Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

One of my main goals for my Hawaiian vacation was to fill my time alone with as many fitness adventures as I could.  Since Oahu offers so many different options,  decided to do a bit of research and discovered that a 30-minute drive would bring me to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.

There’s something very intriguing to me about lighthouses.  They’re literally guides for sailors at night, and maybe because of all the novels I’ve studied, there’s something so romantic to me about them.  I never realized how drawn to lighthouses I am until this trip, but I am going to make it a point to go to the local lighthouses we have in the San Francisco area when I get back home.

When I looked up info about the trail itself on my Trail Advisor app, it said that it was a paved trail that offered a steady incline to the top, easy to navigate for people of all fitness levels.  I knew I could make the trek, and the promise of the views along the way were all I needed to decide that this was my Tuesday morning outing.

Getting to the trail by car was an easy, beautiful drive, and because I got there early, around 8:30am, parking was a breeze.  (I’ve been on California time throughout my trip, meaning I’m waking up at 3am local time).

10006917_10151952043440426_6763370043924131053_n The hills surrounding the trail were lush and green, and the path itself was very easy to navigate.  I put on some music, and started my assent.  I was a steady incline, enough to keep my heart rate going the entire way.

1534472_10151952042795426_132579950536500944_n Before too long, I saw the ocean peeking out among the brush, and if these were the views at the start of my journey, I was anxious to see what awaited me at the top. Between my music and these views, I think I was smiling from ear to ear the whole way up.

1601506_10151952043315426_8525203781774062793_n10259743_10151952043615426_6302813055275166739_n11893_10151952043700426_7882390771869107988_n10258807_10151952043655426_5132203295441575976_n1794676_10151952044000426_1692567953378443486_n It was right around this point when the breezy morning turned super windy, and the hat I’d been wearing to protect my face from the sun flew off my head!  Luckily, I was able to snatch it from the ground before it flew away.


I walked for a while holding the hat with one hand and my iPhone in the other. Every time I stopped to take a photo, the hat flew off – about 4 times total. Until I remembered that I could tighten it in the back.

The water below me was so blue, the sky so clear – as I walked the trail I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to be living this life.  I’d decided that this vacation was my reward for all my hard work over the past year in accomplishing so many of my weight loss goals.  This hike wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable 132 pounds ago.  I would’ve been severely out of breath, concerned about whether or not I would make it all the way to the top, and not living in the moment and enjoying all of this natural beauty all around me.  Instead, I soaked it all in and truly felt blessed to be at this point in my life.



Before too much longer, I was at the top of the trail, looking down at these stunning views of the surrounding area.




10150652_10151952045015426_6540676470749329357_n It was so windy at the top that I nearly lost my iPhone capturing this shot, but it was worth it, even if it is a bit blurry, I think it helps capture the wind whipping all around.

And finally, the view I’d been waiting for all day – the lighthouse!


It was smaller than I thought, but a true jewel on that hilltop.  I love this picture so much that I’ve made it my wallpaper on the phone.

1466037_10151952045100426_452066782254352158_n I hiked to the top of this hill, which is amazing to me!


To offer some perspective, the parking lot is in the middle of the photo. I took this about halfway back down the trail.

There’s really no other word for this hike than glorious.  It offered everything I love – views of the ocean, a great workout, and the chance to remind myself how far I’ve come and how lucky I am.

After the hike, I noticed a spot around the corner from the parking lot that was a bit of a hidden beach, filled with black volcanic rocks where I could perch and watch the white-tipped waves crashing. It reminded me a of a place near Half Moon Bay that’s really special to me. Somehow being here all alone with no other souls in sight made it all the more special, like it was a secret spot just for me.


I shot this quick video soon after I’d sat down on the rocks. I don’t know what I was doing with the camera angles, but I’m glad I got a bit of  video:

 I don’t know for sure that these rocks are the remnants of a volcano, but given that I’m in Hawaii, that’s the story I’m going with. I sat on the rocks for about 30 minutes, just taking in the majesty and power of the ocean. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, there’s something very spiritual about it for me.



If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

1546144_10151952046655426_3891003743253631992_nEven though the lighting is bad and you can hardly see my face, I wanted to make sure that I captured the fact that I was there on what was a magical morning.




