Same story, different day.

Big shout out to a few coworkers and Instagram friends that are inspiring.

I’ve been maintaining my weight over the past few weeks – kind of.  I haven’t been exercising very much, and I’m kind of a human garbage disposal these days when it comes to food.  We had set up a challenge at work and I’ve been bombing at it on the daily.  I’m always making excuses – it’s too hot to exercise, I’m eating out with friends, I’m at a family barbecue, it’s vacation, I didn’t go grocery shopping, etc. – as to why I can’t eat well or exercise.  They are all bullshit, I know this, but this is the first time in a while I’m admitting it again.  I’m supposed to be on week five of ‘Couch 2 5K’ training and I’m not.  Tonight I fly to Portland, OR to join my other half and tomorrow we begin our drive home, so I’m sure it’ll be a mixed bag of junk/fast food and a lot of inactivity.  I’m hoping to get a couple of miles in at the Redwoods and then a little in at Sequoia on Saturday.  I’m hoping I can focus my motivation next week and get back on track.  I’m hoping I can use the inspiration I find in others and the beauty of what lies ahead (Redwoods, Sequoia, Utah in a week, etc) to ignite the flame.

I need to get back to weekly meal planning and prepping – which means regular grocery shopping.  I need to stop restrictive diets such as low-carb – which means increasing veg and still avoiding refined crap.  I need to eat more of a balance and I need to eat in moderation.  I need to continue my daily water intake, and add more.  I need to limit booze and diet soda, as well as calming my coffee consumption.  I need to go to sleep earlier and build a consistent schedule – and shut my brain off to fall asleep.  I need to hike further on the weekend and build up my endurance – and exercise more between weekly hikes.  I know what I need to do.

I’ve covered this before, many times, and I always hope it’ll be the last time I have to write a stupid blog post – either in private or public – about this lame ass struggle.  I go through phases in regards to how healthful I am.  I go on about my health or happiness, the vanity, or the things I want to do that require me to be a little more in shape and a little less sluggish.  I know what I need to do, but I always give up before I do it.  I’m a planner by nature, so one would think creating a plan and sticking to it would be right up my alley, but I give up too easily.  I can plan all day every day, but I rarely energize enough to follow through with the plan.

Blah, blah, blah.  I know, here we go again.  I need to get over that I don’t live somewhere beautiful.  I need to move past that I will have a slow transition and results take time to show up.  I need to accept that I’m not currently on a healthy path and find the willpower to change direction.

Tuesday is the new Wednesday

…or Monday part II?  A little of both.  Tomorrow I fly to Portland, Oregon to meet up with my other half and drive back to Texas.  We are going to the Redwoods, Sequoia, and hopefully Death Valley on the way home.

The Redwoods make me happy.  To spend a few hours under the giants, hiking about will be good for the soul.  I’m excited for Sequoia because we are going to see a few of the main events.  I have driven through the National Forest before via the Kern River Valley out of Bakersfield.

I’m hoping to get a good 1-2 hour hike in Redwoods on Thursday and at least the same at Sequoia on Friday.  Saturday will be spent driving nonstop until we can’t anymore in hopes of making to at least Amarillo, TX if not home.

This trip is simple, and mostly just a more scenic drive home.  I would have liked to hike at Crater Lake on Thursday, but the wildfires mostly crushed that plan.  I’ll take the Redwoods any day, really, so I am not complaining.  I honestly think of the Redwoods often, as if they were a part of the family that I miss.

Road trips in general have always been my greatest source of joy.  At first, it looked as though I would not be flying to Portland to drive back and that was kind of depressing for both of us.  The vacation gods came through, and I found out I had more time!

I hope you all have a good week – don’t let all the news stories crush you completely.

Full stop.

Today started with a Starbucks mobile app order for TWO venti iced Americanos.

Woah, vacation is over and that is poopy.  I spent the past 11ish days in Alaska and I miss it already.  The air was so fresh, the trees were so green, and the people were so fit.  Talk about motivation – these people hiking to glaciers and on trails were inspiring.  I’ll do a full write up of our adventures in Alaska in a few days, but I’ll sum it up as being one of my favorite places ever.

