Health, Hiking, Me

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, I was a totally different person. There aren’t that many photos of me from that time because, well, let’s just say I preferred to be behind the camera. Ten years ago was also 65+ pounds ago.

I don’t remember much of my life back then, partly because – thankfully – it feels like a lifetime ago, but mostly because it wasn’t much of a life at all. I remember staying up all night because I just couldn’t sleep during those bleak, dark hours, then crawling into bed in the early morning, staying there until noon or sometimes even until JK came home from work. Almost never getting out of the house, and not for my normal homebody/introvert reasons, but due to crippling social anxiety and near-constant migraines. Subsisting on a diet of faux-meat “chicken” nuggets, fries, potato chips, Pepsi, and chocolate. Trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant, which in hindsight was a blessing in disguise, because dear lord that would have been a shit show. I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone a little baby.

2007 was the year that changed so many things for me, all set in motion by that one backpacking trip to Shi Shi Beach, which I somehow, stepping way, way out of my comfort zone, agreed to go on. (Thank you Tom and Amy for reaching out and making it happen!) That adventure sparked a fire in me that hasn’t stopped burning since. Right when I needed it the most, along came this whole new world of fresh air, jaw-dropping views, endorphins, sunshine, and new, like-minded friends. It got me interested in life again. I set goals for myself. I felt immense pride in myself when I reached those goals. I started appreciating my body for the things it allowed me to do.

Within a month and a half of that trip to Shi Shi, JK and I had visited Mount Rainier, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks. We went to Noble Knob for the first time, gobsmacked by the sight of Mount Rainier lit up bright pink at sunrise. Talk about finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Slowly but surely we hiked more and more trails, and I lost more and more weight. That fall, I couldn’t even make it halfway up the trail to Poo Poo Point because I legit thought I was going to have a heart attack, but the following summer, we backpacked to Jade Lake and the Enchantments. We started taking adventurous vacations. We got hooked on trail running. We climbed volcanoes. We finally had our wonderful babies and are continuing our life on trail, albeit a little differently these days.

This trail hasn’t been without its fair share of setbacks (or should I say switchbacks?). I still tend toward depression if I don’t take care of myself, but it’s no longer a constant, towering presence in my life. Sometimes, back in the day, hiking itself brought out some of my old tendencies – my big depression problem of not feeling like I was good enough would come up whenever I hiked with a group of faster, stronger people (in other words, most other people). But over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the biggest reasons why I feel so happy in the mountains is because I feel competent out there. I feel like I know what I’m doing. That’s not a feeling I’ve experienced much in my life, especially now that we’ve entered the ever-changing world of parenting (does anyone feel like they know what the hell they’re doing when it comes to parenting?), so it’s more important than ever that I keep getting out there, finding myself on trail.

Poo Poo Point 2017 St Edward 2017

Anyway, this was just a long-winded way to say, well, it’s been a great ten years, trails. Let’s have many, many more.

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  • Reply Holly Thompson April 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

    SO very inspiring! Proud of you!

  • Reply Ali April 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I’ve loved watching you become this YOU. Always the same heart <3.

  • Reply Teal April 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Reply Yann Riche April 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm


  • Reply Jennifer April 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Good for you! You look awesome!!!

  • Reply Laura April 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Incredible that it’s been 10 years! It’s been amazing following your adventures!

  • Reply Lisa April 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I love your writing! And your big heart and honesty. I think you’re awesome! Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Reply Cathy April 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Wonderful! I’m so happy for you and your beautiful family! Keep up the adventures.

  • Reply CarrieH April 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Love this! Nature is an amazing thing. So glad that it helped you to find your way. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  • Reply Lisa April 10, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! And sharing old photos. Like you, I rarely had pictures taken of myself when I was at my heaviest. In a way I regret that.

    I think it’s such a cool story how you lost the weight and found fitness. Yay hiking!! :D

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