that girl who wants two cheeseburgers and a side of mozzarella sticks.  Some days I don’t want to go to the gym and just get it done as quick as possible. I still beat her every single day.

The easiest way to not go backwards is to remember where I came from.  I 100% believe that if anyone could drop the weight and feel the difference in their body, they would do it in a heart beat.  Every calorie, drop of sweat and running mile was worth it.  Every. Single. One.

I wouldn’t give up anything for the person I am now or the lifestyle that I lead.  Notice: I didn’t say this body.  I didn’t say, I wouldn’t give up being skinny for anything.  I know my weight will fluctuate as my life continues to change. I know I won’t always see this number on the scale. It’s not about being skinny.  It’s about meeting my life goals and being the person I want to be, skinny was just a result.  So every day, every damn day, I still beat her.


Healthy Friends

Well I did it again already, I tried hiking and had a much better response!  This week I had scheduled to hike the Manitou Incline with my friend and colleague Nestor.  Nestor has also lost quite a bit of weight in the recent past and loves Crossfit.  He taught me how to climb ropes and I’m looking forward to many more fitness related excursions!   Nestor had done the incline countless times and it’s a very popular place to visit but there are people that live near Colorado Springs that incorporate it as a regular routine.

The Manitou Incline is in Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs.  It’s known for Pike’s Peak and the incline.  The ‘trail’ is less than a mile but climbs 2000 feet in elevation in that short of a time.   (7,000 – 9,000 feet for those curious) I was feeling great and thought I would knock it out and leave him in the dust and maybe even go for a run later.  While Nestor is very fit, I know my cardio is more advanced than his but with his experience, I fell behind by 20 – 30 stairs.  For flatlanders, this hike feels like it’s straight up.  When you have hiking experience, you can tell when it’s not as steep.  I finished the incline in 40 minutes which is pretty advanced for my first time.  I think I could cut off a few minutes easily, just knowing the course now.  While it was hard, I never felt like it was impossible.  I didn’t cry or get too frustrated.

I have been wanting to do the incline for 2 years now but it was undergoing some renovations after recent flooding and I forget about it because of it’s location.  Without Nestor inviting me, I might not have gotten it checked off the list this summer.  It’s so important to find friends that help support your journey.  Fitness and health have brought so many people into my life that I might not have otherwise known.



Off the top of my head, I can count 7 friends (there’s probably more… ) that I now have in my life because of how I live my life.  When you make a change in your life, it attracts new kinds of people.  As I have changed, so have my friends and who I spend my time with. I don’t consider everyone a friend and I don’t use that word lightly.  I’ve found it difficult in my adult life to make TRUE friends when we moved to Colorado but fitness opened that door for me.  I have cultivated so many positive relationships and experiences with people I have met in my gym life.  One of my closest friends I met at my first gym, and although I no longer go there, we still see each other all the time.

Healthy people attract healthy people. Broken people attract broken people.   Now, that’s not to say we don’t all have our problems or my friends and I only go out for salads.  We drink beer and pizza too but I feel like our relationships are focused on health and well being.  We constantly discuss bettering ourselves and our society through various ways and not just fitness. We hike, climb, run, box and laugh.  We don’t sit around and count calories together or compare waistlines.  But there’s an underlying thread in all of my relationships now: How can I be better?

It’s so important to surround yourself with others who are on a journey.  Even if it’s not fitness related, someone who is trying to better themselves, as you are, is going to be much better support than someone who isn’t.  A stick in the mud is a stick in the mud.  I had to let a few friends go over the last few years because they just didn’t match my new lifestyle.  They would constantly complain about a situation they were in but would never try and change it.  They would claim to want x,y and z for themselves and then sit around and do nothing for two years.  I know not everyone can have the self determination that I do.  I know I am mentally strong and I can’t expect that from everyone I know but I also can only try to support and motivate another person so much. So watch out for these types of people too.  When you start to change, other people that want to change will flock to you.  Give them the support you can and give every friend a chance but over time you’ll see who is happy being unhappy and who is really wanting to change.

Hiking To 14,000 Feet

This past weekend was the 4th of July holiday.  For the past two years, some friends and I have hiked up to 14,000 feet as a way to spend some time outdoors and see this beautiful country from the top.  And well…..I forgot one VERY important thing this year……….I kinda hate it.

Our Hike:

This year we chose Grizzly Peak for our goal.  Grizzly Peak is in Loveland pass and an easy area to go after more than one peak if you are feeling up to it.  Loveland pass is around 12,000 feet above sea level so I expected the 2000 foot elevation gain to be no big deal.  For the first gain, I felt strong.  I felt like I could keep my breathing under control and move quite a bit faster than last year.  I always forget how hard it is to breathe at that elevation.  You’re thinking, it’s only two miles, I do two miles all the time…..but the truth is: that two miles is straight up and you’ll be needing more oxygen…..the whole time.

But then…..you come down and go back up….three more times.  Remember the rough mountains you drew as a kid? A zig zag line? Well that’s what this trail was. 500 feet up, 300 down, 200 up, 100 down, 500 up, 200 down………..(these are not correct, just a rough guess)  The mental aspect of hiking started getting to me two hours in.  At two hours into this hike, we had one more peak to go down and then the final trek to the top.  Even though you can see the top, it seems really really far away still.  This is where I broke.  At this time, your brain has been deprived of the oxygen it needs for quite some time, you’ve burned over 1000 calories and the more water you drink the more you have to pee….outside.  As I flash backed to last year, this was the same time that I started to fall apart.

My body held up ok, although my knees were starting to ache.  Mentally though…. i wanted to stop….but you’re so close that you know you can do it if you just keep moving.  And then….somehow you make it to the top!


Hiking is different than any other ‘sport’ I do.  In almost every other fitness activity, I just have to push to the end.  Usually, it’s the last 10 minutes that are the worst.  I’m a big fan of referencing ‘my bottom’ in a workout.  For example: When I think I just can’t box anymore, I think about the time I was running on a treadmill through my own tears, sweat and blood while my coach yelled across the gym at me.  So whenever I think I just can’t keep going, I know I can because I did that day. With hiking, ‘the bottom’ or the worst part is half way through.  Once you get to the top of that peak, you know you just have to do the whole thing over again, just in reverse.  So although you’re so happy to get to the top and it’s so pretty!!!!!!!…..you just have to turn around and do it again. Round trip took us 5 hours. (3 up and 2 down)

I think if I want to enjoy hiking more, I probably need to do it more.  Right now, my bottom for hiking is always the current hike I’m in.  I usually hike less than 5 times a year and haven’t hiked at all since my last 14er.  If I hike more often, I could train my brain to know what I can do and maybe enjoy it a little more.


Overall here’s what I learned:
While I’m strong, there are still things that push me.  I still have limits.  I cry at 13,500 feet 🙂 and I hope I forget how bad this was before next year. flat,800x800,075,f.u2