Living in Colorado has been a very positive experience so far. Getting orders that my husband got stationed at Fort Carson just south of Colorado Springs, Colorado we couldn’t be more thrilled. The elevation kind of sucks especially after living at sea level for 4 years. The weather is cold and dry so I am constantly blowing my nose unlike the warm, humid climate of Southwest Florida. But what is really cool about Colorado is the fact it will end up snowing closer to winter time, and all the places in the mountains that you can go hiking.
Although this wouldn’t shock anyone who knows me, I’m pretty out of shape. After an entire year of slacking I realized it was time to get back into the swing of things once more. So when my husband decided to start making it a habit to go hiking on Saturdays with some of his Army friends I had to tag along.
The day prior to our plans to go hiking on one of the easier trails that Colorado has to offer, Tracy — the hubs — and I planned a big day. We went to the gym first thing in the morning with one of his Army friends and it was a nice gym day. Since we live at a higher elevation than I’m used to I stick strictly to cardio in an attempt to get my body used to this environmental change.
The gym on base that we went to (our base has 3 gyms) has an entire room of just treadmills. Some of the treadmills have monitors and you can select videos of trails in different countries. Selecting a California woodsy trail it showed me moving down the path and little interesting facts would pop up on the screen every so often. It would automatically adjust the incline of the treadmill while I power walked for nearly an hour. Because of the interesting video that it played it felt like I was only on the treadmill for 10 minutes! Obviously I was feeling confident.
Next on our list was to go shopping for some new hiking boots as well as regular clothes shopping. Spending 3 hours in the mall we had a blast spending time together. We both decided on hiking boots because we plan on hiking quite often. A little lesson about buying hiking boots: break them in before you wear them hiking.
Moving on to yesterday when we went hiking! We woke up early to get to go on our hike, neither of us getting nearly enough sleep. We should have also spent more time drinking water the day before. Anyway, after popping a couple of Aleve and eating half of a plain bagel, I was ready to rock and roll! The Army friends picked us up and we were on our way to the mountains in our awesome new hiking boots and a can-do attitude.
It really shouldn’t have been a surprise how busy the hiking trails were going to be on a Saturday. Especially during a 3-day weekend! We chose to go to Garden of the Gods which is a public park with trails that you can stop and see so much of nature’s beauty. Next time we go we are definitely going to be bringing Arya the Husky with us!
As soon as we started the hike I was already having a hard time catching my breath. Whenever we would go upwards I would find myself struggling to get my breathing under control. Even though I was huffing and puffing I kept stride with them. After a good twenty minutes on the trail going uphill became easier and going downhill was a cinch.
I feel it should be mentioned that the Army friends go hiking every Saturday. One of them has been hiking for years. Let’s also not forget that because they are all military they have P.T. (physical training) 5 days a week for a couple of hours. I was merely an amature.
Roughly halfway through our hiking journey my new boots started to get extremely uncomfortable. Not only were my feet not used to hiking but also not used to the boots! Blisters were forming and it started to feel like I was walking on glass. No matter, we kept on trekking!
At one point on our journey there was a bobcat that went running down the side of a cliff ahead of us. At first Tracy thought it was a dog off leash but soon realized it was a huge bobcat that was carrying something in its mouth. Being the crazy people that they are, everyone went to get a closer look but it was gone. Unfortunately I had my head down trying to make sure I wouldn’t slip on loose ground and split my face open. I did happen to see a wild dog and a bunch of horses though!
When we started to head back that’s when the real problems began. Once we got to the end of the trail we could keep going or turn back around. Upon reaching this point in our hike my feet were on fire and my face felt like it was getting sunburned. Luckily they agreed and we started to make our way back down the trail.
That last mile I stopped several times to give my feet a rest and to catch my bearings. The Army friends were super supportive cheering me on as we got closer to our finish line.
Back on the paved trail near the main parking areas I had no problem with running on empty. I was slow because my feet ached. When we first started the paved trail earlier in the day I was breathless.
In total we hiked 6 miles in 3 hours with 1 stop at the trading post for some browsing. Do I plan on going back again? Absolutely! Even though I felt like I was going to collapse during the last mile of the trail it was incredible. The accomplishment and pride I felt for completing this obstacle drives me to want to improve.
Let me leave you, my incredible readers, with this question: when was the last time you were proud of you? The hardest part is believing in yourself. Your body knows when to quit. Next time you’re thinking of quitting ask yourself is it your body or your mind telling you to stop?
Would love to hear some of your stories of accomplishment or goals set for yourself! Scroll to the comments section and tell me all about it!