Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nearing the end of the Health Challenge!

So, the HD Health Challenge is almost over! I have a bunch of pictures to upload from my last backpacking trip in Yosemite and from our dayhike of Mt. Whitney. This has been the best summer of my life. Not only was this my first summer being married to my best friend but I did more fun stuff this summer than in the past ten years combined. Hiking and backpacking and camping and bicycle riding and tubing down the Kern River and swinging into the river from rope swings and trying new sushi places with my wife. The list goes on and on!

As far as the Health Challenge goes, I used it as a motivator to get off my rear and do things. I knew I wanted to go hiking but when I learned about the HDHC it really got the gears in my head moving. I made plans to go on trips and I stuck to them and I feel like I accomplished a lot. I took good friends and family on almost every trip and the time I got to spend with them doing things other than sitting on a couch was awesome. I've lost about 5 pounds, I'm riding my bicycle to school and work every day (five miles and seven miles, one way, respectively) and my wife and I have cut WAY down on the junk food and the alcohol. I even LIKE drinking V8's every day now! The plan now is simply to make sure that the positive changes I've made in my life don't get left behind after the Challenge is over and to contiually strive to better myself, physically and mentally.

I've got to go clock in now. Distance Learning is on the schedule today so that should be fun. Or not. I don't know. This is my first time. Photos from our trips should be up tonight if I can keep my eyes open after I get my homework done tonight!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Challenge Day 16

We had a store meeting at 5AM a couple days ago. That is just WAY too early! But since I was up early I decided to use the rest of my morning hiking. My wife was working so I rode my motorcycle to the Mt. Pinos trailhead and hiked to the top. The summit of Mt. Pinos is the tallest point in Ventura County but it's still a pretty easy hike. It only took me 29 minutes to walk the two miles to the top so I decided to keep going and hiked down the other side to see what I could find. I found a lot of trees and rocks and some birds.

The sign at the top of Mt. Pinos

My camera is still in Visalia (I used my wife's for this trip) so I don't have my Yosemite photos to put up yet but hopefully I will this weekend.

I've got around 150 points in the HD Health Challenge so far. I've been keeping up with my Insanity workouts and eating a LOT better than I had been. Pretty much no fast food at the point, along with the no beer and no soda. I also cleaned up my bicycle this morning. I'm going to start riding it instead of my motorcycle despite the ridiculous Bakersfield heat. We'll save on gas too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back from Yosemite (Challenge Day 10)

So, my backpacking trip in Yosemite was great! Zach, Josh, and I had tried to hike the 7.1 miles to Clouds Rest over the July 4th weekend but we were beaten back by a huge amount of snow that had fallen just a few days prior. This time we made it to the top in four hours. On the drive up I had convinced the guys we should at least ask for Half Dome permits so that if we had time and were up for it we could add that to the trip. At the top of Clouds Rest we decided we did have time and we did want to do it so we hiked another 3.8 miles to a clearing near a creek and camped for the night. Pretty much as soon as we got there I spotted a mother bear and her cub coming our way. They walked right on through and seemed like they couldn't care less about us. I have never seen a bear in the wild so, as amazing as it was, it scared the heck out of me and I was glad they decided to keep on moving. Around 3AM we heard a bunch of people yelling and banging on pots and clapping. I hear that's pretty normal in Yosemite as that is the prescribed way of shooing bears out of your campsite. We ran into those folks at the cables at Half Dome and one girl said the bear didn't care about all their yelling and just sat there while they yelled at it! We broke camp and headed the half mile to where the Half Dome trail takes off from the John Muir trail and we were up and back down Half Dome by 11AM. I took a photo with the park rangers at the bottom and we had lunch on a big rock under an even bigger tree and I sang a TLC song until some other backpackers made fun of me. A few minutes later I made a "your mom" joke to Josh and I think I regained the respect of those backpackers because they started laughing. Anyway, back at the junction of the Half Dome and John Muir trails we ran into some scouts and a scout leader. The scout leader was in need of some moleskin which I just happened to have plenty of so we sat with them for a bit while he doctored up his heels. A few miles later near a campsite we were hanging around looking for some water and they happened to show up a few minutes behind us and offered us the use of their water filter (I had water purification tablets that work great but it takes 4 hours for them to be effective) and we gladly accepted! After pumping a couple liters of water we were back at it on our way to Nevada Falls and then on to Happy Isles where we caught a couple shuttles back to the car and drove home. Overall we hiked 21.6 miles, summited two of Yosemite's most well known chunks of rock, saw bears, deer, marmots, and 60 million mosquitoes, slept under a full Yosemite moon, and loved every second of it.

I took lots of pictures. And then I forgot my camera in Josh's car and he lives 60 miles away. I'll get it back soon and I'll be able to share some of those photos!

On to the HD Health Challenge! I've been eating pretty healthy food, still no soda or alcohol, LOTS of water, LOTS of V8, and the days where I didn't do my Insanity workout I hiked a minimum of 10 miles on trails that are deemed "strenuous" so I am totally counting that for my daily 4 points! I've lost 2 pounds so far and my wife says I look skinnier already. Sweet!

Also, I've been moved to Dept. 23 at work. Time for some PK classes!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Backpack all loaded up, just one more closing shift tonight and I'm off to Yosemite in the morning. With all my food and water I've got my pack weight down to 20.8 pounds. Not too bad! Hopefully all the soreness in my legs from working out subsides before tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

HD Health Challenge, day 3!

So things are going great! 64 ounces of water every day is a LOT more than I'm used to drinking but it's easy to do when I'm not sucking down cans of Pepsi all day. I finished my third day of my Insanity workout program a little earlier and that's basically going to kill me. There isn't a muscle in my legs that isn't sore. The good part is when I weighed myself this morning I was 1.4 lbs lighter than I was on day one. I think it probably has more to do with the fact that I'm not completely stuffed with Taco Bell or McDonalds junk. I've been eating hard-boiled eggs, cans of V8, turkey sandwiches (my stripped down version: whole wheat bread, "extra lean" turkey slices, and mustard) and I'll have a decent dinner. I drink a protein shake after my workouts and I think I'm going to start stealing some of my wife's Benefiber to help me get through the increase in protein I'm taking in now. Trust me, lot's of protein with not enough fiber can really be a pain in the butt, seriously.

I close tonight and tomorrow night and then Friday morning I'm off to Yosemite for two days of backpacking. Obviously I'll be getting my daily exercise as well as my water, I'm going to have to pound a couple V8's before I leave Friday and a couple more when I get home on Saturday night to make sure I can get my fruits and veggies points for those days! I'll probably post a few pictures from the trip when I get back!

Also, my buddy in Hardware and I have been talking about building a few small sailboats (really small, like 8 footers) and late last night I came across the "OSS" or "One Sheet Skiff." It's a small boat designed by a guy named Herb McLeod and it can literally be built from ONE SHEET OF PLYWOOD! It looks like a cool weekend project and I think we all know where we can get a sheet of plywood. It would be a cool project for those of you with kids or those of you who still think like kids (like me!)

Here's the web address for more info on the OSS:

Now I gotta go make a turkey sandwich and get to work!