lust for the hike…

Having met some great people while hiking in a group recently, I have decided to step up my quest to improve my health along with my ongoing diet and life changes to include more challenging and motivating scenarios.

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” ~Voltaire

Walking is wonderful and I enjoy it most early mornings typically, but these hikes, even at an advanced / beginner level are far better workout. The opportunity to get out of suburbia and hike in nature was a real treat I had not experienced in quite a long time, I immediately felt at ease with the rural landscape and delighted by the viewing of wildlife so close to where I lived.

I went on a fabulous hike in Santiago Canyon in the hills above Anaheim this past weekend that was only 5.1 miles, but it was full of hills and them thar hills truly kicked my butt. I was sore for several days and I loved it, I felt that I had accomplished something special and I was ready to focus my workout schedule to add two hikes per week weather permitting.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self – Every man who knows how to read has in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting” ~ Aldous Huxley

Yet, I ventured out into the sunshine on this fabulous October weekend to test my abilities again on new trails with new friends only to find the temperature hovering in the high nineties with the prospected high temps at the hike location to be even closer to 100 degrees. Now I am one for a good workout and understand how much better it makes me look and feel, but I must warn all those who are stepping out to get more exercise to improve their lives. Don’t over do it at first and if you are out of shape and think that a leap into a vigorous workout will do more good than harm, beware. Be prepared and be cautious as you work into a routine and think progression rather than immersion.

A true story of a friend some 80 pounds overweight decided than starting to run would be good for his health, well, a little too much too soon proved disastrous as a heart attack ensued and since he was running alone, there was no one there to aide him. The goal of a diet and exercise program should be to lengthen and improve our lives, not bring it to a sudden end! I am all for pushing ourselves to reach our goals, but do it wisely and consult your doctor before you lace up those running shoes or hit the trails. We all learned to walk before we learned to run…

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

So, I am at a point where the visual differences are amazing my friends, family and even myself. My pants are too big, shirts recently purchased look like tents on me, I have moved up two notches in my belt and my energy level has skyrocketed. I am feelin’ more like the lean, mean fightin’ machine I did as a young man of 30 when I worked two jobs and played golf three to four days a week. With only a year and half till my 60th birthday I am feeling damn good about my decision, my progress as I am on my way to a new, better, leaner and happier me.

All this information and encouragement aside, I feel strongly that your first step is to set a goal and create an outline to track your progress. I had reached a personal worst in conditioning and body weight, I actually sat down and wrote a letter to myself imploring me to do something about what I had gradually become. The excess weight and the poor health are typically achieved slowly, so my suggestion is to simply begin with a plan and take it all one step at a time. What I had discovered, that once I had a routine in place and the motivation to continue, the desire for breaking a sweat was far more present in my mental picture of progress than sitting around, eating bad foods, consuming too much alcohol or what’s worse – becoming a couch potato.

Now, if I could attract the same type of energy and desire for better health in a mate. I think that now I have shown everyone that I can really do this, that I’ll now explore yoga and dance classes. You can rest assured that I will pursue more groups of like minded individuals for the shift in mindset, the support of others on similar paths to improved health are a huge benefit to our achieving our goals while having fun.

Perhaps I’ll even slow down a bit to say hello and chat with women I pass on my vigorous walks in the mornings and afternoons! I may be all sweaty, but I am no less energetic and adorable, my energy in all things wonderful is quote obvious now and should be magnetic in attracting those who are deserving of my charms. Wish me luck…

I have discovered and adopted the condition of being sound in body and it’s 29 pounds down with 21 left to go – winning!

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