It has been both an enlightening and tough 2 months at the end of 2013, the one constant that got me through it all… hiking! Well that and some amazing friends who totally gave me a that flash of clarity with how wonderful my life is!
I have spent the past 2 months off track and falling into my old habits of dealing with stress, which meant eating more than my daily calories and strangely, drinking a lot more than I have in years…. the only thing I kept on doing was working out(sporadically) and hiking. Well until I got my tattoo and then it was a week off working out, 2 weeks off hiking.
I also stopped weighing myself… not just not posting on it, I didn’t want to know how far I was falling off the path. But then I noticed the physical change in how clothes are fitting, how I am looking in the mirror and it sucked after doing so well for so long. I don’t want fall back into old habits.
I was hiking, thinking about what is next on my hiking journey and sad that it is winter with higher hikes out of reach for me. That is when it hit me hard right in stress-equates-to-giving-into-cravings stronghold, I need to get over myself! Stress happens, there will be times when I win and times when I lose but if I let the losing times take over well then how sucky is that? In the 18+ times that I did weight watchers over the course of my life, there was my one favorite and really good counselor that said it the best…. sometimes you spill the milk , but the goal is to not pour out the whole gallon as a result…. so this is me not pouring out the whole gallon.
So where was I, oh yeah the next journey(s)! I have to say I don’t want to work my way up high again when I can with a short window to get in as many summit hikes as I can over the shortish summer, that means snow shoeing is next! I have already booked a day long guided snow shoe in Rocky Mountain National Park in February. I hope to get one in before then, but for sure lots after and snow shoeing means being up higher than we are right now. I am so excited to try it!
Another new goal… backpacking. I want to be at the perfect spot at sunrise AND sunset, a lot of great places here require a journey that is more than a day hike. I want to be able to look at a possible hike and not care that it is 20+ miles to figure out how I can make it happen, all the while wondering what amazing things I will see. I am completely terrified about what it all means in terms of learning how far I can push myself oh and the whole I prefer a hotel to a sleeping bag thing, but I am also super excited… I mean what if I love it!?!?!?! That means another whole huge world of possibilities. I am willing to explore that for the end rewards.
Well, that is where I am at right now. We did do a new hike this morning… but after a series of bad decisions.
Here’s to an amazing 2014!!!!
20 thoughts on “Hiking To Healthy in 2014”
Good for you! And I’m actually surprised that you aren’t a backpacker already, with all the amazing hiking you do. You’ll love it.
I am surprisingly accustomed to my comfy bed and running hot water! But I am excited about what other possibilities it will open up!
Sounds like some great plans for 2014. I’d like to do more backpacking myself.
Thanks!!! I excited about what this year holds for me!
I want to try backpacking as well. I just have to get over my fear of bears. That whole having to tie your food up into a tree to *possibly* keep bears away thing is frightening. My mom’s boyfriend actually woke up one night while camping with a bear only 10 feet away from him. But besides that backpacking sounds great!’
I love your “don’t pour out the entire gallon” quote. Definitely something for everyone to keep in mind. I have put on some weight the past few months and need to get back on track. I have also been super stressed out, so I know all those struggles. But here’s to a new year where we can both get back on track and reach our goals in 2014! Happy New Years!
I hear you on the whole bear thing and really all the other animals give me pause too… I hope we have good luck or good tactics if we should ever cross paths with something!
Man Stress kills me every time. I always wanted to be one of those people that stops eating when they get stressed but the exact opposite happens to me. Here is us killing it in 2014!!!
You will love the snow shoeing – get out there and enjoy it!
Thanks!!! I am so excited! We have had so much snow lately I think it will be a great year to learn! Good Luck to you on your summit!!!
Hi there! I don’t believe I’ve ever commented here but have been following for several months now. I moved to CO almost 7 years ago myself and started off strong hiking every weekend, 14er-ing, backpacking, snowshoeing, etc. Gained a lot of weight kind of inexplicably and my energy levels just plummeted but finally got a diagnosis – thyroid issues. At any rate, hopefully getting that sorted this winter, hopefully, and if you need a snowshoe partner and/or someone to teach you the backpacking ropes I am very happy to help! I need new activity buddies anyways, all my friends are doing the babies thing right now.
At any rate, go you!
Hi Shannon thank you so much for following and commenting! I wish I had started sooner but either way I am so super loving it now!!! I hope you get it all sorted out soon and get back to what you love! I know the hardest part of getting sick is knowing hiking may get called off! Thank you so much for the offers! I can certainly use all the help I can get… I am trying to read a book on snowshoeing now and I find I learn from practical application and lecture not reading!
Snow shoeing is so much fun, I hope you love doing it! I can’t wait to hear what a guided tour is like, it sounds interesting.
I have heard that a lot! I am so excited to try it out! I thought a guided tour would help me learn better even though I am trying to read about it right now… I just learn better doing and discussing rather than reading it. Plus they provide a fondue lunch and cider midway through AND it is RMNP! I figured no matter what it was worth the group on.
