A couple of years ago (let’s be honest, almost three years ago), Mike, Chris & I all went to Gordonsville, Virginia to see the fall leaves and take pictures of stars. Well, Mike took pictures because that’s before I knew anything about anything.
Mike planned out two hikes for the Saturday that we were there. In theory, we should’ve had time for both. We were going to hike Spy Rock, and then do a shorter CrabTree Falls hike.
Spy Rock is not supposed to be a very hard hike. “Moderate”. Half the trail is a fire road (an elevated fire road, but still a fire road).
That day was the day that I learned I had to do something about my weight, my fitness, my health. It took me 2 hours to do a hike that was only 1.5 long (granted, it’s a 1100 foot elevation change, but still). I was literally passed by a pregnant woman and someone with a stroller. We ended up not having time to do the other hike (and honestly, I doubt I would’ve made it).
I stopped and started so many different things since then. I said I was going to go to the gym. I tried diets. It wasn’t until October 2018 when I started going to CycleBar that I really started to get serious. I’ve been working out pretty much daily since then, and I’ve lost 15 pounds (we won’t talk about the fact that those 15 pounds were gained since the last Spy Rock trip).
Fast forward to this past weekend.
The three of us drove 3.5 hours each way to Spy Rock again. We were going to try again. I wanted to keep Mike & Chris’ paces. I wanted to know that this fitness journey was working, that it wasn’t for nothing.
I knew .25 miles in that it wasn’t going to happen. I admitted defeat. My back was hurt (fun fact: I found out a few weeks ago that I have a stress fracture in my back, but it’s been there for a long time, so that’s no excuse). The one thing that I couldn’t let go of was the fact that I was going to make it to the top faster than last time, though. The good news? I did. I made it in half the time.
Let me be really clear, though. I would not have made it that quickly without the help of two of my most favorite people in this world. Mike would stop and get me walking sticks to propel me forward and would tell me that there was flat road ahead (even when there wasn’t), just so there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Chris carried my water, checked on me, offered to take my backpack about three hundred times. They both cracked jokes and made light of the situation, keeping me laughing and motivated.
When we got there, though? The view was worth it.
A journey is just that – a journey. I cried at the top of that fucking mountain – I was pissed. I wanted to do so much better than I did. What happened after that, though? It was better. I realized that I still made it up, I made it up faster, and all the training (because that started last month and has been awesome), all the working out – it’s worth it and it’s working.
Then something else was realized – what I’m doing isn’t enough. I told people that if I didn’t make it up the mountain at their pace, I was going to do something else that I’ve needed to do for years. I was going to give up soda and I was going to diet.
I’ve talked a lot of shit over the past few years about how I’m going to lose weight – I’m going to lose 30 for 30 (that never happened), I’m going to do 21 Day Fix, I’m going to go to the gym every day. I HAVE to believe that I’ve surrounded myself with people who are continuing to encourage me every day – whether it’s my best friends, my trainer, the awesome people at CycleBar – and that’s what the difference maker is now.
The point to the blog isn’t “hey, I’m getting healthy.” The point is to say this: surround yourself with people that make you feel amazing. Get yourself a best friend and a husband who will drive 3.5 hours each way with you to help you achieve a goal on a rare free Saturday in busy season – and then continue to encourage you when you feel like you’ve failed. Surround yourself with friends who text you the whole time telling you that you can do it, waiting for updates. Make time to be better if you don’t like something about yourself. Believe in your fucking self. That’s the biggest thing that’s changed in the last three years since my first Spy Rock trip (and throughout those three years when I started and failed so many different plans). I believe that I can do it – I can keep losing weight, I WILL keep dieting and exercising.
We had plans to do a 14 mile hike to Spy Rock in August. Don’t think that’s going to happen, and that’s okay. We’ll go on a shorter hike instead. Goals for the future. For now, I started meal prepping, gave away all the soda in my fridge, and have had avocado toast two days in a row (maybe it’s growing on me).
Here’s hoping it’s not 3 more years before I try Spy Rock again.