I used to be extremely active. One season of my life I was training for my third half marathon while completing the Insanity DVD’s, and this was completely normal for me. I was never not doing something intense. Then I lost my period, and it would take another few years for me to realize perhaps it’s time to take things down a notch.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the euphoria that comes from an extreme cardio session, but my body has been trying to tell me to take it down a few notches and I’ve chosen not to listen. It amazes me how loud and clear our bodies will communicate to us if we listen, the problem is that we’re usually so focused on other things we don’t hear the warning signs.
The go go go mentality comes into play for me whenever I go for a hike as well, the mountain has to be bigger and badder than the one before or I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. The mountains aren’t close to me, so I’ve always had a certain rule when choosing trails.
My rule is that when it comes to a hike, I need the time spent on the trail to be longer than the time it took to drive there. On average, it takes me about two hours to get to a good hike meaning the actual hike will ideally take 3 hours or more. This means the trail needs to be at least 7 miles RT or more.
I realize how ridiculous this all sounds. I can’t say all my marbles are straight, but I’m actively working on pushing them closer together in a somewhat uniformed line. I don’t hike as much these days in an attempt to re-balance my body (still no consistent periods, but I feel we’re getting closer) and I really don’t enjoy running so that had to go too, but if I find a friend to tag along on a hike I’ll go.
Before setting off to conquer Lake Angeles, I found myself slipping into old habits. Originally when my friend asked if I wanted to go for a hike, I got onto the Washington Trails website to find a big and bad hike to conquer. I must also mention I’m not at all in the shape I was when I was running half marathons and doing Insanity, meaning big bad hikes are more painful than enjoyable these days.
I originally chose a different trail to explore. Higher elevation, and longer distance. Because, why not. I woke up at 3am the morning of the hike with a lump in my stomach telling me this was not the trail I wanted. I was dreading the adventure, and that’s no fun. I remembered that I’m trying to respect my body and not destroy it, and made the change to Lake Angeles last minute.
At 7.4 miles RT with an elevation gain of 2350′ this was more than enough. It kicked my out of shape butt in all the right ways. This also happened to be the week that Washington was hit with a shitton of smoke that was pushed our way from the BC wildfires, as you can see in all of these photos, so taking it easy was ideal.
The smoke gave me terrible headaches. I can’t imagine what it was like in Canada.
The point of this post is to remind me, and to encourage you to listen to our bodies. When things are out of balance it’s for a reason and the only way to know is to slow down and listen. It’s a challenge for those of us with obsessions or addictions to certain lifestyles, but without challenges we will never grow.
We are constantly bombarded with people telling us that we are lazy if we don’t want to workout, or unhealthy if we want to eat the cake, but at the end of the day only you know what’s best for your body and soul. For too long I told myself I was lazy if I didn’t go for a run, or climb a bigger mountain, but you can only force something for so long before the joy is zapped from it.
Hiking is meant to bring peace and calming (with some blood flow) and satisfy my urge for exploration. It shouldn’t be just a way to sweat. I’m reminding myself to stop and smell the roses, not just view them from the top. Hiking is so much more enjoyable when you savor the journey, and it just so happens this is a metaphor for life too.
Rest if your body tells you to rest, move if your body tells you to move, eat the cake if your soul tells you to eat the cake, or avoid the cake if your body tells you the sugar is not working for you. Listen to your body, it’s smarter than any media article or science guru combined. The key is learning what to listen for.
Life is not about perfection, all we can do is strive to improve who we are today from who we were yesterday. Just be sure to give yourself grace along the way.
Q: What activities are you not enjoying lately that you used to love? For me it’s running. So now I bike!
62 thoughts on “Lake Angeles”
Gorgeous shots! Looks like a beautiful hike! 💚
It was great!
Bottom line: you do you, and I love it. Also looks like a nice way to spend the day (and that rule totally makes sense to me! Why drive longer than hiking?)
Haha right?! I mean a walk in a local park for a short time is one thing, but hiking is like a day trip for me!
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
yes girl; it’s so important to listen to your body. like you, I also experienced the loss of my period due to extreme activity so i had to dial it back. it’s back to normal (for the most part) but damn, that was a tough period in my life (no pun intended).
I never thought I’d WANT it back. Hahaha. But oh boy do I!
I will have to check out that hike; it looks beautiful! And a good reminder that what we spend our free time doing should bring us joy, not misery.
Agreed! And it’s a lovely trail
“Rest if your body tells you to rest, move if your body tells you to move, eat the cake if your soul tells you to eat the cake,,,” LOVE THIS…now I will try to listen. Most physical activities are harder or painful since I broke my leg 6 years ago, but PT at least made most of them possible. Sometimes it’s just the fear of re-injuring myself that causes me not to push as hard.I try to be grateful that I can hike, bike, etc at all. Thanks for sharing your day with us.
Thank you for reading! I can imagine it would be hard to ever go all in after breaking a leg!
Hey Brittany. I’m just in the last week of an eight week interval training regime. I feel loads better for it but my legs are saying enough…looking forward to the next boot camp challenge soon which seems more about upper body…
Excited for you to give your legs a rest! Well done!
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
Great post, such a good reminder to listen to your body! I totally know what you mean, because I’m the exact same way… but over the last couple of years I’ve tried to balance out those hardcore intense workouts with rest days, and there are days when I just go for a long walk with my dogs and that’s enough. Or I do yoga on the beach and it’s exactly what my soul needs! Sometimes we get so caught up with this idea of what we “should” do or what a work out “should” be but there really are no rules. We “should” do what feels good that day, and we can all benefit from listening to our bodies and honoring what just feels right!
