Near the beginning of my weight loss, I had decided that a good thing to do would be to start walking. Read all about that here: I fist bumped a tree trunk every day for 7 months. But after all that walking, I was ready for a new step and a new goal. I felt like I could do more, and I wanted to! I wasn’t sure what that next step should be, but I knew that I was absolutely NOT ready to go to the gym. That place scared the crap out of me back then.
One day I was leaving work, a summer camp that is built up on a mountain, and I looked over at a path that leads up to another section of the camp that is higher up and houses the ropes course and zip lines and such. The path to get up there is not terribly long or difficult, but it is decently steep and when you weigh 400+ pounds, everything more than a flat walk is a major workout. So I decided that the next day, I was going to walk up that hill.
The next day as soon as work was over, I drove over to the bottom of the path and walked up to the top. I was breathing incredibly hard and felt like I was going to pass out, or possibly just die right then and there, rolling all the way down. But slowly I recovered and started to walk down again. When I got back to the bottom, I turned around and went right back up to the top again. I would always leave my water bottle at the top so it forced me to never give up. I always had to turn around and go back up to get my water. That was a small thing that really helped motivate me.
This became my daily routine. Finish up at work and head on over to the base of what became my personal mountain. It was the perfect place to be. I was completely alone, and since it was on private property, I knew I wasn’t going to be randomly overrun by a ton of hikers who were in much better shape. I loved knowing that I could be there on the path, walking up and down my little mountain and nobody would ever see me. I could be incredibly worn out and look terrible, and I didn’t care. It was just me, surrounded by nature, hiking my heart out trying to lose weight and make my body smaller.
I needed this time in my life. It was a time when I made incredible strides to change my ways. While before when I was just walking, I wanted people to see me exercising and moving, I absolutely did not want a single person to ever see me when I was hiking this mountain path. No thank you. I was a mess every day. I hiked up and down this path for 90 minutes a day. Over and over again. Huffing and puffing, sweaty and disgusting. I needed to do this for me and make myself proud.
I wanted to raise my confidence. I knew that I would need to go to a gym at some point, but I wasn’t ready for that yet. I just needed to do something difficult and prove to myself that I could make it happen. While doing this daily routine of hiking up and down, I lost over 30 pounds in 30 days. It was absolutely insane and made me feel great about myself. Of course, lots of it was due to water weight, which always comes off quickly when you begin to exercise, but I certainly didn’t care. It was incredibly cool to see the weight drop off and every day I got a little bit better and quicker at climbing my mountain.
I always remember that time in my life as the time I felt like I would fail and didn’t. The time I proved to myself that I can do anything. I can accomplish the impossible, and I can reach my goals.
I can, and I will.
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