I am Free
This silly mantra of mine had me almost literally skipping down the side of Horsetooth Rock today with a giant smile on my face. Breathing exercises are hugely underrated but this shit has been so good for me since the beginning of the year. For real, even when I am hiking I sometimes say this while breathing to, well, make sure that I’m taking full breaths and actually breathing. I use it when I’m climbing, when I’m stressed out at work, or when I’m going to bed for the night. It’s amazing what breathing consciously can do for you and your mind.
ANYWAYS, breathing recommendations over, moving on…
I went for a hike up to Horsetooth Rock today to break in my new trail running shoes. Sigh, I wish there was a 6 3/4 shoe size, but custom made shoes aren’t quite in the budget yet. They still worked great, and were properly broken in on snow, ice, mud, dirt, and rocks.
The start of the hike was warm (it was 60 degrees in Fort Collins today!) with a snowy trail. It got chillier the further up I went, but it was still beautiful out. I booked it to the top. I don’t actually know how fast I went because Fitbit started to track the hike on the other side of the reservoir, nowhere near the actual start of the hike (so weird, maybe the wind had an impact on it?). But, this gave me time to sit at the top, take my time, and enjoy the view. I had a lot of fun climbing up on the rock. It’s the first rocky hike I’ve been on since I’ve been climbing at the gym and it was a lot of fun to picture the rock as the climbing wall and figure out where my feet and hands should go. Once at the top it was pretty windy, but still enjoyable to sit, relax, and snack.
The way down was also a lot of fun. I ran some of the sections that weren’t slick to test out the new shoes, and it was pretty exhilarating to build up momentum going down. In the end, the hike was about five miles (even though my map said differently). It went by pretty quick, but it felt great to get out, push myself, and enjoy the fresh air.
I was also reminded of how freaking grateful I am to have so many amazing people in my life, and to have been lucky enough to be able to catch up with four of them in person throughout these past two months even though we live spread out: Fort Collins, Milwaukee, Greeley, and Panama. So, here is a group picture of all of us from a sunrise hike we did up to Horsetooth during our last month of all of us living in Fort Collins circa summer 2013.
This week is my climbaversary! In January I took a climbing 101 class at a local gym, met a fellow badass lady, and we’ve been keeping up with climbing ever since. It’s been a blast to push myself, play around, and learn how to trust a climbing partner and my own self. Today we messed around (our shits and giggles routes) on 5.9s, which is harder than what we’ve tried so far. It was physically challenging but so much fun. I belly laughed while trusting my body many feet in the air. It’s been so good to play around with heights, with strength, and with trust.
Happy trails, my friends.