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(photo courtesy of Scale Warfare’s cool photo editing skills)

What a week this has been.  I really put the idea of Adventures in Fitness into practice which made me feel like my very own superhero!

Saturday, March 27 – Ish asked me if I wanted to go on a walk with her at this spot in Palo Alto that she passes on her way to work.  She mentioned there being a “killer hill,” but I had no idea she was talking about walking/hiking The Dish at Stanford.  I had never been, but the hills at The Dish are infamous – and not for the weak of heart (literally and figuratively!).  I wish I had taken my camera so I could show you just how steep the hills were, but trust me when I say that I was out of breath soon.  (Although I was actually quite proud of how long it took me to get out of breath, as I thought it would’ve happened much sooner than it did). Ish told me that her co-worker had said that we should go clockwise (it’s a big loop) for an easier time of it.  As we found ourselves climbing one huge hill after another, I asked her if she was sure we went the right way, because at the fork in the loop we passed earlier, it seemed as if the other trail was a lot gentler.  But Ish said she was sure the co-worker said clockwise.  We aren’t sure exactly how far we walked, but I’m guessing it was about a mile, roundtrip. I wish I had worn my BodyBugg, because I know I burned a ton of calories walking this monster for 45 minutes.  My legs were cramping, and the next day my calves were screaming, and I was walking around like an old lady.  😉  Oh, and after checking some sources to add info to this post, I found out that, “Entering the loop from the Stanford or Gerona gates, turn counterclockwise for a gradual ascent to the Dish or clockwise for a more vigorous workout.”  I told her that next time we’re definitely taking the counterclockwise trail, at least, until I’m used to them.  Still, I earned 4 Activity Points, so it was definitely a great workout.  Here’s a photo I grabbed from Google to show you why this trail is called The Dish:

This path shows what must be the "gentler" trail, which I didn't experience. LOL

Sunday, March 28th – It was another glorious, sunny day today, and because rain was in the forecast for later in the week, I knew I wanted to get out and enjoy it while I could.  Since my calves were incredibly sore (see above), I decided that a nice, leisurely bike ride on Lola was the perfect way to burn calories without overdoing it with my calves. I haven’t ridden my bike since last summer, but as the saying goes, I quickly picked it up.  I was set to go for 30 minutes, because it was a rather windy day, and I knew that would factor into the calorie burn.  As I made my way down the first street in my neighborhood, I quickly realized that somehow my gear shift had broken off.  Luckily, it was stuck in 2nd gear (my beach cruiser only has 3 gears). Riding up some of the small hills in my neighborhood were harder than they would’ve been if I could’ve downshifted, but I just kept telling myself that I was burning more calories that way.  The other thing that was a bit problematic was that I had on my Skechers Shape-Ups because the shoes have about a 2-3 inch base, which means that my legs were bent in sort of an awkward position in the bike, but I got through that too.  I think the most daunting part was dealing with the traffic and the hoards of drunken Sharks fans on their way to the Tank for a game.  LOL.  I felt great when I finished, and I could definitely feel the blood pumping through my veins (or my heart beating a mile a minute, as the case may be). I’m going to have to figure out how to fix that gear shift before I go out on a long bike ride, because it just doesn’t seem safe to ride a bike that only has one gear. Activity Points earned: 3Update: upon further review (after trying to remember how I used to shift gears) I realized that the gear shift wasn’t broken, I just forgot how to change gears.  😛  You just move the grip at the end of the handle bar.  Doh!  Glad to know that the bike is fine and I don’t have to go crazy trying to fix it.

Monday, March 29th – After a full day at work and the soreness from the weekend’s activities still with me, I figured I’d take it easy and do the Wii FitPlus at home.  I recently found out that WW’s Activity Tracker now has Wii FitPlus on it (it also has EA Sports Active), so I did my FitPlus workout a lot differently than I normally do.  In order to count the minutes on the AP tracker, I had to do at least 10 minutes of a certain activity, so that’s what I did.  I chose 3 of my favorites – Advanced Step (2x), Rhythm Boxing (earned over 1000 points – my highest score ever!), and Rhythm Kung Fu (6x) and did each of them for 10 minutes.  It wasn’t as much fun as my normal FitPlus workout (doing lots of shorter activities), but I did earn more APs than normal.  Plus, my heart rate really stayed up, so I knew I had a good exercise session. For 30 minutes of the Wii FitPlus workout I earned 3 Activity Points.