We boarded a plane on July 4 at 11pm local time, which is 3 hours behind Dallas time, and arrived via two flights to Dallas at noon July 5.  Yesterday was a blur.  I must have snuggled the cats for a while and fell asleep.  We went to get Chewy the dog, and boy did I miss his rotund body.  So happy to be reunited with the pets and so happy that the cats did not go crazy and ruin anything while we were gone.  We are lucky dudes to have friends to watch the dog and check in on the cats – but I think we’ll start using services to relieve them of the burden.

Today, I’ll be working one of two days this week and let me tell you – it’s weird.  My brain can’t really comprehend that I’m at work and my body just wants to be in bed.  I slept weird yesterday due to the overnight flights and such, so I was up at 3 and kind in and out since then until it was time to shower and go.  My work pants are a little tight, despite increased activities over the vacation – the food was just too good I guess.

 

Hope you all have a great week(end) ahead.

Powering Through.

This week is short, and that excites me.  We have a four day work week, thanks to a huge summer celebration event we’re having on Thursday night.  My boss is out of town until Thursday, so I also get a less watchful week to catch up on things before I head off to Alaska.  I am at my most efficient working stride when I can have TV shows on in the background.  I can sometimes work okay with podcasts or books, but the TV shows really make the day fly by and I get so much work done while being mildly entertained by the Food Network.

A couple of weeks ago I strained my calf by rolling my foot on a root while hiking.  The pain subsided, though it was never that bad.  On Saturday, I jumped off the boat using my toes to push off an strained it again.  This time, I was limping and could hardly walk for the rest of the night, through yesterday, and into today.  I’m hoping it stretches out and goes away by the time we fly out Saturday.  I don’t want to be limping through the forests of Alaska!

As I get into the week, I have a lot to do before we leave Saturday.  I’m so glad work gave everyone Friday off this week because it give me an extra day to prep for the trip.  Friday will be cleaning, last minute laundry, copying keys, meeting with our friend who is watching the cats, and hopefully an early morning hike for me!  I’m just trying to stay positive this week, keep an upbeat attitude, and work on making my calf feel better.

I’m going to work on being less critical of others – as I’ve picked up that nasty habit of playful banter turned cruel.  I am going to remember my goals.  I’m going to have a good week, despite any setbacks.  Time to be a big boy and power through it all!  I have a lot to be thankful for.

Utah Ideas.

Out of all of the possible places to go on a weekend getaway, Salt Lake City was the best bang for the buck.  I looked at Charleston, to visit little sister, but the flights were outrageous and didn’t coordinate with my time constraints.  I looked at various flights to Michigan, realizing that they were too expensive and not that great on timing.  I looked at Portland to visit friends, but again the timing and price were off.  I checked multiple other cities with nearby nature and Denver was a close second but Salt Lake City won with low fares and a PERFECT schedule.  Can’t be getting off work on Friday, flying out and not leaving til Sunday at 8 PM.

I do not feel bad, whatsoever, for booking this flight and going on a (potentially solo) weekend road trip of Southern Utah.  I’ll be seeing family in June when we go to Alaska and again in December when we go to Michigan.  This is my trip!  So, if anyone comes with me or meets me there, I am sort of open to suggestions but mostly have my mind made up on what I want to accomplish in the 48 hours.  If anyone wants to tag along, I have schedule requirements so just get in touch.

I spent some time over the weekend researching, followed by some time this morning doing more research.  I like planning and making lists, even if I don’t stick to them.  The plans will vaguely include Capitol Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP, and Cedar Breaks National Monument.  I want to drive to the Devil’s Backbone, but nothing is mandatory.  There are a few short hikes in Capitol Reef I’d like to do, and at least one at each Bryce and Cedar Breaks.  I like to have more things on the list than I can do, just to have some knowledge about everything.  I like to know what’s out there, and play it be ear–or eye–based on what looks more fun in person.

I’m going to Utah in August!

Hey Utah, I’m coming in August for some sightseeing, hiking, and general moments of peace.  Get ready!

Out-of-state trips, for me, typically involve visiting someone.  This is almost always a positive experience, and something I look forward to every year.  That being said, I am beyond excited to be taking a trip to Utah for no one but myself.  I have no strict plan in place, except the flight and rental car.  I have no exact destination in mind, no specific person to see, and no real need to do so.  I plan to hike on the Saturday that I’m there, a little more on Sunday, and whenever else I can.  I plan to drive through some places with stunning views, visit a National Park and/or Monument or two, and just escape for 2.25 days.

