Posts tagged Hiking
I think it’s pretty obvious now that I’m living in Arizona hiking and trail running are part of my weekly activities. I make it a point to hit the trails a minimum of once a week and oftentimes more. As my time on the trails increases I’ve started to acquire more gear. One piece I had the opportunity to test out recently was a Ribz Front Pack. Initially I hesitated on the idea of accepting gear in exchange for a review, especially since I wasn’t already a user of the product. But it did fit my own personal rule of being something I would be willing to spend my money on. In all seriousness I’ve had my eye on a Ribz Front Pack for awhile now.
Some may see it as a bit of overkill since I’m not really into overnight trips and I stick with short day trips. Why the heck do I need all of that space? However, for me it’s not about the amount of space, but the accessibility. Allow me to explain…
Being new to exploring Arizona I still find myself in awe of the natural beauty around me…something I hope never changes. It’s absolutely amazing out here! What some people may not know is that I love photography. True story. In no way am I a professional (not even close), but if there’s a picture that can be taken I am taking it. Needless to say, with the gorgeous surroundings out here and my love for photography I’m rarely without some sort of camera.
When I hit the trails my love for photography tends to go into overdrive. I don’t just settle for my cell phone for photos, nor do I just take a point in shoot or my DSLR. I’m known to take them all. Yes, when I’m out hiking the trails chances are you’ll find me with my cell phone, Nikon DSLR, and GoPro. (Hello tourist!) In my defense, each one provides a different ”service”. Phone provides easing uploading to social media platforms, DSLR gives me the fancier shots, and the GoPro has the awesome view aspect and can record video.
Prior to testing out the Ribz Front Pack I wore my DSLR around my neck. This isn’t a huge issue but on longer hikes it would start to weigh on my neck. Not to mention, I don’t know how many times I whacked it on the rocks as I’d scramble up surfaces. That’s never good for a costly piece of equipment. As for the other cameras, I either had to take off my pack each time I wanted to use them (inconvenient) or I held them in my hand (not real safe since it’s always good to have your hands free and clear). So as you can see, I needed some help.
With the Ribz Front Pack I don’t have any of these issues. Each camera can have its own pouch which means my organizational OCD personality stays happy and I have easy access to the cameras I need whenever I want. Most importantly, my cameras stay safe and I stay safe.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Ribz Front Pack for free from Ribz as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.
After coming home Thursday evening and finishing my blog post about the passing of my grandma and celebrating life I found myself going through the motions of preparing for another workday to finish out the week. I had the feeling of “Hold on! Wait a minute! How can I write all of that and yet not do anything to celebrate life??” I was torn because although taking a day off of work is easy for something like this, I wouldn’t be attending a funeral or any of the other typical bereavement day type of things. After batting the idea around and with the encouragement of a friend I went for it. I was taking a bereavement day. But I wasn’t taking any ol’ bereavement day. No, I was doing it my way, Buzzbomb Style, and I was going out to celebrate life. (BTW, did you know the nickname “Buzzbomb” was given to me by my grandma? True story.)
I woke up early, called off of work, packed my day pack, and hit to the road to Sedona…one of my favorite places in the world. I’m not going to hash out again why Sedona holds a special place in my heart…it just does. To me it’s magical and is my happy place. The perfect place to celebrate life. I had somewhat of an idea of where I was heading but no exact game plan for the day. I was rolling with it. Just under 2 hours into my drive I rounded the bend and the beautiful Red Rocks came into view. That’s always the moment when I feel my eyes light up and the smile spread across my face. By 9am I was on the trails surrounded by mother nature and all of her beauty.
Nothing like the red rock and blue skies of Sedona
I have yet to be on a busy trail in Sedona but given that it was also a weekday it was pretty empty. Other than a few couples here and there I was by myself along with my thoughts and memories. Happy memories. While speaking to my friend Dave the night before he gave me a few trail ideas. I chose Brins Mesa which was absolutely perfect. Not strenuous, but a nice climb it get my blood pumping. When I reached the mesa I found what remains from a 2006 wildfire. The mesa was ravaged, which was pretty sad to see. As I trekked through the damage I happened to stumble upon a group of wildflowers growing out of a bunch of tousled rocks.
