My last two weekends have been full of adventure! First, C and I took a lovely trip to Denver and this past weekend I did an overnight backpacking trip in Arkansas.
I was sooo excited that I got to meet up with Kirsten & Preston (forgot to take a picture...). Went to a cool little place with great queso and drinks - of course! Kirsten would make an excellent local guide. I wish we could hang out all the time!!!!
St. Patrick's Day!:
I have an intense appreciation for holidays/festivals/celebrations.
We dressed up in green and these fancy stickers!
Good thing we had extra because we gave them out to lots of strangers we met throughout the day. Everybody we met was incredibly nice and celebratory... well done, Denver.
We went to an Irish pub called Scruffy Murphy's where they had traditional music and dancing!
There was a little girl dancer in the group who was ADORABLE. Here we met these guys and ended up spending the rest of the day with them!
We went to a rooftop bar and met some more people. Meeting randos is one of my favorite things.
And ended the night with some yummy pizza.
12 hours later we were home and exhausted!
Love my C.
Celebration - check.
Ski day at Loveland!
I have never really been skiing before so I was very excited and also nervous. I didn't know what to expect. C and Mr. Gubes were excellent instructors! I borrowed all of T's clothes and skis - thanks T!! I learned how to snow plow, of course, and do parallel turns. By the end of the day I was zipping down parts that scared me in the beginning! And I only fell once or twice after lunch break!
We went on a tree trail that was a fun change of scenery.
I loved the atmosphere - everybody was nice and friendly, the staff was happy and chill, and there were dozens of adorable little kids learning too. Also, everybody's ski gear is lovely - people just look good in ski clothes. It was snowing throughout the day, giving it a very 'winter in the mountains' kind of feel.
I want to go on a legit ski vacation now - stay at the lodge, come in after a good day on the slopes and chill with friends, etc. Any takers for next season? :)
We also practiced self arrest with my ice axe for our new thing of this week! It was very effective, so rest assured that I probably won't fall down any mountains this summer! Forgot to take a photo of this too... and we even put on silly hats for it...
A lovely, albeit quick trip! Love my C. Love the Gubes.
A few weeks ago, I met an amazing group of women and decided to go on a backpacking adventure with them! They are quite a bit older than me and I am inspired by their continued sense of adventure and youthful spirits.
This was my chance to test out all my gear, test my level of mental and physical preparation, and also have some fun with the women in the woods.
It was rainy and cold the whole time... but it was awesome. Pretty much the entire time we were covered in fog, but it created this beautiful enchanted forest look.
I loved my gear and I loved being outside (even in that weather). In preparing for this weekend, I knew it would either make me incredibly nervous or incredibly excited for the PCT and after it was over I could not wait to finish planning and preparing and start my journey. With full packs on, we hiked 12 miles the first day and 16.6 the next. My dreams of PCT all of sudden became more real, and more importantly more realistic. My confidence and excitement is starting to well overcome my nerves and anticipation.
Due to the weather, we decided to finish up early, head back into town, grab a shower and go out to dinner for a celebration. Here is the group:
I feel so blessed to have met these women and have them help me prepare for this journey! One of the best parts of any journey seems to be the people you meet along the way and they are no exception.
My friend Sarah has told me about an Ethiopian restaurant in the city called Queen of Sheba. If you watch the league, I hope you too can only think of Queen of Shiva.
Excellent selling point: you eat with your hands.
I thought that sounded like a great new thing for last week!
We had a good size group - Sarah, Misty, Chris, C, T, Jess, and me! I love love love dining in big groups. It brings such a festive element to the meal.
I was very excited to have T in town. :)
And C was very excited for our new thing of the week!
I got the variety plate - why try one when you can try many?
The crepe/pancake part is called injera - its super spongy. You tear off a piece and scoop up some food. A bit messy, but fun and different. Every now and then its nice to ban utensils. T started a bit of a game where she tossed some injera on your plate and wherever it landed, thats what you ate. haha Even more fun!
I enjoyed the food, but its not the type of flavor/texture I would want regularly.
I was reading about Ethiopian food on the restaurant website and came across this bit of information:
"Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking injera and eating from the same plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The quintessence of those bonds are often demonstrated in the form of gursha-that is, the placing of food in the mount of another diner from one's own hand."
More than anything, this is about allowing myself to fail, but not allowing myself to feel guilt and/or shame over it. So in a sense, this mark in the fail category is accompanied by a big mark in the win category.
I bought Insanity with high hopes. I thought it would be tough, sure, but I would end it feeling stronger, thinner, and happier.
By far the best part was working out with C and our friend Audrey. When we did the workouts together, I had a LOT more motivation and emotional energy to give. Spending the time together also enhanced our friendships. Doing the workouts without them was 10x harder.
Never once did I look forward to "getting insane" and I pretty much hated it throughout the duration. But after each workout was over, I felt good - 40% because I had done something good for myself, and 60% just happy it was over.
Throughout the workouts, I felt like I should be proud of myself... but I only ever felt inadequate - or satisfactory at best.
Over time, the insistent squatting and jumping wore down my left knee. Fearful of greater injury, this limited my abilities, causing a great deal of modification to the routines.... because literally the whole this is squatting and jumping.
People do Insanity because of the results. No one would squat and jump that much for nothing. Problem was I didn't see any results. I assume I got stronger because I was constantly sore... so the muscles must have been doing something right? But no change in my physical appearance. Granted I could have been more strict with my nutrition, but I also didn't cheat so much that I thought it would take away from any and all results.
So I pretty much hated it. My knee has started to make every workout a series of modifications. And I wasn't getting any results. Additionally, I felt like I needed to be focusing on other things to help me prepare for my hike.
So why do it?
It came to the point where I was doing the workouts just to be doing them - to somehow prove that I hadn't failed, all the while knowing that in the end I would feel failure all the same.
So in week 8 out of 9 weeks, I decided to stop being insane.
It reminded me of when I was training for the marathon. I never felt proud of the progress I was making in my mileage because it was never good enough. I didn't see any improvements to my figure. And my injury was as debilitating emotionally as it was physically. I was so utterly disappointed in my failure. That time, I was defeated with guilt and shame. This time, I decided I wouldn't be.
1. Life is too short to do something you hate for no reason other than pride.
2. My efforts and the process need to mean something to me. I can't focus my satisfaction solely on the results. Obviously making goals and achieving them is very important, but the process and the steps along the way are also important.
3. I need to make a choice.
Option A: Work on feeling beautiful and accepting my body the way it is - continue to strive for an active, healthy life, but also continue to enjoy the food and drink and occasional lazy afternoons.
Option B: Prioritize working on my body over the food and drink and lazy afternoons... really get serious with it.
I know this is something so many people struggle with. And I know I'm not overweight to an unhealthy point, but I want to get to the point either in mindset or in physical appearance where I can look in the mirror and feel good about what I see looking back at me.
In the end, Insanity will join the marathon in being something that I've admitted defeat to for now... but have promised myself to try again and succeed in the future.