My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.
In what seems to be a recurring theme with this post, I don’t have a weigh in to share this week. I checked in on the scale throughout the week, and it was still holding steady.
But this week really wasn’t about that. I have lots of NSVs this week, all in the form of workouts. I worked out “every damn day,” only taking one day off. I felt good about myself with each sweatyface photo I posted on FB.
The highlight of the week was something I’d been looking forward to for a few weeks – BeautyJunkie824‘s Goal Weight Celebration. I thought her idea of hosting a hike in Muir Woods to celebrate getting to her goal weight was ingenious. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that I was completely nervous and anxious about whether or not I’d be able to keep up. From everything I’d read online, the paths in Muir Woods were challenging and steep. I hated the thought of making people wait for me. Or that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But I pushed through my nerves and rsvp’d “yes” because I love BeautyJunkie824, I’m so proud of her for reaching her goal, I’d never been to Muir Woods, and I wanted to challenge myself.
So I left the house at 7:45am yesterday and headed up through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Mill Valley, where Muir Woods is located. Even though I’ve seen the GG Bridge in person more times than I can count, I always get goosebumps when I see it. There was absolutely no traffic on my way up through SF, and I got to Muir Woods in 1.5 hours. The ride up to Muir Woods was really, really curvy, so I’m really glad that I decided to drive myself. I can get carsick, and that windy road would have been enough to do it. I arrived early, so I took a few minutes to take in the scenery and snap some photos.
Soon enough BeautyJunkie824 and her friends arrived and we were on our way on the hike. The beginning was nice and slow as we stayed on the “boardwalk” path and took in all of the sites in the Cathedral Grove. This is the pathway that most of the tourists and families take – it’s fairly flat, wide, and easy to navigate. There are several smaller “loops” that feed off of the boardwalk, and we were heading to the Ben Johnson Trail.
We walked this way for some time, and then we hit the area that I had been dreading – the part where it began an incline. The guidebook said the incline was gradual, but for someone who is 150 lbs overweight, it was anything but. My heart starting really beating and my breath became really shallow. But I pushed myself because I wanted to make it to the destination – Stinson Beach.
I kept climbing and climbing, even though my heart was pounding and I couldn’t get my breath. The steps were really hard to climb because they were so steep. BeautyJunkie824’s mom was so sweet and stayed behind with me because she said she needed to rest, too, but I knew it was because she didn’t want to leave me alone. At one point I told her I didn’t think I could continue, but she told me that she knew that I could, and that I’d feel so good when we got to top and then had nothing but a downhill descent to look forward to. As much as I tried, I finally realized that I’d gone as far as I was going to. I was gasping for air and my heart was beating so fast that I was feeling sick, and overwhelmed, and panicky. And my foot was starting to go numb, which was really scary, considering that the ground wasn’t even, but really bumpy and unsure.
With tears in my eyes I told BeautyJunkie824’s mom that I didn’t think I could make it. She said that she had worried that I might not be able to, and that she was so sorry for pushing me. I told her that I appreciated her push, because sometimes I needed it, but at this point I had to listen to my body, and that this was where I had to turn back. She called BeautyJunkie824 over, and that’s when I really started to cry. I stammered out that I was so sorry for holding them all back, that I was so disappointed in myself, and that I didn’t want to ruin what was supposed to be a celebration. She was great and hugged me and comforted me and told me that she was so proud of what I HAD accomplished, and I should be to. I heard what she was saying, but still felt a terrible sense of discouragement. I’d wanted so badly to go with them and see everything, but once again my body wasn’t going to allow me. It’s hard to describe just how gut-wrenching this was to me; I felt like a complete failure.
Yet, as I walked back to my car by myself (they had offered to see me back to the Cathedral Grove, but I just wanted to be alone), I took some time to realize how much I really had done. I’d hiked my way through a really steep section of Muir Woods, and even though I hadn’t gone as far as I’d hoped, it was something that I could build on. It was now a baseline that I could push past, that I could overcome.
I walked/hiked for over two hours, burned 1260 calories, and had seen sites that I’d never experienced before. I tried something far outside my comfort zone, even though I had major doubts and reservations. I pushed myself and I tried, and that counts for something. Plus, I found this hidden gem right in my own backyard that I plan to visit again and again this summer. And after I’ve lost some significant weight, let’s say 50 lbs or so, I plan to try this same path again to see how much farther I can go. And I’ll keep trying, until I can make it all the way to Stinson Beach.
So this week was successful for me, no matter what the scale shows or how much of a path that I left untraveled. Because I am showing myself, through actions and not just words, that I am serious in my pursuit of my first major goal. It’s only a matter of WHEN, not IF.
I came to the woods because I wished to live deliberately and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~~ Henry DavidThoreau, from Walden