So often I see metaphors for life of my trail hikes/runs. As I stared at the wildflowers the thought that came to my mind was, “Through death, there is life.” A perfect metaphor for the reason I was out on the trails. After the wildfire I’m sure there were no signs a life. A dark time, if you will, for the mesa. But here we are, 7 years later, and the mesa is slowly coming back to life. In no way will it be the same as it was before, but life is present. Here were these wildflowers, the minority in their surroundings, yet they were providing so much sunshine and positive life to their surroundings. In life, I want to be those wildflowers…positive energy and light.
After a quick lunch I decided to search out a location I’ve had my eye on since we moved to Arizona, Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is a pretty iconic location for Sedona which also means it’s a bit popular. Unfortunately for those without a high clearance vehicle, or not on a Jeep tour, it’s a longer hike for the average Joe. I drove our Jeep Wrangler to Sedona and got to do a little “off-roading” to get to the trail. This meant less of a hike and a new experience for me. We’ve never really taken our Jeep off-roading and I was going at it solo. Needless to say I had some belly laughs as I set out on my adventure. It was pretty rad.
I arrived at the trailhead safely and once again took to the trails in search of Devil’s Bridge. Given that I got to drive in meant it was a pretty short hike.
Some hardcore hikers often say Devil’s Bridge isn’t as exciting as people make it out to be. Blame the novice hiker in me, but I thought it was awesome and worth it.
The second half of my days also lead to yet another metaphor…One that I’ve experienced before, but still a nice reminder. “Some of the most spectacular views require taking a rough road.” What if I wasn’t willing to go off-roading to get to Devil’s Bridge? I would’ve missed out! Even more, what if I chose to go down the rough road with a scowl on my face? Sure, I would have gotten there but how enjoyable would that adventure have been?
Although fun, celebrating life doesn’t necessarily require living an adventurous life or always being on the go. More importantly, it’s about recognizing what has been given to us, being grateful, and celebrating it all…including the ups and downs. Because after all, it’s those ups and downs that ultimately make up this thing we call life.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of, but when it comes to things I am afraid of, snakes top the list. It’s not like I’m simply afraid of them. It’s a serious phobia. Once I was working at a animal hospital and my coworker was walking towards me. Not thinking anything of it, he brought his pet ball python out of his jacket (that I had no idea he had with him). Needless to say I ran from one end of the hospital to the other, screaming, shaking, and folding into the fetal position. So when I say I have a phobia. It’s serious.
I have taken some big steps to overcome this fear. At the same hospital we had a boa constrictor come in for an anesthetic procedure. While I didn’t handle or get near the snake while it was awake I worked up the nerve to enter the worm, touch the snake with a glove, and then proceeded to touch it without a glove. I know this may not seem like a big deal to some but to me it was HUGE. Although I have no plans to handle or own a snake in the future, and I still have major issues, I have continued to work on my phobia by exposing myself to snakes more and more.
I’ve heard warnings over the past month or so and there’s no getting around it, It’s rattlesnake season out here in Arizona. Eeek! So what’s a girl to do? Stop hiking and/or trail running? I don’t think so. Especially after I’ve seemed to have my mojo back.
Reports are mixed. Some people say I’ll probably never see one, saying I’ll have to search them out if I really want to see one (uh, no). While others say that it’s not necessarily if I’ll see one, but when I’ll see one. Either way, I don’t have plans to stop hiking/running so I figured it best to educate myself on snakes and such.
You’ll notice, I have absolutely no photos of snakes on this blog post. Yeah, that’s because in my research darn near every article had photos of snakes. While this helps me face my phobia of seeing snakes it wasn’t doing much for my blood pressure. So for those that are coming here to learn a little something, you have absolutely no fear of seeing real snakes. I promise.
I guess this is also when I should say I am not a doctor and am not offering any medical advice. I think it’s probably obvious considering I don’t know what the heck I’m doing half the time on trail. I educate myself and prepare but the element of surprise is all part of the adventure. (Let’s just hope that surprise isn’t a snake, right?) I just thought if I was already doing the research, I might as well share it here.
