As you know, I am doing this biggest loser challenge with a bunch of friends. I'm not in it for the money so much as a way to help keep me accountable and motivate me to work on being more healthy.
One of the best ways to be healthy is to get plenty of exercise. What better way to do it than to get out and enjoy the God given beauty we have here in Alaska? So I've set a goal for myself since summer will be here in a few short months and there is this beautiful, nine mile hike I'd like to do again this year.
http://aktrailhead.com/reedlakes/reedlakes.shtml (The pictures on this site do NOT do it justice.)
I hit the treadmill a lot, but that is far from the same as even walking the four-wheeler trails around my house, let alone hiking a mountain. So, to prepare for the hiking season to come, I decided getting out and hitting said trails was a good plan. My dogs need to work up to it too. (They've gotten lazy and a little chunky themselves.)
In hindsight, maybe the day after a Snow-Thaw/Melt-Re-Freeze during the night and then Snow some more cycle wasn't my most brilliant stroke of genius. The four-wheeler paths have plenty of hills and the fresh dusting of snow on top of sheer ice = America's Home Video style slip and fall on my butt moment at least once while taking the downside of a hill on this trek and several arm flailing near repeats.
But the overall plan was a good one. Walking in the snow is good exercise, it's a bit like walking in sand, only with the added bonus of treacherous ice linger just beneath.
Another thing you don't have to worry about with the treadmill is the possibility of being run down by a snow machine or encountering a 1500 pound moose.
While I was walking, I was musing about the fact that this week we had some vendors and higher ups visiting from out-of-state at work, and a couple kept saying, "I hope I see a moose!" As an Alaskan, we usually are thinking the very opposite thing. You don't want to come face to face with one, and you definitely don't want to come vehicle to face with one. It ends badly for at least one, if not both of you.
Last year my poor little dog got stomped by a moose. I was very lucky that 1. We'd gotten record snow that year. (provided the life saving cushion he needed) and 2. My dad was there to distract the moose giving my dog time to escape. The moose was so angry, after going after my dog, then my dad, he tried to also get the cat, and when that didn't work he kicked the house and for good measure came back for a second round on the house the next day. (We think the neighbor dog was harassing it and he took his anger out on my dog.)
Back to hiking. I love to hike. I used to organize and lead the hikes in the Matsu Valley for an Alaskan hiking meet-up group I was part of. I probably went on 2-3 hikes a week minimum. Looking at pictures from back then my body looked very different than it does today. I'd like to get back to that place. Maybe not spending all of my free time hiking, but a nice long hike once a week is a good goal to shoot for, I think.