On this morning’s hike I met someone who inspired me. I will call him Bill. I met Bill on a more personal level during our hike because we were leading the pack. When a van of hikers set out, it is not only loaded with Biggest Loser fans, it also has three guides. The guides spread out to the lead, the middle and end of the trail. They step, we step. They climb, we climb. I was shocked I was in the lead, but I felt good today and knew the hike- so I pushed myself hard to get a good work-out. Bill was on my heels, so Bill, Kendall, the hike guide, and I would take our “breaks” together. Breaks are only to catch your breath, so I learned the trick to breath as heavy as I can for as long as I can to prolong the break! I also learned if I ask the guide to take pictures it really stretches the time!
One of the questions I ask the other guests here is, what brought them to Fitness Ridge? The stories are rich with experiences which always end the triumph of getting healthy through nutrition and exercise. Bill’s story ends the same, but has many twists, turns and surgeries. You see, Bill had two car accidents, one after he was rehabilitated from the first. Both times he broke his neck and back. First he was told he was going to die, then he was told he would be an invalid…then a doctor told him he had to fight because he didn’t have to accept it. He was encouraged to fight for his life. He did. After months in bed with a halo on his head, a full body cast and other constraints, he found the fight hard. He took medications to help with the pain and then he was prescribed an anti-depressant to help combat the pain medication. By the time the casts and halo was off, he was taking almost a dozen medications.
It was at the time the halo and casts came off that he was told to fight for his life. It started with steps, then more steps, then he threw out all of his medications. It didn’t take long and he was making his first reservations to Fitness Ridge. On his third trip, he is a powerful hiker, and working out six to seven hours a day. He still has pain, but he told me he chose life. He chose to exercise, and eat right. He has also found peace through mediation and prayer. Powerful stuff.
There are many people here who are struggling through their pains, medications and negative self-images. It is amazing what finishing a thirty-second interval on a cardio machine will do for those negative thoughts- it muffles them. Those negative thoughts bite; in return we eat to ease the pain. Like Bill, I am finding exercise is a much better prescription.
After nine days without coffee, and totally healthy fiber filled meals, I am feeling good. My knees are acting up; both were irritated during my marathon days. Today I iced them and took a motrin. I hope they feel better for the morning hike. Yesterday, one of our hike guides told us she has run 194 marathons. Her knees looked great. I should have a pow wow with her in the morning! Idid read about an experiment where the doctor had eight patients with the same knee injuries. He operated on four of them, the other four he made an incision, but did not perfom the surgery. All of them went through the same physical therapy. The four people with the ‘fake’ surgery healed faster than those who had the actual procedure. I hope I can work my knees in the water and take my movements thoughtfully enough to get over this blip! (See, I am even calling it a “blip”….no big deal right??)
A quick look at today’s menu: a parfait made with granola, greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast, tomato soup and turkey sandwich for lunch, enchiladas and raspberry sorbet for dinner. I left the green beans on my plate tonight. Unseasoned green beans and brussel sprouts are where I draw the line!
Tomorrow is already day 10 and that will mark that I am a third of the way into this journey. I feel tired, but working out 7 hours a day does that to a person. I feel proud. Working out seven hours a day also does that to a person.