My main takeaways and facts I never knew:
Don’t put your hands or feet anywhere your eyes have yet to visualize.
Don’t rely on the sound of a rattle for warning. At birth, rattlesnakes have the first segment of a rattle, which is called a “prebutton.”The prebutton is lost the first time the snake sheds its skin and is replaced by a button. Each shedding episode that follows adds another segment to the rattle. Only when there is more than one segment can the rattle produce sound.
Rattlesnakes can swim and wet rattlers don’t rattle.
Snakes are most active when temperatures are within their optimal basking range. This appears to be about 75 degrees F with cool ground and the sun shining. They are mostly likely to be seen when the air temperature is between 70° and 90°F, regardless of the time of day.
We’re afraid of being bitten, but snakes bite to defend themselves. If frightened, they will first try to escape or hide.
If you do walk into the range of a rattlesnake, calmly back off as quickly and quietly as you can. (Hard for me, because I’m going to want to RUN!)
A rattlesnake’s strike distance can be up to one third to one half of its overall length.
If you’re bitten:
Remain calm so as not to increase circulation and thus the spread of the venom. And in the case of runners, don’t continue to run either.
Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
Wash affected area.
Remove any potential constrictions such as jewelry or clothing because swelling will occur.
Don’t tourniquet a bitten limb.
Get to a hospital ASAP.
Anyone else remember when they used to say, “You need to suck out the venom when you’re bitten by a rattlesnake.” ?? Yeah, don’t do that. That alone was worth me doing my research because that’s probably the first thing I would’ve done if I’d have gotten bit. Definitely glad I’ve done my research.
I may or may not have had my 1st rattlesnake warning this morning. While running I heard a rattling sound come out of nowhere from my right side. I must admit I didn’t follow the rule of walking away slowly but only picked up speed, running like a bat out of hell, not looking back. =/ Yikes! Fingers crossed I’ll never have to deal with those last steps…
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
This time around Leann and I headed out to the Superstition Mountains to conquer the Siphon Draw Trail to the Flatiron. Leann is veteran of the trail but this would be my first attempt. The trail called for a decent elevation climb along with distance and climbing/scrambling, all rolled into one. I’ve been eyeing this hike for the past month or so since being introduced to the idea. Leann warned me that with the closing of Camelback for renovations this trail has been pretty busy. I was forewarned. As always, we were on the trail by 6:30a and on our way.
At approximately 2 miles we came across a rambunctious troop of boy scouts I’m guessing were near 5th grade in age. They seemed to be having a meetup so we passed by with in hopes of staying in front of their crowd. Unfortunately for us that didn’t happen. They followed behind us and just as we were about to make the initial climb they were on our heels. None of the boys were wearing appropriate outdoor gear. I’m not one to say you have to wear/have the most recent trends but wearing canvas boat shoes do not qualify for good hiking gear. Each had a small water bottle but that was not enough for this climb. Then the fact that several of them looked like they were about to pass out and the dad’s channeling their inner football dad by yelling, “Go! Go! GO!” repeatedly, it was insane. Add to that the screaming, running everywhere, kicking/throwing rocks. Oh my. As they made the initial climb not paying attention to their surroundings, making rocks tumble down, causing concern for our safety, we tried to stay back.
But I was rocked. I wasn’t mad per se. I was more concerned. Concerned for their safety. Concerned for nature. My mind was all over the place and couldn’t focus. If I wanted to complete this hike I had to be on my game. Thankful that Leann understood my thoughts, we ended up turning back. Sadly, as we made our way back we witnessed the wake they left behind. Froot Loops and Skittles on the trail, along with random trash as well. Ugh.
