Mentally Strong and Physically Strong

When I started packing on the pounds in my early twenties, I spent a lot of time in bed letting life pass me by while I slept. I didn’t want to deal with my PCOS or health problems or anything going on in my life. I wanted to sleep it all away and hide. I wasn’t physically strong and I wasn’t mentally strong.

When I think of those times I shudder. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. I don’t ever want to be that person again. Deciding to get out of bed didn’t happen all at once. I signed up for college. Convinced myself to go to class every day. Made friends. Once I got braver, I decided to clean up my eating. Then I started doing light exercises. Last year I started really educating myself on PCOS and how to live with it. I lost 26 pounds last year with that knowledge. But this year, this year I knew I could do better. This year my goal has been to really step up my game, get serious, clean up my eating, make better choices and push myself past where I have been comfortable for so long. This weekend I made leaps and bounds towards those goals.

On Saturday it was a beautiful sunny day. I had the beginnings of a cold but I thought maybe sunshine would do me some good. Get it out of my system faster. I also tested low on my vitamin D but isn’t everyone low on vitamin D in the winter?! Especially those of us that work in office buildings during the daylight hours. It took some debate but I decided to stick closer to home and only drive to a beautiful lake area. It is packed in the summer but in the winter/spring, it is pretty easy to find some trails without a ton of people on them. Since I had taken Arya and Bella to the dog park without Red the day before, I decided that Red would be the one to go hiking with me. She is my oldest dog at 12 years old and unfortunately her hips aren’t what they used to be. So I figured I would give a hike a try, maybe with the warmer weather her hips would feel better.

I did four miles of beautiful Folsom Lake view hiking. Last year or the year before when I first started hiking, I could barely do one or two miles without really feeling it. But four miles felt good. It wasn’t over really rough terrain, there were rocks and sand at times but nothing extreme.

Mostly fields with some rolling soft hills.

Red did wonderful and since there were not a lot of people around she was allowed to run free. Trust me, she is far better off leash than on leash.


I went home tired and a little sore, but feeling great.

On Sunday I woke up to more sunshine. As I laid in bed, awake far too early because I went to bed early, I kept thinking about how I had always wanted to see Bassi Falls in the early spring. When the waterfall is going strong. I have heard it is beautiful. Now I have mentioned Bassi Falls before, it is my nemesis but also my happy place. Often it is where I go in the summer to escape the city heat and it is beautiful. Pockets of cool water to swim in. It is long enough and big enough that you can find your own private area to slide down slippery rocks. But there is a hill, a really big one, that you have to climb to get home after spending the day playing and it is my nemesis. The first time I walked that hill, I cried. I am not kidding, I sat on a stump half way up and cried. Last year I did the lower part of the falls, so that I hiked uphill to find a spot and got to go downhill on the way home. There is a six mile loop you can take from the bottom to the top and back down again but I have never been brave enough to try it. Till Sunday.

I grabbed a smoothie, some lunch and some snacks for the hike. I grabbed a ton of water, leashed up to the two big dogs (the mini dachshund would not have survived this hike) and headed out. Towards the top of the mountain I noticed bits of snow still on the ground in the shade. I hadn’t had a chance to see snow yet this year so I was even more excited. They shut down the road to vehicles during the winter months, so you have to park much further away than normal. The beginning of the hike was a bit slow because my legs were still stiff from yesterday’s hike. It was nice though, the woods were quiet. I started off on the lower loop thinking I would get all the uphill over with from the beginning. They have great markers to keep you on the right path and you can hear the roar of Bassi Falls with all the snow melt rushing through it most of the walk.

Since there was only a few other hikers, lots of them with dogs off the leash, I let the two big dogs run around like crazy dogs. Arya even got to experience her first snow patch and she ate it. No joke. That was her take on snow, it is edible. Strange dog.

About mile three I started to feel the burn from so much uphill. It wasn’t just uphill, it was the terrain. It was rocky and harsh. Footing wasn’t always easy. It was true hiking. I was sweaty. I was getting tired. I was burning out. So I stopped around mile four to eat lunch next to a cool patch of water with my shoes off.

After a 45 minute break, I started uphill again and I was tired. I could barely move up that hill. My legs were stiff and so sore. My whole body was feeling it. My breathing was ragged. I was feeling my lungs making me want to cough. I stopped every few steps up that hill and I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I really didn’t. I never experienced hitting a mental or physical block like this. I knew it was mostly mental. I knew my body could do more, it had to but mentally I was done. My mantra’s became..

“One step at a time.”

“We can do this.”

“I can bounce a quarter off my booty right now, so think of the nice booty and nice legs.”

I made it up that hill and still had a little over another mile to go downhill to get to the car. If you think downhill is any easier, it isn’t. Within minutes my feet hurt and my ankles started protesting. Even my toes started rebelling. That walk home was the longest walk of my life. I hurt in places I didn’t think I could hurt from walking. I was mentally and physically wiped. I kept asking myself what I was thinking taking the whole loop. Six damn miles, five of which were all uphill.

As I lay in bed last night, legs super sore, cough a little worse, I didn’t feel weak, I felt strong. Really strong. Mentally and physically. There is something about taking on your nemesis without stopping to cry that makes you feel like a champion. No matter your size or weight. I might not be close to my goal weight yet. I might not be where I want to be. But I am doing something right because I am nowhere near who I was even last year. I am especially no where near the woman that just wanted to stay in bed all the time. That woman wouldn’t have climbed that mountain. That woman would have cried half way up. That woman would have NEVER have dreamed of hiking 10 miles in one weekend with a slight cold or even without a cold. It is amazing what our bodies are capable of when we get out of our own way!

Done anything recently that has made you immensely proud??


4 thoughts on “Mentally Strong and Physically Strong

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