I found a very inexpensive flight from DFW to Salt Lake City for a Friday evening, so I don’t have to use any vacation days, and a flight back on a Sunday evening.  It’s literally perfect.  I couldn’t have found something more perfect in terms of flights.  I found a rental car for the entire weekend, well below $100 and I’ll decide what to do for sleeping – as I’m not sure what car I’ll have or if I’ll be able to bring any gear.

My only requirements for this trip include:

  • A sunrise and/or sunset overlooking a canyon
  • An early morning and/or night drive with the windows down
  • Minimum of 2 hikes – Kind of want a good balance of what I can see in 48 hours by car and really get the most bang for the buck on hikes
  • I feel like one of the hikes needs to be in Bryce Canyon National Park – not necessarily in the canyon or anything

I don’t have a lot of requirements for this trip, it’s early yet.  I feel I have reasonable expectations because I’ve driven through the area before.  I am just excited.

Slow Down!

I’m always thinking about all of the road trips I’ve taken over the past decade or so and smiling at how lucky I am to have those memories.  In 2007, our spring break road trip opened my eyes to the country west of the Mississippi.  In 2008, I saw the west coast.  In 2009, we actually camped at Arches and saw the west coast.  In 2010, I saw many things in southern Utah and Death Valley.  In 2011, I moved to Texas and visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon  In 2012, I saw my first Saguaro.  In 2013 I saw the Oregon Coast again and everything in between there and Texas as well as the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  In 2014, I saw Big Bend for the first time as well as the Rocky Mountains up close.  In 2015, I saw the the Petrified Forest National Park and the Grand Canyon again.  In 2016, I revisited the west coast and spent some time under the mighty redwoods.  This year, I will revisit Alaska, with more exploring, and I can’t wait.

While I know I’m lucky, fortunate, or whatever, my goal since our first road trip has been to stop and explore a little more.  Our first trip was so unplanned and rushed, we drove through the Rocky Mountains, made a rest stop, and kept going.  We drove right on by Arches and Canyonlands without even realizing it.  On our 2008 trip, my best friend and I set out with our good friend at the time to head west wanting to see and do as much as we could.  We got to the coast, but didn’t explore much.  We went to the redwoods, but didn’t hike much.  We went to Death Valley, didn’t do much.  But, on the way home our third friend was insistent on going to some big name brewery.  My best friend and I almost lost it – this guy was so unwilling to alter plans to hike to the coast in the redwoods or through Death Valley, but had to go to a brewery?  So, from that point on, I vowed to explore more wherever I went – planning trips with like-minded adventurers.  And, in following trips each year, I hiked more, saw more majestic views, and spent more time in all types of random places.  I feel as each year went on, I took more time out during road trips to see and do various things.  As the years clicked forward, my trips became more about exploring and less about getting somewhere.

The shift from 2008 to 2009 was simply being more adventurous, and making the most of the time we had.  Back in 2009, we hiked to all the major arches in Arches as well as several short hikes in Canyonlands and Grand Staircase Escalante – this was all on our way to US 50  to drive, camp, and hike along the loneliest road in America before reaching Sacramento to pick up a friend at the airport.  In that 2013 trip to Oregon, we stopped at Arches along the way and hit up the Rocky Mountains on the way home – just to see them!  During our 2014 visit to Big Bend, we hiked as often as we could for as expansive a place as it is.  In Colorado, we took some dirt roads through a national forest along a winding river to get home.  Our 2016 trip to Redwoods included an abundance of scenic drives, hikes, and even a spontaneous trip along the Smith River up to Oregon Caves National Monument for a tour.

Not every road trip is going to allow extra time to stop and explore, or include the most adventurous people, but it doesn’t mean giving up.  There is always a thrill in not fully planning a trip, but nowadays I will at least check the map before finalizing anything in case there is a spectacular piece of public land to explore or some attraction to see.  All of this rambling is just a reminder to myself, and anyone choosing to read this, to slow down.  Slow down, check stuff out, and enjoy every little trip you get.  You can be efficient and adventurous all at once, I promise.