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Happy Anniversary…to me!

5 Sep

Welcome back from the long holiday weekend!  How did you celebrate your extra day of late summer?

I decided to take it really easy the past week, and take it upon myself to create “adult summer break.”  Yes, I am too old for summer break but I couldn’t bear the thought of summer ending without spending just a few more days outside crossing things off my bucket list.  So, I took off a couple extra days just to do so!

Tuesday, I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the sold out Mumford & Sons concert at Red Rocks.  Check one off my bucket list.  I always make it a priority each summer to get up to this venue for a show.  It is such a quintessentially Colorado night out, and if you haven’t had the chance to rock out up here, definitely try to catch one of the remaining concerts this summer (I am still considering tickets to Jason Mraz this month).  The show was awesome, the weather was awesome, and dancing my butt off with my best friends was just an awesome night all around.

Dana & I outside the party bus getting ready for Mumford & Sons

Thursday was the day that I finally tackled my 1st 14er.  I am not sure how it’s possible that I have lived in this beautiful mountainous state for so long and not completed this.  My mom happily joined the trek and we talked my boyfriend into coming too.  We set off a little bit late by hiker standards (about 8 AM) and the trail head parking lot was completely empty.  I turned on my Nike+ GPS and off we went.  Our plan was to ascend Gray’s Peak, then traverse the saddle back which connects to Torrey’s Peak.  Mother Nature had other plans, however.  A couple of hours into our hike the clear blue sky suddenly turned black and clouds were approaching on all sides.  Well, heck if we were going to throw in the towel at this point!  With my mom as our cheerleader (man, she is one of my fitness idols at 54 years old!) we kept chugging along.  Ed wanted to turn back at a couple of points because of the thunderclouds chasing us, although I am sure that his exhaustion had something to do with it as well!  There was no way we could get my mom to turn around so we just kept climbing even through some of the more uncertain and rocky points in the path.  At about 4 1/2 hours we finally summited Gray’s Peak!  The views were phenomenal, another breathtaking reminder of why Colorado is the best state to live in!  We celebrated and snapped a few pictures before finding a spot for lunch.  While we were eating and joking around I commented on my mom’s hair standing straight up.  Then she stopped and said mine was the same.  At this exact moment we realized that there was a strong electrical current running through the rocks that we could hear under our feet!  Then the charge started to shock our feet.  With a thunderstorm moving ever close to us, talk about freaky!  We threw on our backpacks and booked it out of there.  The funny thing is, that Ed was suddenly in the lead, which I have never seen, haha!  What took us 4 1/2 hours going up only took about half that time descending.  We never made it to the 2nd peak (Torrey’s), but at least I can say I have officially completed my 1st 14 and check that off my bucket list!

looking up at Gray’s when we started the hike. Sunny for days!

Thunderstorm at the top of Gray’s…Scary!

Ed and I about half way to the top, taking a break

My super Mom & I at the Peak of Gray’s! We did it!

If you are wondering about the title of this post, and which anniversary I am referring to, it is my “health anniversary”.  A year ago, the first week of September was when I decided to make a health a priority in my life again.  I was living at home with my parents and very unhappy with the 1+ hour commute to and from work everyday.  I knew that this was a waste of 2 hours each day that I needed to be using for activity.  Also, once I got home at night I was usually exhausted from sitting in traffic for an hour and I would use that excuse to crash in front of a TV.  So, I changed my lifestyle a bit in order to afford renting a house in Denver, closer to my friends and my job.  Along with this change I also was in charge of my own grocery shopping and preparing dinners.  I used this turning point as a chance to jump-start my more healthy and active lifestyle.  As I have mentioned in my About page, weight quickly started to melt off at first because of these small changes alone.  Over the past year I have made healthy eating the norm and consistently held to my exercise routine.  I can happily say that my life has been fuller and happier and in turn I have been able to lose 22 pounds without killing myself like I used to in college.  I didn’t have to restrict anything that I love, I have just learned to balance the good and moderate the “bad”.  I realize that this is  a slow pace for weight loss, but since I can maintain it I am not going to complain!  I still have 12-15 lbs. to lose before I reach my goal weight, and I am thinking of upping my routine to tweak some numbers to accelerate this just a little bit.  I am at the point where my clothes are definitely loser and my friends and family are complimenting me which makes me feel great and is a powerful motivator that I will continue to need on this journey.  I owe a huge thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way!  So, happy 1 year health anniversary, here’s to a lifetime of more health and fitness 🙂

