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Celebrating 1.5 years on the path to healthy Lori

Today’s hike on the Superior Hiking Trail at my beloved Temperance River State Park was extraordinary. I have made this trek countless times and it remains one of my favorites. But today both the physical and spiritual experience topped all others. I traveled far faster than ever before along this windy trail and much deeper into the forest, stopped only by time and the threat of my day job looming.

Hiking along the Temperance River is a spiritual journey. You trek along to the roar of gushing, raging water as the powerful river makes its way through the gorge, and then reach the calm of the stream trickling by softly as it trails off through the Superior National Forest toward Lutsen Mountains.

Here, I leave my work and worries behind. I hit the trail in early morning before other humans awake and the forest is disturbed. I have the trail all to myself. It is in the peacefulness of these calm and quiet mornings that I become one with nature, the roaring water, and my deepest self.

As I hiked old faithful today, I not only beat my fastest time by almost double, but as I reached the staircase of what once seemed perilous steps leading up to the old High Falls, I felt stronger, more fit, and more alive than ever before! Incredibly grateful for this new body and new life, my feet were swift and my spirit soared.

I recalled the days when I couldn’t hike to this point along the trail because the distance was too far. I would only get as far as the lower falls (less than 1 mile) and have to stop and turn around. Today, as I literally ran those same steps in my now -210 lb body, I remembered the very first time I tackled them and how challenging they were. And that was after a nearly 100 lb weight loss.

I reminisced about my boot camp in Dec. 2010 and how difficult it was to hurl my 350+ lb body up the hills of the then wintry trails in snowshoes. Each step was painstaking. I couldn’t even bend over to put on my snowshoes, I had to ask Andy, Mark and Jeremy from Bluefin Bay who accompanied us on the hikes to strap them on each and every time.

And I remembered my mindset during boot camp and how I wanted to quit about 100 times per day. My internal voice told me I couldn’t do it…I was not strong enough…fast enough…thin enough…I was not good enough. (Pause.) I was not good enough.

Well, today, I am not only good enough – I ROCK! My legs are strong and will carry me up these steps. My arms are muscular and will propel me along the trail. My heart is resilient and will pump the blood and oxygen necessary to take me as far as I want to go – as far as time and my day job will allow. And, perhaps most significantly, my mind is powerful and positive. I push past doubt, pain, and fear to accomplish things I never thought possible. I know that I can do absolutely anything. There is simply no stopping me now.

So on my beloved trail today, I celebrated the new fit and active Lori in a brand new book (body), living in the center of her full and happy life. Today’s hike, on the 1 1/2 year anniversary of my transformation journey, provided the opportunity for me to thank God and be grateful for this gift and my new, transformed body and life inside and out.

I carried with me in spirit my new group of seven resilient and determined women who are rockin’ their own journeys and are part of my 100% Club; my friends who are struggling to find their way and to put themselves in the equation of their own lives and be true to their own spirit and soul; and all of you success stories in the making who are transforming your lives.

There is no question that if I can do it, you can do it. And let me tell you, life on the other side of fear and self-doubt, is about as awesome as it gets! Remember, “we’ve got this.”

Watch my transformation journey in video slideshow

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