Some would ask, “Why didn’t you say anything?” I thought about it. Really, I did. As everything was going down I was trying to formulate the best course of action and I couldn’t come up with anything. The boys weren’t at fault. Yes, they were being crazy, but they can only be as good as their leaders. As for their leaders, it’s not as though they were out to do harm. They were doing what they know…not that it was right. I couldn’t come up with a nice or effective way to communicate my concern so I kept my mouth shut, although it may not have been the best or right thing to do,
Just the day before on Twitter the topic of #HikerChat was Leave No Trace….and here it was, people paying no attention to what they’re leaving behind, happening before my eyes. We are all guilty of taking advantage of Mother Nature’s offerings. I have no more right to be on the trails than the next person. Trust me, I’ve had some deep thoughts on this. For instance, should I even be out there causing further wear and tear or erosion? Should I hike less traveled trails or stick to the more traveled trails? I dunno if there really is a real good answer. However, just like anything I can do my best to preserve what has been loaned to me.
As we made our way down the trail we noticed a sundial and bridge along the path. Both were Eagle Projects from boy scouts over the years. How apropos that the bridge referenced “Leave No Trace”. We also came across another much more subdued boy scout troop. Not only were they enjoying nature but brought out their rakes and shovels, working to preserve it. This gives me hope.
What would you have done?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Something I’ve asked myself many times over the past year is “What is my passion?” I’ve gotten frustrated. I’ve beaten it to the pulp. I’ve felt defeated. How can I find a job that has to do with my passion when I don’t even know what that passion is?! I tabled the idea and went about my life, revisiting it every so often. And yet the same thoughts would enter my mind. I love running. I love photography. I love social media. But love is different than passion. Could I see myself doing these as a job. Yes, but only if I put in some effort….a lot of effort. Some may say, if you want it bad enough then you will put in that effort. Very true. But that just proves to me that I don’t want to do any of those as profession, because I have no underlying drive to put in that effort. At least at this time in my life.
I’ve taken the next steps with attempting to officially jump into the world of social media and found that it wasn’t for me. Or how about when I’ve tried to make my blog a bit more “commercial” and not followed my heart? Anytime I’ve shifted something I enjoy into something closer to work I’ve found that and becomes a burden and less enjoyable. Do I really want to do that with something that I like?
Over the past several months I’ve obviously been trying new things. Trail running, yoga, hiking….I’ve literally been embracing every opportunity that comes my way. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to find my passion(s) in the process.
From twitter chats to blog posts, this past week I’ve had so many different experiences that lead to an aha! moment.
Like my gratefuls, my passion isn’t as specific as other people’s passions. It isn’t an item or something you can really touch. It’s a state of mind. It’s the seeking of peace, happiness, adventure, all rolled into one. That passion allows me to seek out new opportunities and experiences. Hence why I’m always ready, willing, and able to try new things…or why we decided to move across the country.
How in the world would I make such a passion into my job? Ya know, I have absolutely no idea, and quite honestly I don’t know if I’d want it to be given my previous experience attempting to do so. For now I’m loving my job and am grateful that it allows me to pursue my passion. At this time it’s something that doesn’t burden me nor do I bring my work home in any way. In turn I have the ability to focus on planning new adventures and experiences…living my passion.
So I guess you can say that I’ve found my passion and it’s been right under my nose the whole time.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
When it comes to drinking, I’m on top of it. No, I’m not talking about alcohol. I’m talking staying hydrated. That’s what happens when you have a history of kidney stones My drink of choice? Tap water. No fancy bottled water for me. As for the actually bottle I use for my water. Now that’s a deal breaker. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a sensory person. Sensory meaning if things don’t feel “right” then I’m not a fan. Surprisingly enough I’ve found not 1, not 3, but 3 water bottles that work for me….all a little bit different.
Several years ago I had a Swiss Army bottle that was similar to the wide-mouth Nalgene bottles. The biggest issues I had was that it seemed to collect slime and stink real easy, it wasn’t BPA-free, and I don’t know how many times I ended up wearing my water due to the wide-mouth. Knowing it was time to replace my bottle I went on the hunt.
Klean Kanteen – I purchased this bottle when the whole BPA-Free craze started. It made sense to stay away from plastic for obvious reasons. With the smaller mouth opening I no longer found myself having problems wearing my water. However, I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of the bottle. I felt that it somehow changed the flavor of my water. Years later I’ve held onto the bottle and have found that it’s one of my faves. Looking back I’m wondering if the “different taste” was all in my head. I’ve never had problems with slime or stink which is a definite plus. This bottle has taken so many beatings, yet although it has a few dings it’s still holding strong and has a ton o’ character. When I hit the trails this tends to be my go-to bottle due to being so light yet sturdy.
