Hiking Mt. Garfield

I thought I would take a break from my normal posts and show you some pictures from one of my favorite hikes. Kait and I ventured over to Grand Junction over Memorial Day weekend to spend some time with friends and family. Monday morning my good friend JJ, his friend Tarah and I decided to hike up Mt. Garfield. It’s a grueling, but very rewarding hike. We wanted to beat the heat, so we got to trail-head at 7am and here’s the sign that we’re greeted with:

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What this sign doesn’t tell you is that a good chunk of the 2000′ is within the first 3/4 of a mile! 

Here’s a view of the beginning of the trail that was taken as we were coming down a different trail:

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If you look closely you’ll see people hiking up the top of the dirt ridge. The first chunk of the trail is only a few feet wide and is covered in loose dirt and rocks. It makes for an interesting hike.

About a mile into the hike you’re greeted with this awesome little green park. You can climb up onto the rocks where the following picture is taken and get a really cool view of Grand Valley. You can also get a good idea of how much further you have to go. The trail goes all the way up to the point in the middle-left of the picture:

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After leaving the green grassy area you get to start hiking along the bottom of a cliff face where there’s loose dirt and a steep drop off. It’s not as bad as it sounds/looks, but it can be a bit scary for someone doing it their first time. Here’s JJ and Tarah posing on that part with the green grassy area in the background.

 

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Once you make it past that part you get a beautiful view of Palisade and Grand Junction. The mountain in the background is the Mesa.

 

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Not too far after where the last picture was taken, you get to the top! The view from up there is amazing! The picture below is facing southwest towards the Colorado National Monument.

 

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In the rocks at the top Tarah found a carving that serves as a great reminder that the beauty that we saw was designed by a loving God.

 

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Since it was getting pretty hot out by this time, we decided that we better start heading back down. We didn’t take many pictures on the way down, but Tarah did make me stop and flex!

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We ended up choosing a fork in the trail on the way down that is a bit steeper, but less traveled. That meant that it wouldn’t be as loose and slippery.

 

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Overall, it was an awesome hike! I definitely recommend taking a few hours and doing this hike. You will enjoy it! Make sure you take plenty of water along too! We saw lots of people on the trail in all sorts of non-hiking clothing like jeans with small water bottles. It would not be fun to hike this like that.

God Bless,

Clint Fix

 

Hiking Mt. Garfield

Weight Loss as a New Years Resolution – Done Right

As we enter the new year, I’m sure that many of you have decided to make a change when it comes to your health. Weight loss is usually on most people’s new years resolution list. It’s no surprise given that the leanest state in the country is Colorado at 21% and the worst at 34% is Mississippi! 1 in 3 adults are not just overweight, but obese! These are alarming statistics. I applaud you for making a stand to reverse the frightening trend of obesity.

Why should you listen to me on this subject? Because I used to be in the obese category and decided that I needed to make a change.  Is the change easy? Not at all. Is it worth it? I can’t describe the difference it makes in every area of your life. You better believe that it’s worth it! Hopefully I can give you a shorter path to a healthy life than I took myself. You are already off to a better start because you’re seeking help from someone who has done it. I searched for the short cut. Fad diets and magic pills don’t work. They’ll extend the journey and make it much more difficult. Because of things like those, it took me nearly 3 years to lose 85lbs when it should have only taken me 1. Just remember, there are no short cuts to success in weight loss (or anything for that matter).

So what’s the first step? Resolve to drop all excuses. You will NOT get your weight loss goals if you cop out by making excuses like, “I don’t have time to work out,” or “I just can’t lose weight,” “I don’t know what I’m doing,” etc. If time is your excuse, throw out your TV or at least get rid of cable. This will be a double whammy when it comes to weight loss; you’ll get off your butt and if you are an average American, you’ll save an average of 20-30 hours of time per week. You can lose weight. The only way to figure out what you’re doing is to start doing it and seek help from those that know what they’re doing. It only takes ONE excuse to keep you from your fitness goals.

For those of you that are serious about weight loss and resolve to not make any excuses can move on to the next step: setting a real goal. Just saying, “I want to lose weight” is not good enough. Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Specific. Tim Marks does a great job diving into the goal setting process. Exactly how much weight do you want to lose? A realistic weight loss goal should be somewhere in the realm of 2-4lbs a week. When do you want to reach your goal by? Do you want a certain toned look? If so, you may need to get even more specific and take into consideration your body composition, not just weight. My fitness goal for 2012 is to be 165lbs at 8% body fat by December 2012.

Now that you have the vision of where you want to be clear in your mind (and hopefully on paper), we can begin what Orrin Woodward calls  PDCA or the Plan, Do, Check and Adjust process.  Remember a mediocre plan acted upon is infinitely better than a perfect plan that remains unimplemented. To help out, here are a few tips that should start you on your journey.

1. Cut out refined carbohydrates (sugar, starches, etc).

2. Replace at least one meal per day with a higher protein meal replacement shake (there is very strong evidence showing the link between meal replacements and long term weight loss)

3. Start a weight training regimen. Don’t even start to make excuses – this is a must for both women and men for long term health. Don’t worry women, you won’t get big and muscular.

4. Eat most of your carbs towards the beginning of the day, tapering them off throughout the day.

5. Eat 4-6 SMALL meals per day. This is where meal replacements can come in handy.

6. Don’t make drastic changes all at once. You will probably end up quitting. Ease into these suggestions. Set little goals along the way.

7. Find someone to encourage you and hold you accountable.

8. Reward yourself along the way! Wayne MacNamara, who competed in competitive body building, tells us that we need to reward ourselves to motivate ourselves. Make sure to check out his blog on fitness!

These are some simple tips that should get you started on your weight loss journey. As you go along, you may need a more specific plan which can be provided by a professional (not a doctor…they usually don’t know jack about nutrition) or someone who has done what you’re trying to accomplish. If you live in Colorado Springs, here are a few great personal trainers:

24 hour fitness: Jerod Langness – he trained me after a car accident and did a great job getting me back into working order.

Gold’s Gym: Benito Juvera – Great if you want a hardcore, no excuses trainer. Definitely knows what he’s doing and will get you results!

Lifetime Fitness: Rachael Smith – Awesome trainer with some physical therapy training. Ladies, she is your go to gal!

If you’re not seeing results, or not getting the results you want, it’s time to check if you’re doing the steps of your plan correctly. If so, adjust and start the PDCA process over again.

Your weight loss journey will be rewarding. It will boost your confidence, self-image and help you function better at work, as a wife/husband, father/mother, etc. It will make every part of your life better! Now that you have the basics – GET INTO ACTION!

Physical fitness isn’t all that counts, however. Make sure you’re also working on your Mental Fitness as well. The best program I’ve seen for getting rid of flabby thinking is the Mental Fitness Challenge. It’s kinda like P90X for your brain.

As always, let me know your thoughts down below!

Happy New Year!

Clint Fix

 

Weight Loss as a New Years Resolution – Done Right