Julie

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Fitness Bucket List

27 Aug

I hope everyone had a good weekend, I definitely did and I am trying to soak up the last of these amazing summer days.

Friday night I had my monthly book club to discuss Age of Miracles, but let’s be honest we don’t normally talk about the book nearly as much as we use it as a chance to catch up with the girls.  We decided to grill shrimp, asparagus, corn on the cob, and portobello mushrooms.  Everything was delicious and I was definitely impressed by how healthy we were being, until I dug into some homemade ice cream sandwiches!  🙂

Saturday was an early morning, as I had to get up at 4:45 to head up to Glenwood Springs.  My boyfriend’s sister and soon-to-be-hubby wanted to rafting as a joint bachelor/bachelorette weekend.  We actually decided to rent duckies instead, which are inflatable kayaks.  Ed and I decided on the double so that would could hang out together on the Colorado River.  I typically love white water rafting and I have been in some pretty dangerous classified rivers, so I took this calm flowing day to R-E-L-A-X!  There were some baby rapids along the way that were fun to plow through, but for the most part the water was streaming pretty calmly.  I wish that I was able to take my camera on the rafting part because the views in the canyons were simply amazing.  Again I was reminded of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state!

beautiful day to get a tan in Glenwood Springs!

Look at how good we look in those life jackets! 😉

We stopped for a dip in the sulfur hot springs along the way, and one of my favorite parts of the day- I got to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP).  I have been saying for a few months now that I want to try this new trend ( I always see the celebs doing it, hehe).  Turns out our friend Josh brough his along on the trip and I was brave enough to try to navigate it downstream.  I was able to balance pretty well (way more stable than a surfboard), and I was getting the hang of rowing and steering.  However, just when I was getting into the groove and having fun, I needed to turn around and go UP stream!  That was a little bit more tricky.  I lost my balance right when I hit a strong current, fell in, and was pulled downstream pretty far.  Between scraping my knees along the rocks at the bottom, trying to keep my head above water, and desperately trying to hold onto the stupid board I would say I was a little exhausted.  I hopped back into my duckie and worked on my tan the rest of the way down.

SUP! Yes, I’ll take abs like Alessandra Ambrosio please!

In honor of trying the SUP I decided to think about what else would make my #fitnessbucketlist.

Here are some ideas (I am sure that this list will continue to grow!):

  • Hike one of the 14ers in Colorado.  I have my eye on Gray’s & Torrey’s peaks or Mt. Biederstat before this season is over, any suggestions/tips?
  • Warrior Dash or some kind of mud run
  • Surfing in Hawaii (I have been surfing in California & Australia, and I would love to spend more time at the beach riding the waves.)

Surf Camp in Australia

  • Trail run (10K)
  • I have never tried TRX
  • Yoga 30 day challenge
  • Rock climbing
  • Play more tennis!  I bought a new racket this summer and it has been pretty lonely
  • Sailing…ideally somewhere beautiful like Turkey or Greece

That’ll be me on that sailboat one day!

  • Become better at water skiing.  Despite being a real skier and a water baby, I have never been able to master this sport
  • More snowboarding!
  • Scuba diving, maybe the Virgin Islands!?  (already can check off the Great Barrier Reef!)

I would love to scuba dive these blue waters!

  • Zip lining in Costa Rica

Suspension bridge in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

  • White water rafting trip through Alaska/Canada
  • Run a half marathon
  • Hike through part of the Pacific Crest Trail (I am reading Wild and I guess it has me feeling a little bit inspired).

Hopefully I will be able to check these off my list and add more adventures!

Julie