Tuesday, March 30th – Off day.  I was originally going to try to go to the Aqua class, but it was rainy, cold, and I wanted to just get home and get my sweats on.

Wednesday, March 31st – Another off day.  Unplanned.  I was at work later than I expected and then HAD to go grocery shopping, because there was nothing in this house.  By the time I got home I was starving, so I just had dinner, relaxed, and went to bed.

Thursday, April 1st – I started TOM and had that crampy feeling, but because I hadn’t worked out the past two nights, I knew I really had to do something tonight.  So, even though I had just come from the stylist who gave me an amazing blowout, I decided that I should definitely get some APs in.  Another Wii Fit night.  Even though I earned a decent amount of APs the other night, it just wasn’t as fun.  So tonight I did a mix of yoga, strength training, balance games, rhythm kung fu, and then did the island cycling for 17 minutes – it takes a LONG time to find all 27 of those flags.  🙂  All in all, I did it for 40 minutes and earned 3 APs. (I’d rather do 10 more minutes and enjoy myself than do it the other way).

Friday, April 2nd – I have to say that this blog post is what motivated me to get up and do a DVD this morning.  Luckily it was my late day, so I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn.  I decided to give the BL Jump Start DVD a shot, since it’s been over a week since I’ve done it.  Man!  it really gets my blood pumping.  The only thing I don’t like about it (and this is such a small thing, really) is that I have to put on my sneakers to do it.  First thing in the morning it’s sort of nice to just go barefoot, like I can on the Wii.  But, I had already done the Wii twice this week, and I like keeping it fresh, so the sneakers went on.  I did the 10-min. beginner cardio, 10 minutes of abs, and 10 minutes of upper body. I figured that my poor lower body had enough of a workout earlier in the week.  (Ugh, my calves were aching for days).  I earned 4 APs all before 7am this morning! (That’s the same as when I was doing the RLR workouts).

So, with 5 days of at least 30 minutes of activity, I earned a total of 17 APs, which is darn good.  I felt really good about myself all week, and while I wish I wouldn’t have taken both days off in a row, life happens, and at least I got back to it on Thursday.

I have more fun things planned this coming week: one new activity (if I can summon the courage and my coordination), and I’m going to shoot for 6 days.

What have you been doing to move your body?

P.S. – If you have any ideas of workouts/classes you think I should try, let me know.  I belong to 24 Hour Fitness, and I have Netflix (for renting workout DVDs), so if there’s something you think I should add to my repertoire, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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I’ve been meaning to post about this for quite some time.  A few weeks ago, I got an email from Cynn; it was an invitation to a few events she had planned.

The part I thought was brilliant was that Cynn had invited people to join her in exercise.  She had a few different dates with different activities planned, and people were free to join her for any and all of them.  One was a hike in Half Moon Bay, meeting at a brewery parking lot, and sharing a few drinks after the hike.   The other was a hike in the hills of Saratoga near a winery, where wine tasting would occur afterward.

I love the idea of this invitation because:

  • Cynn had decided on the dates upfront.  And she knew that at least one other person would be joining her. She didn’t need to send out a bunch of emails asking which dates worked best for the most people.  She  told you the date and you could figure out if it would work with your schedule or not.
  • It’s a great way to catch up with friends.  The beauty of nature coupled with hours of time.
  • What a fabulous way to get in some exercise!  Rather than meeting for dinner where the possibility of consuming huge amounts of calories is definite, this type of invitation sets up weight loss success.

I’ve accepted Cynn’s invitation for the hike in Saratoga, and in fact, I’ll be going on it later today.  I haven’t hiked in years, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up.  Cynn mentioned that the pace would be slow, although the first half of 1 1/2 hour hike is uphill, but the view at the top is supposedly worth it.  Plus, knowing there’s wine waiting at the bottom of the hill is a nice incentive.  I’ll write a post about it later today (with pictures, hopefully) on my Bella blog.

I’ve been really inspired by Cynn’s invitation to exercise, and I think I’m going to put out one of my own invitations with various dates, places, and times.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference.

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