Life Factory – Like most I was drawn into these bottles with how cool they look. I stumbled upon these at Whole Foods when I wasn’t 100% sold on my Klean Kanteen. I loved the concept of a glass bottle, yet it being protected by a webbed silicone cover. The mouth is a bit wider than my Klean Kanteen but not as huge as the old Swiss Army bottle. Depending on the day I have to be careful not to spill much water, but for the most part I have no issues. Like the Kanteen I’ve had absolutely no issues with slime or stink and it can be thrown into the dishwasher….silicone covering and all. I love the loop on the lid and find myself using the handle to haul it places. Although it’s thick glass and covered with rubber, I personally wouldn’t dream of taking it on the trail for fear of dropping it and/or busting it on some rocks.
HydroFlask – I was introduced to HydroFlask by Wilderness Dave. After discussing his love of their bottles on our adventure last weekend he was gracious enough to hook me up on an extra bottle he had around. I’m not going to go into all the specifics because Dave does a rad job doing that. What I can say is that I dig it. The best way to explain it is that it’s a mixture of my Kleen Kanteen and Life Factory bottle together plus a bit of steroids mixed in. I have yet to put it through a true test of resilience but this bottle is like a tank. Instead of worrying about it being crushed by the rocks it is the rocks that should be afraid of getting crushed. I’m not a coffee drinker but having the added insulation will be a definite plus come summertime when I need an icy cold beverage. I look forward to putting the bottle through its paces out on the trail but so far it’s a winner in my book and leaves my water bottle line-up looking pretty darn good.
Are you a water-drinker like me? What’s your go-to bottle? Anyone a fan of Camelbak or Geigerrig-type packs? That’s my next step….find a high capacity water carrying option for the trails.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I make every point to be in the moment while out on the trail. In turn I feel my senses become heightened and my internal thoughts clarified as I have random “Aha!” moments. I have quickly realized that many of my experiences on the trails are metaphors for life.
Don’t rely on others to do all of the work. This won’t come as a surprise, but I’m a planner. I plan everything down to the second. Over the past year I’ve worked on letting this go…sometimes too much. For instance, the past several hikes have been planned by someone more experienced. Instead of doing my own work of researching, printing out maps, and familiarizing myself with the trail I have literally just show up and expected it to be done…which is has. However this is selfish of me and not real smart. I need to be aware of what to expect.
Some things are worth doing more than once….you’ll find them easier the second time around and see things you missed. With Spur Cross Trail being an out and back hike we made our way back the way we came in. We found that going out was much easier than going in simply from being aware of the trail that we had already hiked. And even though we had seen the same surroundings it was from a different perspective…everything was the same, yet totally different. In addition, there were many things we missed heading in that we caught on the way out.
Be aware of your surroundings. Some of the best things are often overlooked by looking too far ahead. One of the goals of the Chalk Canyon hike was to view petroglyphs made by the Hohokam Tribe. Being so focused on moving forward I totally missed them. Thankfully my friend caught sight of one, which lead us to others. How many things am I missing in life that are right under my nose?
At some point in your life you’re going to need assistance. Accept it graciously. As I approached rocks to do a little rock jumping across a creek I realized the rocks were farther apart that I initially thought. Thanks to the kindness of a friend and the reassurance of their hand I felt secure crossing without any qualms.
It’s okay to accept help but don’t depend on others to constantly hold your hand. Realize when you need to stand on your own and do it. After my friend offered his assistance across the creek we both released hands thinking I was secure. I was still relying on his non-existent hand and into the creek I went. How often have I still been trying to hold on to “helping hands” when it’s time for me to move on independently?
Laugh at yourself. After I rebounded from my fall into the water I could have been negative as I walked away with a wet bum, squishy shoes, and soaked gloves. Instead we shared a good laugh.
