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Grateful girl on the mountaintop

Lori-Penobscot-Fall2016Good Monday morning, peeps. And cheers from the mountaintop!

Please forgive the tardiness of this blog. I started it last week, but didn’t get it posted as I was too busy climbing mountains, enjoying the fall leaves of Downeast Maine and Acadia National Park, and living in the moment with Lori in the center of the equation.

Every time I take a rigorous hike to a mountaintop or along a challenging trail, I am overcome with gratitude. I mean it. I carry with me overwhelming gratitude for the ability to walk and hike in places of sheer beauty; for a connection to the Universe and nature that is indescribable; and for my new healthy and fit body that can do so many things I never dreamed of when I was stuck in the office chair 12-18 hours a day making excuses for how I couldn’t grab hold and change my life.

Well, these past two weeks, I’ve been livin’ it. And I’ve vowed that living it, being present in the moment and grateful for every gift — even the hard stuff — will always come first, before writing about it. #gratefulgirl

LoriandShirar-TrailheadA new kind of gratitude found in the shared journey

LoriandShirar-SummitLast Friday I had the pleasure of sharing the climb and the mountaintop with a new favorite friend, Shirar, from Bangor, Maine. It was her first hike in a long time and a key milestone on her journey toward a healthy Shirar-in-the-equation — a journey she began in earnest this past March. She calls it her #yearofyes.

Blue Hill Mountain - Fall 2016What a joy to witness Shirar scale the boulders on Spring Brook Trail as we ascended Penobscot Bud-Blue Hill Mountain Fall 2016 Mountain. Not once did she complain that it was too hard or too steep. And not only did I get to share the beauty of the views on my favorite mountain in Acadia, but I got to share the experience of Shirar reaching the mountain summit. Her first mountaintop on the way to becoming a fit and healthy girl. Yes!

I’m honored to have accompanied Shirar on this quest and know there will be many more mountains in this girl’s future. And this #gratefulgirl was also reminded of what that felt like to push past your mental limits and climb a mountain for the very first time. Reaching the summit never gets old and I will never take it for granted! Each time I climb, I will send out a big thank you to the Universe for this gift. And last week sharing the experience with Shirar was also a great gift. She rocked it!

We all have our mountains to climb — literally and figuratively

Those of you who know me, know that I’ve used the mountain climbing metaphor for my transformation journey to health and happiness. More than five years ago — when I weighed 381 lbs — I didn’t dare dream of physically climbing mountains. And then I met one (a mountain) in weight-loss boot camp in Nov-Dec. 2010. I climbed it and survived! I climbed it again and again and again — and the mountain changed me — both inside and out. It gave me the confidence to do anything I set my mind to and that led to climbing mountains in my life figuratively and doing hard things that previously I simply would not tackle.

Now a mountain climber by choice, I’ve vowed that living as a healthy, happy and fit girl means saying YES! to life — even and especially when it’s hard. These past two weeks that meant reuniting with my beloved Bud (yes, my all-time favorite dog) and climbing our mountain together. I hadn’t seen Bud in six months and likely won’t see him for another six (the hard) so living in the moment meant cherishing every boulder, trail, and conversation at the top of the mountain. It also meant taking lots of selfies so I can carry him with me when I am in Minnesota and he is in Maine.

If you haven’t been out this Fall — get out there. It’s a wow!

Fall hiking is my favorite exercise, and all I can say is that if you have not been outside this Fall for a walk around the block, a walk around an area lake, or a climb up the summit, do it! Do it now. Because you can. Because you won’t regret it — I promise. And it has the power to change you, inside and out.

If I can do it, I KNOW you can do it. And it’s never, ever to late to conquer your mountain and yourself.

Happy Hiking. Happy Climbing.




Check out my Fall 2016 photo gallery. More great hikes and climbs to come.

Read my other blogs about fall hiking and conquering mountains.


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