Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Breathtaking Quandary

August 8th, 2017 - 6:30 AM

Off I went from the parking lot to embark on one of the highest fourteeners in Colorado, Mt. Quandary-14,265 ft. Unknown was whether or not the crew I was hiking with had already departed or had yet to arrive. (wires got crossed)  I figured what did I have to lose, they'll either catch me at the top or I'll reach them. (I caught up to them in about 45 mins after I started)

For a Tuesday early morning, there were many cars in the lot already parked and I met a few women who were traveling from Tennessee and completing Quandary as their last hoorah in Colorado.

As I climbed the first hill, I thought to myself, wow, I've already been up since 4 AM, driven 2 hours from Denver to the Trailhead and really hoped I hadn't missed the team of people who were hosting this community hike. This was no ordinary group of hikers, this gathering was put together by Todd Durkin as a WOW event. I'm currently reading his WOW Book and enjoying the insightful, honest, and inspirational stories.

For most, a fourteener seems like an impossible feat. And maybe right now it is, but one of the most inspirational moments on the hike was passing a couple who were in their late 70's hiking the behemoth of a 14er. So, truly, this is for everyone with the right training of course! The air is thin, the terrain rocky, steep, and as we ascended the trail ridge, the wind and cold snapped us in the face and every bare skin. But as the Boy Scout motto reads: Be Prepared!

As a bald man, I had my skull cap tightly fitted around my head and over my ears and layers in tow. Only thing I left, gloves. Equipment is key, I had water, food, and rain gear, although storms wouldn't hit until later that afternoon after we'd returned from the hike. And since the sun was rising at our backs, I had already slathered on 50 SPF for High Altitude.

According to my Fitbit hike I tracked, roundtrip was 6.92 miles from the lower trailhead parking lot. This equated to 4hrs 27mins (give or take)-I did pause the hike at the summit and some 2200 calories were burned.

The reward at the top of a mountain is unlike any other. The views are breathtaking and trying to even capture the scenery with a camera phone never does it justice. The hikers there for WOW trickled in and out as the cold and wind were too brutal to hang about. Todd recorded his "Dose of Durkin" and had those around him, including me, contributed something to the recording. With my face so cold, I'm not positive anything articulate even came out :( But I'll take this moment now to give my WOW - Words of Wisdom moment about the day:
As in life, the steps we take determine everything. The direction of our career, relationships, education, and emotions are impacted deeply by the choices we make. As I stepped on each rock and boulder, I thought of how obstacles and victories are as sharp or smooth as those rocks. Some are easy and our feet glide right over them without effort. But the obstacles, true challenges that take all of our energy, those are jagged, rough, tall, and sometimes a slippery slope altogether. Fitness is often like this-a slippery slope. We eat well one day getting in all our fruits and veggies, macronutrients, water, and workouts. And others, we binge on peanut butter cup ice cream after a stressful day and watch hours of our favorite TV shows (Yes, my favorite go-to) It's tough and would be easier if we could just kick all those rocks away, but often times, they are immovable. So, I ask you this, how are you going to tackle the rocks and boulders in your life? Choose the ones you can step right over and get them out of the way enjoying the victory, but for the others, come up with a plan on how you're going to tackle the height of the challenge and find your support group who will push and pull you along the way when you really just feel like turning around and going back down the mountain.
In health,
Corpo Fitness