Technology makes things easier, but don’t forget your senses. With none of us having experience with the Spur Cross Trail to Chalk Canyon, along with unclear/nonexistent trail markers, we kept finding ourselves unclear which direction to take. (One more reason for me to do my own research) With the assistance of strangers that were using a GPS we stayed we made our way. Ultimately this was a means to an end but upon making our way back out of the trail we found we hadn’t necessarily followed the trail as planned. If we would’ve been more patient and evaluated our surroundings and sense of direction, instead of jumping to a quick fix, things may have flowed a bit better.
Expect the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen out on the trail…or even getting to the trail. As we made our way to the Haunted Canyon Trail this weekend we found ourselves on a rough dirt road. Needless to say the big ol’ rocks (more like boulders) weren’t too kind to the truck tires, leaving us with a blow out. A bit of a setback, but it’s all part of the adventure.
Adapt and overcome. From terrain, elevation, or weather, every hike I’ve been on has been different. Sometimes different also means more difficult or dealing with more of the unexpected. Either way, instead of complaining, it’s best to accept it and move on….and more importantly, enjoy the difference.
Choose your friends wisely. Since I never know what’s going to happen, it’s pretty important who’s out there with me. I’ve made sure to surround myself with people that share the same adventurous spirit, provide a helping hand or encouragement during those rough moments, know how to change a flat tire, and are willing to swap gear and knowledge…all while we enjoy each other’s company.
Photo Credit – Wilderness Dave
Takes chances. When distinct markings of the trail diminish I’ve found that sometimes you need to hike up a cliff to see where it may lead. Sometimes this holds the answer, other times it doesn’t….but we wouldn’t have known if we had never taken the chance.
It’s the journey, not the destination. Sometimes we don’t always arrive at your expected destination. This seems to happen quite often on the trail. Life is a all a huge learning experience and no adventure should be considered a waste.
There’s never a wrong way…only better options. So often on the trails I find myself saying, ”Is this the right way?” Just as often I find that our group heads the wrong way and gets a bit turned around. Yet, in the end we always find our way.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I think it’s pretty clear that I have absolutely no plans on sticking to a schedule or theme when it comes to blogging. I know I’ve posted about what’s been making me happy and grateful lately. After Monday’s post this just seemed to fit, so I’m going to continue with it.
Weekly Hikes – I’m sure this is an obvious one having said what I wrote above, but these hikes are what I look forward to all week. I hit up Picacho Peak a couple weeks ago along with South Mountain last week. Each trail and experience has been so different yet equally as fun and enjoyable. This past weekend was spent on Spur Cross Trail, venturing into Chalk Canyon. It was amazing to see petroglyphs made several hundred years ago and do some rock hopping to cross Cave Creek even if it did mean me falling in. We already have plans to hike some serious trails the next two weeks which has me pretty stoked. If you want to see more, head on over to the BananaBuzzbomb Facebook page where I’ve uploaded all of the photos from my recent Outdoor Adventures.
It’s awesome to hike with other photographers so I have photos of myself on the trail
Photo Credit to Wildnerness Dave
Receiving new fit gear in the mail – Receiving mail is great but receiving packages full o’ fun gear is even better. I’ve been doing having a blast trying out the new apparel including my running jacket from Zensah. With it being a tight fitting jacket it was perfect for protecting me without getting hung up on prickly foliage while out adventuring on the trails. Who says you can’t wear running gear on the trail too?
Random surprises from D – Purchasing some of my fave special treats while out shopping are the little things that show that he loves me. Those are the gestures that mean the most.
Clean pups – I love giving the dogs baths and cuddling with them after. They smell fresh and clean and feel so soft. I just want to eat them up. Not to mention, since we have 2 dogs that actually sleep under the covers it’s nice to have a clean bed…that is until they start shedding all over the covers. Meh. Totally worth it.
