hiking

Be Well, Be Happy, Be Balanced

Well hello there beautiful followers. Happy 2017! (I can hear you muttering to yourself, “She’s 27 days behind on that greeting.”) Yep, It’s January 28, and I am just now getting around to writing my first post of 2017.  I even missed the blog’s 2 year birthday – I’m a terribly blog mom. But, I am here now.  I’ve been struggling a lot lately with balance.  By the time I get home from work (which is kicking my ass again) and the gym at night, I have no energy to write. However, I dusted off my old 2015 vision board.  It served me well, and I hope to refocus those goals.  I was dreading this post because I’m ashamed to report that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a long, long time, even with hitting the gym five times a week. So I’m renewing my goals from 2015.  Last year I got extremely off track because I was busy making a life in a new city.  I love my life here.  I’m happy here, but I reverted back to old eating habits.  Plus I’ve been more social, and I’m terrible about monitoring food and drink intake while socializing. So I’m pledging to you today that I am going to make 2017 a year of balance, wellness, and happiness. Those words are my focus words. My goals.

 

Anyway, after a very stressful week at work, I decided to get out into nature this morning even though it was cold and windy.  I’ve missed being able to hike after work since it gets dark so early in the winter. However, I needed some time with nature today.  I decided to try a new trail that I’ve never been on.  Once I parked, I took off walking without researching the trail beforehand. I decided to pick a path and see where it took me.  As I walked the trial and worked on clearing my mind, I focused on the beauty around me, on the wind, the sun hitting my face. I could feel the tension start to ease away.  I love hiking. I love the community you feel even when hiking alone. This morning so many people were quick to smile and say, “good morning” as we passed on the trail.  At one point, I slightly panicked because I realized that I couldn’t remember the name of the trailhead where I parked, but I continued, confident in the path I was on and that it would lead me to where I was supposed to be.  That feeling, that sureness, is something I wish I could bottle and take a dose of during my most stressful times. I’m glad that I reconnected with that feeling today.

 

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Sundays are for Hiking, Football, and Meal prep!

Today I started out my day with a hike at a local park. It was exactly what I needed after a really long week where I didn’t get to be as active as I wanted. It’s Sunday and the Cowboys were playing a noon game. So I decided to listen to the game while I was hiking. It was great until I would yell out during good plays (or bad) and startled strangers on the trail. Then I went to the grocery store with the game playing in my ear. Well, there were a couple of bad plays so there I was, standing in the coffee aisle, cussing. I startled the hipster next to me. So I quickly moved on.  I get to the check-out line and am waiting on the people in front of me to check out. Cowboys intercept the ball in the end zone, and I let out a big whoop! The cashier jumped out of her skin. I gave her a sheepish grin and apologized. I told her I was listening to the game, but I took my headphones out while checking out. Needless to say, I should probably not watch football in public. I get a little too into it. And while we are on the subject of the Cowboys, is it too much to ask to date a Cowboys’ fan once in a while? I seem to never date a Cowboys’ fan. The new guy I am talking to is not a Cowboys fan and was teasing me during the game today. But that’s okay I guess. He’s cute. Haha.

After I finished my hike, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on food to meal prep tonight. Tomorrow, I am starting a new clean-eating challenge with the Fit Bottomed Girls and Dave Smith. I think it is pretty doable and being in a group setting will provide some much needed accountability. My entire week is planned out, down to the water and exercise for each day. I already have my breakfast and lunches prepared for the next four days. I feel ready. Even when work gets super busy, I should still be able to heat up my pre-prepared meal. I’ve got this! It feels nice to be back in charge of my meal prepping again. I’ve gotten so lax and let being busy overcome my healthy habits. So I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.


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That nature reset button

So yesterday I made quite the fool of myself via drunken texts to my ex. I poured my heart out and did everything that I didn’t want to do when trying to be strong. My heart overrode my head. It was embarrassing, and I wish I hadn’t done it. So today I decided to reconnect with nature and clear my head and my heart. Nature always helps me reconnect and reset. It was a beautiful day, and I’m glad I hit the trail.

