This past weekend, my youngest daughter and my husband and I were blessed to be able to get out of town for a couple of nights, to explore the active and gorgeous town of Salida, which is situated along the Arkansas River in Colorado. We badly needed an early summer break after the rigors of 11th grade high school, advanced placement history, final exams, and high school drama. My main goal was to find an outdoor heated pool and hot tub in a pretty Colorado town with sunny weather, where my main duty was to watch the colored lights change in the hot tub.
You ask me, how does that goal match up with the title of your blog article today?
Exactly. It does not.
But I noticed that after I got in a couple of evenings in the hot tub and outdoor heated pool and I had been around active folks near the park by the river, that I was starting to want to get a bit more active.
Hence the new goal for the weekend evolved: Climb up Salida Mountain with my 17 year old….yes, the big mountain labeled “S” that is in your face no matter where you go in Salida.
Now this was quite a lofty (no pun intended) goal for me. You see, I have some chronic health conditions that slow me down when it comes to exercise.
But we dutifully applied our sunscreen and headed up S Mountain. Turns out the trails are quite narrow as they circle round and round the mountain, while you gradually ascend 800 to 1000 feet up into the air. Each time I stood aside for a mountain biker or faster walker, I would smile and say, “You go ahead. I am slower than you.” And each time, I received a positive and often encouraging reply.
I started to realize, “Wow, we are all in this together. This trail is often just about 18 inches wide, and has lots of rocks. Any one of us could take a topple and not have a good day. No one is judging me by my speed here. My goal is just that: my goal. Each person ascending this mountain has a personal goal, but we are all encouraging each other without side looks or drama.”
I also realized as it got harder and harder to get up the mountain, that I badly wanted to be in better shape so that I could more fully enjoy this type of active lifestyle. I know that after the feeling of achievement subsided once we reached the “S” and carefully made our way back down those same narrow and winding trails, I made a better eating decision right away and chose tasty light tacos with veggies instead of a huge cheeseburger and fries. When we got back home later that evening, I was so fatigued that I took a hot epsom salts bath and went to bed very early…..and I realized that I also badly wanted to be more resilient, so that I can tackle a more active lifestyle.
I challenge you to do the following as summer approaches:
- Respect your inner need to rest, and find a genuinely restful place to be quiet in.
- Seek out at least one person whom shares your desire to improve his or her well-being, and let that person inspire and challenge you.
- Make one small, healthy change in your eating pattern–generally it is best to focus on a healthy item to add into your daily eating, rather than to focus on what you are going to eliminate. Keep up that small, healthy change every day…but if you “mess up” one day, don’t condemn yourself; rather, just consider the next day a fresh start.
- Think of what you can do to be more resilient………in other words, what helps you to recover quickly from a challenge and bounce back? I know that living at a high altitude in Colorado challenges my resiliency every day, and that when I miss a day of being physically active, I will pay for it in terms of shortness of breath and reduced energy. If I don’t maintain a regular quiet time of prayer and meditation, I will not be spiritually resilient. And if I don’t have a phone call with a good friend on a regular basis, I will quickly feel isolated in my battles with life.
Plan your wellness out for summer, and see what happens. Please write and let me know what kinds of challenges and successes you have….we are all in this together.
Planyourwellness.com…………because your well-being deserves your attention!