Quiet time – I get up anywhere between 4:30-5:00a most days. Some people would find this crazy but I’ve always appreciated the quiet “me” time in the morning. Over the past month I’ve gotten up daily to practice yoga with only the light of my computer monitor. This also means no need to rush and allows me to arrive at work well over 30 minutes prior to my scheduled start time. Most people would jump right into work. Not me. I sit at my desk studying and taking notes from my Light On Yoga book. All of these choices allow me to become calm and centered. As I begin to feel the buzz of anxiety around me as coworkers arrive to work I am the calm in the storm. All by making a few small choices.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Over the past month my workout routine has changed a bit. I’ve been running maybe once or twice (at the most) per week and the remainder of my physical activities consist of yoga and hiking.
With the change in my routine have come others as well. Am I in the best shape of my life? I guess that’s up for debate. Am I as thin as I was a couple years ago when I was pounding out the miles rain or shine? No. Does this leave me a little uneasy that my body is a bit different? Yes. Initially I felt that urge to get out and run. In all honesty, I still have that urge. But instead of it being about my weight on the scale it’s more about knowing that I’m one of those people that if I don’t use it, I lose it. I always want running to be a part of my life. Running came to me at a time when I needed it most. It helped me cope with anxiety and even some depression. Unfortunately through the years it transitioned to causing me anxiety. I’ve been at the point in my life where I feel that I HAVE to run in order to survive. I’m past that point. I’m grateful for what it’s given me but I’m ready to be open to other activities in my life as well.
Like most weekends, this past weekend several big events were being held in the running world. My social media feeds were filled up from those running Tough Mudder and Ragnar Relay here in Phoenix along with the Disney World Princess Half Marathon. I even made it a point to stop to see my fellow Cholla Chicks as they took on the Ragnar Relay as an ultra team (they are beasts!) Seeing all of these updates made me swell with pride realizing once again that I am friends with some pretty rad people. However, at no time was I envious or jealous that everyone was out there doing their thing. Sure, I’d still love to run a Disney race, but that’s not where I am in my life right now and I realize that.
Just because I’m not running regularly doesn’t mean I’m just letting my body go. I personally feel it’s important for everyone to make a point to be physically active. However, at this time I’m just listening to my mind, body, and soul, letting it guide me through my daily routines. More importantly, my focus is to do more of what makes me happy.
Not so long ago I was spending time figuring out my race schedule or training plans. That time is now spent figuring out what trail I want to venture to or what peak I want to conquer next. It’s just all part of my journey and I’m loving every second.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Now that I have weekends off I’ve been making a point to get out and do some adventuring. This past weekend was no different. Luckily for me my friends Katie and Niko were passing through the area on their year-long trip across the United States. We invited another friend, David AKA Wilderness Dave, along for the adventure and hit up South Mountain just south of Phoenix. As expected, it was a great time and as always, the views were magnificent. As we made the trek through our 6 mile hike I couldn’t help but have a thought that continually went through my mind. This thought is nothing new. In fact, as time goes on I have this thought enter my head more often than not. What’s the thought? That I’m so darn grateful.
I’ve talked about this topic a lot lately. I don’t want to beat a dead horse. However, it is what it is and I make no promises I won’t talk about it again in the future…actually, I can guarantee I’ll talk about it again. The thing is, I AM grateful and am becoming more and more grateful by the day as I take notice of everything around me. What triggered the thought this weekend? Being surrounded by awesome friends.
The thing is, I don’t just have awesome friends. Most everyone has those, right? What makes my situation different than many others is that I’ve met so many of them through social media and my travels. From being a member of Columbia Sportswear’s Inaugural Omniten, to attending Inspiration and Perspiration, or just getting to know people through Twitter, I’ve met some amazing people. The cool thing is that they’re not just some random online friends. I’ve actually met many of them in real-life and hope to meet many more in the future. What makes it even more amazing is that these friends are just as adventurous (if not more) as me.
Katie, a a fellow Omniten, and David, a person I’ve met through twitter, are just 2 of these friends that are now part of my life. If you remember back a couple weeks ago, I also went hiking with Rozanne and Leann, who I met at Inspiration & Perspiration.
Over the years I’ve made a conscious effort to surround myself with positive people. As I go through this part of my journey I am literally surrounded by like-minded friends who not only supportive but also encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone and push my limits. Definitely something to be grateful for.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)