It’s game day so I had to rep the Hogs

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A walk in the bend of a bell

Yesterday, I went for a hike/walk around Bells Bend Park. It was hot, but beautiful. Last week, I was in Florida for a work conference. I picked up an ear infection while down there so I stayed stuck inside most of the time. I worked a lot of hours and all my best-laid plans to be active while away fell to the wayside. Between learning, networking, and then working on stuff for the office into the night, I didn’t have time to workout or run on the beach like I wanted.  Anyway, yesterday I was feeling pitiful and sorry for myself so I made myself get up and get outside. I needed that connection with nature. It had been awhile since I’ve had some outside physical activity. It balances me. I took off sans headphones (because of my ear), so it was a rare occasion where I had absolutely no distractions. I even got to see some beautiful butterflies flying around the park. I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the entire park for the first hour. It helped me reconnect with my emotions and really think about some stuff that I’ve been trying to distract myself from thinking about here lately. It was nice to disconnect from my phone, tv, etc. It was a beautiful, clear day to clear my head and listen to my heart.

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Just a Mountain and Me

First of all, let’s talk about yesterday before we get to today’s adventure.  I spent yesterday morning researching clean protein powders and body analyzing scales. I flirted with the cute GNC boy about counting macros, strength training, and clean protein.  He wants me to come back in to tell him more about a clean protein powder I found that they don’t carry there. I don’t even know who I am anymore, and I love it! It’s so funny how my priorities and ideas of fun have changed in such a short time.  Hopefully, it sticks.

Now, today.  It was an absolutely gorgeous spring-like day in the middle of winter.  I love that about Arkansas.  It’s January 24 and 64 degrees and sunny.  Since I was going to Hot Springs for my nephew’s basketball game, I thought I’d make the most of it and go for a hike.  My intent was for this to be a family hike. I asked everyone in my family to go, and no one wanted to.  Though, I’ll excuse my nephew who just played through a basketball game.  Undeterred, I set out on my own for Hot Springs Mountain.  One of my favorite routes is starting at Gulpha Gorge Campground and hiking up to Goat Rock Summit and then exploring other trails around the mountain.  There are several trails that loop around the mountain, and they are never super crowded.  On such a beautiful day, I ran into only 8 people total.

I decided to eschew my headphones and have some one-with-nature time to myself.  As I set out, all I heard were the crunch of leaves under my feet and my heavy breathing.  The trail didn’t let me down.  There were deceptive inclines and level places to catch your breath for a stretch.  The sun shinning through the trees warmed my bare arms.  I attempted the yoga exercises of clearing my mind and focusing on my breaths.  It helped level out my heart rate as I climbed (something I struggle with – my heart rate gets up there).

I took the time that I had with myself to give my body some mental love.  I’m so hard on my body all the time: I hate this fat roll, I wish my thighs were smaller (and didn’t rub together), I wish my calves were smaller so they could fit into cute knee-high boots.  I spend far less time thanking my body and giving it the praise it deserves.  As I climbed, I marveled at the strength of my body, and took the time to be thankful for that strength.  My legs were sore from a week full of squats and lunges and the Zumba class plus salsa dancing I did last night, but they kept carrying me up that mountain.  Plus, my love handles gave a soft, squishy resting spot for my hands at times (silver lining, right?).  I spent a few minutes at the top of Goat Rock summit enjoying the view, turning my face up to the sun, and basking in happiness.  Wait, what? Yep, I double checked. I was happy.  I then set off to explore other trails around the area.  I ended up taking a shorter trail than I had wanted. To be frank, I felt the stirrings of nature’s call, and since I’m not a bear, I wasn’t going to do that in the woods.  But, I still had a beautiful hour-long hike on a beautiful Saturday morning.

Give your body some love today, it does a lot for you.  Happy Saturday y’all.  – K

Gulpha Gorge Campground

Hiking up Goat Rock Trail

Goat Rock Summit

This is the path I took except that I started at Gulpha Gorge and hiked up Hot Springs Mountain

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