Winter Blues and Head Colds

Ugh, busy weekend and got a head cold to boot. Then its been frigid outside on my two days off, but at least I’ve basically gotten over the head cold and head back to work tonight. I got in 22 miles last week, mostly from working 3 nights.

One good thing was I decided to go ahead and buy a Gazelle from Amazon to get me moving on my days off. Between my Mom’s poor health and my need to get in shape for the Camino, this seemed like the best thing to buy to help us achieve our goals. It is low impact, which we both need, but its still a cardio workout and it was a lot more affordable than an elliptical machine. It will be delivered tomorrow, although I work the next 4 days and won’t need it, hopefully my step-dad and I can get it together and Mom can start using it right away. 

On the upside, I am down 4 pounds since the first of the year. And I actually am doing rather well with the calorie counting on the Fitbit. Although last night I slacked off admitting to my late night snacking. Since I work the next 4 days, I’ll do much better as I control my snack options at the bar and am usually too busy to eat much anyway. 


First trip to REI was exhausting!

Ok, I probably had a little too much fun yesterday in KC and was dragging a bit. But I went by REI anyway and tried on hiking shoes and backpacks.

I still think its too early to buy hiking shoes and Laura at REI agreed with me. I told her that I bartend and am on my feet 30-40 hrs a week and right now my main concern is work shoes. I have a nagging pain on the inside top of my right knee and a hip flexor issue on the left. She had me try on a pair of black leather Keens and wow, did they feel good. So I am hopeful that I can resolve those two issues with proper work footwear.

Back packs were another issue, Steve measured me and to my surprise I need an extra small frame. They only had two packs that would fit me properly and once loaded with 18 pounds, I walked about the store and quickly my left hip flexor was aggravated. The first pack (Magenta, yuck) wasn’t the best fit, but when he switched me to the other pack, it did feel better but by then my hip was so sore, it felt sprung again. Oh and I got a different guy after the first walk about, so he agreed with me that maybe I should wait a few more months to pick out a pack and it may not hurt to wait until I have my shoes broke in a bit.

Well at least my concern over the pack is totally justified.


Winter is a hard time to get in shape

Ok, so the weather has not made it easy to be active. I actually went for a hike the other day and got freaked out by what I thought were cougar tracks, internet research has now revealed they most likely were dog tracks. Big cats don’t usually leave nail marks when they are just padding along… very good to know. 

I am averaging 8k steps a day per week, though thanks to my job. I still have very low step days when I’m off work and its too cold to go for a walk. I am eating really healthy and have lost 4 pounds!


Starting point

Ugh, I took my ‘before’ picture and took my measurements… talk about motivation! I did it before work and then worried all night at work because I had a picture of myself in my underwear on my phone, seemed potentially awkward. I have now moved it to a private place and removed from my ‘cloud’ because who wants that floating around in cyber space.

I have been using Fitbit since Tuesday and very happy to see that a typical night at work is worth 10k steps. Last night was dead though so only 6k, but it wasn’t a typical night. Now my main trouble points are my days off, I have got to be more active, but the weather reallys stinks right now, so I need to figure something out.

Spending the next 3 days in KC and curious to see how ‘active’ I can be. Tonight I’m helping at Laura’s restaurant and tomorrow taking my nephew to a KU basketball game. Oh and Monday, I start the 2 wk Lemon Cleanse and diet. I’ve decided the ‘diet’ part will be fruit, smoothies and veggies, because those is the easiest thing to take to work and eat.


Walk Across Spain 2014

2014 is going to be my year of adventure. I am planning an adventure trek to Spain in the Fall of 2014 to embark on the Camino de Santiago (, which is a religious pilgramige to walk across Spain starting in France. People have been walking The Way of Saint James since the 9th Century. There are many paths, but I am planning to walk the Camino Francis.  Image

In 2010, I saw the movie The Way ( and this adventure has been simmering in the back of my mind ever since.

First obstacle- was that I could never get enough time off to do this. I removed this obstacle when I quit my corporate job and moved to the Ozarks to help Mom. Also time to train to do it. 

Second obstacle – was debt and money. I’ve been paying down debt and saving money since I moved down here. so I am slowly removing this obstacle and should be on track to buy my plane ticket in March. 

Third – training and supplies. Other than the occasional short hike to a vista or in a state park, I haven’t ever done a real hike. So I am definitely open to suggestions from any of my hiking friends. And if anyone has anything to loan or donate, I am open to that as well. I won’t be camping, but rather hiking and/or walking from town to town with no camping. 

Why am I going to do this? Well, I’ve waited my whole life to travel and have an adventure and I turned 48 in Dec, so now is as good a time as any. 

What do I hope to gain? Traveling to Spain and spending a month is a major adventure in my world, everything else is bonus. But also the walk is almost 800 km long, so even if I wimp out and take the bus a few times, I will still have walked over 300-400 miles and met people from all over the world. Also, training and completing this adventure will definitely set the tone for 2015, which is also the year I turn 50. I think it will be transformative to hit 50 in good shape and frame of mind. 

 “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” (actual Ghandi quote)

I am planning to do this alone and spend 30-45 days in Spain (If I can afford it, I will stay longer and go to Italy). If anyone is interested in planning this trek, I am happy to share my resources and insights into planning and training for it.

Please consider this your invitation to visit me on the trek. I will spend a few days acclimating/sightseeing before beginning the hike and a few days afterward recuperating/sightseeing. There are many fantastic wineries in Spain and I plan to visit a few of them!