I’m so proud of you for motoring ahead despite some little setbacks. You are an inspiration! xoxo
Nancy I cannot tell you how much your blog, support and cheering helps me keep going!!! Thank you so much!!!! xoxoxo
Great goals 🙂 . We all fall off our wagons sometimes. The key is definitely to get back up, dust ourselves off, reflect on where we’re at and push on 🙂
Thanks Andrew!! It helps to have great blogs like your to read and motivate me! Happy New year!
Snowshoeing is wonderful! If you’re snowshoeing in RMNP (Estes Park entrances on the east side) and need to rent snowshoes, you should check out Estes Park Mountain Shop (on Big Thompson Avenue). They have some good-quality basic snowshoes for really cheap. You can also rent poles and snow boots there, though I just use my hiking poles.
Also, a good snow shoe hike you might enjoy is in RMNP’s Wild Basin – the hike to Ouzel Falls. It’s pretty well traveled without being crowded, and is really pretty in the winter. It was one of my first snowshoe hikes (we didn’t reach the falls that first time, but it was pretty anyway).
Finally, have you looked into using products like Yaktrax or MICROspikes for winter hiking? I used to be scared of winter hiking because I was always worried about slipping, falling, and hurting myself on icy rocks. I finally made the leap a year ago and bought a pair of MICROspikes, and couldn’t be happier. They’re great for getting traction on snow and ice, even on icy rocks. I actually used them (in combination with my hiking poles) to summit Quandary Peak last winter. I was slow, but I did it! They’re not a huge help in deep snow or powdery snow (you would want snowshoes for that), but they work great on hard snowpack and ice!
I am snowshoeing in RMNP! It was a group on for a full day guided hike…. it includes the rentals and a Lunch so it must be the place you suggested! And we will for sure check out that store! Getting a pair is inevitable, getting a good price would be a huge win!
I am so checking out that hike you mentioned… I have wanted to do it for awhile just in the summer but i heard it is insanely crowded. Maybe winter is a good solution!!! This snowshoeing thing opens up a lot more possibilities!
We have the Black diamond versions of Yaktrax and were planning on graduating to microspikes this winter, hearing you did Quandary with them and poles only makes me want to get some now!!! Did you post hole at all? or was the snow pretty hard and easy to walk on with the microspikes? Now I just want to pick your brain on a winter 14er summit!
THank you so much for all the advice, it is AWESOME!!!!
I don’t know what Estes Park Mountain Shop charges for their new snowshoes, but rentals ran $6 per day, last time I was there. I’ve thought about buying my own snowshoes, just so I don’t have to rent them every time I want to go, but I haven’t made the jump yet… maybe this winter!
Quandary was an awesome hike! The trail below tree line was fairly clear of snow, but it did have some icy spots that made me go slower than usual (I HATE walking on ice). The trail above treeline was covered with snow, and I post-holed a few times in the softer spots. However, when I finally broke down, put my micro-spikes on, and started walking on the icier parts of the snow, I was fine. As the trail got steeper, the snow got harder. The “trail” itself was icy from people packing the snow down on it, and had some icy rocks poking out of the snow. I went a little slower in these sections, but I was never concerned about my footing – the microspikes worked wonderfully!
The hiking poles were super useful too – be sure to bring them along. If you have adjustable length trekking poles, make sure their locks are strong enough for you to put a little weight on them without having them slip. The poles I took up Quandary has a goofy twisting lock that kept loosening up every time I put weight on them (like when I was going downhill), causing my poles to shorten. It was kind of irritating having to keep adjusting them constantly. I’ve since upgraded to some Black Diamond poles with a better locking system 🙂
Finally, I used sunglasses (I saw some people who used ski goggles) and a fleece face warmer to protect my face from the wind above treeline. It was super windy and cold at the top! I do wish I had brought some of those little chemical hand warmers you put in your mittens, so that I could have taken some more pictures at the summit (my hands were freezing!).
Feel free to ask any questions you have 🙂 I’m no expert by any means – I’m just a normal person who likes hiking – but I’ll do my best to give you any advice from my personal experiences!
Also, another snowshoe hike you may enjoy is the hike to Emerald Lake in RMNP. It’s just like the summer trail: you start at Bear Lake (the parking lot is never full in the winter), and hike past Nymph Lake and Dream Lake on your way to Emerald Lake, just below Hallett Peak. It’s about a 4 mile round trip with some steeper sections, but I really don’t think it’s that hard (I did it fairly slowly, and thought it was fine). The frozen lakes and snowy peaks surrounding you make it totally worth it!
Finally, I thought I’d share the best piece of advice I got when I started snowshoeing: most of the time, you don’t need to wear your heavy winter coat. Once you start moving, a winter coat will be too hot, and you’ll start to sweat. If you slow down or the temperature drops, your wet, sweaty clothing will make you cold. Instead, wear multiple warm layers with a windbreaker over the top, and pack your winter coat in your backpack (just in case). Obviously, there are times when you’ll definitely need your heavy coat (in a snowstorm, above treeline, on a 14er summit, when it’s -15° and windy, etc.), but it’s a good rule to follow for nice days. You probably already know this from your other hiking adventures, but I thought I’d share just in case 🙂