This weekend I experienced 14,000 reasons this idea was crazy!
This past weekend Julie talked me into joining her and Bekah as they climbed Mt. Bierstadt, one of Colorado’s 14ers (there are 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 ft above sea level). Julie had climbed Pikes Peak last month and apparently got hooked. She had been planning this trek with Bekah for a couple of weeks. I on the other hand had no intention of joining them. But one day, toward the end of last week, I expressed my concern about them going it alone and all of a sudden I was part of the expedition. And once I was signed up, Bekah’s husband Robert was the next victim.
So Sunday morning (and I use that term loosely, as it was more in the middle of the night) we stumbled out of bed and loaded up the Jeep for our 5am departure for the mountain. We arrived around 7:30 and after a little prep we started up the Mt. Bierstadt. The first part of the trail was quite enjoyable as it meandered over a few boardwalks in the marshes and turned into some slowly ascending switchbacks. Soon those switchbacks were behind us and we were left with the steeper, rocky trail that I thought might be the end of me. Actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but with no carbs and no real plan to prep climbing this mountain, the long grind began to kick my butt. After the steep rocky section, you get a steeper rockier section near the summit. Giant boulders that you get to climb through and over are the last obstacle before you reach the top. Yes, we reached the top. The views were breathtaking, or maybe it was some combination of the views and the thin air at 14,060 ft. These photos don’t do it justice, but you’ll get the idea.
After enjoying the views and a little snack at the summit, we started the long trek back to the parking lot waiting far, far below. The fact that you can see the parking lot from the top, and during the entire trek down, only serves to remind you of just how far you still have to go. We slowly made our way back down, being passed by some crazy people who apparently thought it was a race and were running down the mountain. (It turns out we met some even crazier people who were running up it too). By the time we reached the Jeep we were all pretty wiped out. We decided that a stop at Beau Jo’s pizza on the way home to celebrate was in order. We were all pretty hungry and I definitely needed something more than a salad.
So, I made the decision to opt out of the Whole 30 and give my body some much needed fuel. I debated whether this was a good decision. I had a little over a week left — maybe I should just eat a salad. I was driving home and my energy level was just gone. Would one meal really hurt? In the end, I realized that I started the Whole 30, even this Crazy Idea, so I could get out and do things with my family that I couldn’t do before. Things like climb a 14er. The goal wasn’t ever to complete a Whole 30 or just get in shape for the sake of being in shape. It was to enjoy life again. So I decided that was what I was going to do. I was going to celebrate climbing my first 14er with Julie, Bekah and Robert. This diet and the exercise are tools to serve me, not something I am a slave to. So we had pizza and good, though limited, conversation. Climbing a 14er was something that I wouldn’t have dreamed attempting this time last year. The hard work is paying off.
Monday, I was back to eating my Whole 30 diet and I plan to finish it out. Though some would suggest that I need to start it over, I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to do with this one. Many times I hear people say their goal is to get in shape. I don’t think that is a goal that is achievable. Getting in shape is a means to an end. So, what is your goal and how is getting in shape, exercising and eating better helping you reach it?