Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflection on 2008

It has been one hell of a year. Looking back on my life, there have been very few, if any "bad" years. Rather, just very small random bad moments overshadowed by a lifetime of exceptionally happy memories. 2008 has been no different.

I rang in the new year with my best friend by my side, developed strong relationships with new friends, and was able to spend more time with my family. I continued to lose weight, received by first of several triathlon age group medals, completed my first Olympic distance triathlon, completed my first half ironman, ran my first half marathon, ran a MARATHON. And...I REGISTERED FOR IRONMAN. I made great progress at work, I stayed healthy, became even healthier, and helped friends to do the same. I traveled to beautiful places, met beautiful people, and witnessed beautiful weddings of close friends. WE GOT ENGAGED! I know that I am blessed and I am so very thankful.

Looking forward to 2009, I know that it is going to be another incredible year. My calendar is already filling up with fun travels and visits with friends and family. I will be taking my Professional Engineer exam in the spring, getting married in the summer, and completing Ironman in the fall. The winter will be reserved for hard-earned resting and celebrating.

May 2009 bring the highest level of happiness for all of you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lookout Tower - 2008

Last weekend, Ken and I headed to the mountains for our annual trek to Clear Lake Butte lookout tower. It's situated at the tip of a peak just south of Mt. Hood; about 10 miles from Government Camp. The snowshoe hike is about 4 miles, which depending on the quantity of snow, can take anywhere from 2-6 hours to hike in. This year the snow was not very deep, so we opted to pack heavy so that we would be comfortable for the entire weekend. Some of the more frivolous items: 6 pack of Jubelale and Black Butte Porter, bottle of red wine, pint of Rumplemintz (to accompany the hot cocoa of course), pint of vodka (to go with the full Nalgene of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice), some bourbon, lots of water, and enough food to feed about 8 people for a week. I don't know what Ken's pack weighed, but mine was probably between 50-60 pounds. Not terrible, but not exactly comfortable while trying to navigate on clunky snowshoes.

As we headed up the first hill, I kept thinking "dang, this hurts more than it should." I audibly complained hoping that Ken might take pity and unload a few of my water bottles. I know, I'm totally shameless. As we stopped for a short breather, I pondered why I was huffing and puffing, despite being 50 pounds lighter than I was four years ago. And four years ago I think I had an easier time getting to the tower. I mean, I just finished a marathon for crying out loud! And then it dawned one me. This year, yes, I am 50 pounds lighter. But I was also carrying a 50-pound pack. Oh. My. God. I used to carry ALL OF THIS around with me ALL OF THE TIME. How horrible for my joints, my bones, and my heart. I had no idea until the weight was gone and then I had to carry it around again.
I still have quite a ways to go with my weight loss. And unfortunately I've put a few back on since my peak of events this summer. But now I can quantify what I need to lose in a way that means something to me.