Preach girl!!! Exactly. I am living for long walks these days! ❤🙌🏻
Ah back onto the topic of grace. I struggle with potentially giving myself too much grace if such a thing can be possible. It’s almost like giving grace has become my excuse and I’m taking baby steps (pun intended) to change that.
I think this photos are beautiful and we will go for a hike when you’re in Cleveland. My rule of thumb is short, sweet, and manageable. Good thing you’re stuck with me and vice versa. 🙂
We balance each other. ❤❤
AMEN!!! This is so totally me with workouts too… And I have to remind myself just about every time that I don’t need to set a new PR during every workout. 🙈 I used to love running long distances, but I actually gave it up 2+ years ago. I tried doing short HIIT sprints for a while, and I mostly liked them… But then the “PR every time!” mentality took over, so I quit that too. 😜 But over the past 2 years, I started lift (baby weights, mind you!), and I love love LOVE it!!
I NEED to do weights. I hear NOTHING but good things. Cardio is making my body angry!
Girl, I LOVEEEEE it!! I started with a free workout guide on BodyBuilding.com. Hang on, lemme find it… Okay, this one! https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html (Feel free to text me if you want to talk about it!! 😘)
I did it at home BUT that’s because my dad has a Bowflex (and I bought one for myself when I moved!). Now, my only cardio is going for a 30-minute walk every day to clear my head and meditate a bit. I absolutely LOVE weights and would never go back to pure cardio!
I have been going to my gym and doing 30 ish minutes on a myriad of weights. I keep the reps around 30, but will continue to build up!!
I understand the period thing. I have a problem with punctuation myself.. 🙂
I envy the path you are shown walking on. All but a few of the hiking trails I have done are strewn with big (often sharp) rocks and tree roots. Give me a smooth path any day.
Long ago when I ran marathons, a running buddy told me that he wouldn’t bother to run unless he had time to do at least 5 miles. It actually was a sensible rule.
My ride today was an easy, flat meander in the rain through the area near home. I needed to let my body slowly recover from two hard efforts over the weekend. It was meditative and relaxing.
Now about that cake…..
That sounds like a great ride! Cake at the end would make it perfect!
I attempted a race this part weekend and pulled my sciatic nerve. I had already done a big week of training, feeling so good, and I pushed it and stepped wrong, slowing my pace to a very painful hobble. I dropped at 24 miles, crying the last 4. I overdid it because I was having such a good time running and find it hard to reign myself in. Obviously I still have to work on this, as I’m certainly not running at the moment =P I also need to remember that I work on my feet all day. That is training, even if it doesn’t seem like it 🙂
Time for cake!
I had forgotten how much being on my feet all day was working my legs until I came back to barista life! My first few shifts my legs were so sore! 😂
Sending healing thoughts your way, I can imagine it’s never easy to stop during a race. ❤
Good for you for stopping (eventually). I know it is hard. I’ve run a 53 miler 3 times and twice it has beaten me. I’m going back again this year with better and more consistent training.
That’s the thing about failing:gives us a chance to learn and do better next time.
Which 100 mile race in NM? I live in Albuquerque and I’m a glutton for punishment.
The perfect line…..”Just be sure to give yourself grace along the way.” And yes, I ate cake for dessert tonight. With age comes wisdom! 🙂
You eat that cake! 🙌🏻❤
Progress not perfection.
well done friend and you got some beautiful scenery that you would have missed if you had tried to challenge yourself.
Thanks for sharing!
Much truth! It was great to take it slow!
I am hoping your period comes soon! Our bodies are SO SMART and SO ANNOYING at the same time. It is definitely hard to listen to them. You’ve mentioned it a million time on here, but stress plays such a huge roll and being able to do something you love like hiking certainly helps all aspects of your life. Foe me, being able to run through these last 2 infertility treatments has made a WORLD of a difference. I’m a much calmer, rational, happy person, despite the crazy hormones. I’m much less stressed and that has helped a lot. Reading your posts helps, too. They bring me tranquility and peace I read your wisdom and see the amazing images ❤
You are too sweet, I love your comments! If only we weren’t human and could be aliens that never had stress. Hahaha. But also ate donuts. Alien eating donuts.
I can totally relate! I notice major changes in my running performance a few days before I get my period. Like, I’ll be so sluggish, mentally and physically exhausted, and even running 2 or 3 miles feels like a heavy burden. It can be frustrating, but at least it’s (sort of?) a pattern, so I can kind of know when to expect it.
Yes! Honor the fatigue haha! I get that it can be frustrating though, I was the same way.
Christina Does It All
I hear you. I have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses too.
Lovely pictures, friend!
Thank you! ❤ we’re all in this together. HSM style.
Christina Does It All
HSM style hahahaha yassss
Soooo here’s the thing…there’s a 90% chance I’ll be moving to Seattle next month (!!!!!) and I need you to show me all the spots and take me on your hikes and help my ass get up a mountain. :)))))
YASSSSSSOMFGGGG. I don’t live in Seattle, but we can go on alllll the adventures still!
Lindsay Patricia Edwards
YES YES YES <333
Your pictures are gorge… as usual. Yup, I was near those fires in BC and it was no fun! – Kat
Ugh, I’m so sorry you had to be so close!
Oh wow, I loved this post and needed to hear every word! I’m also the type of person who likes to go go go and push myself to the max. I’m always trying to remind myself to listen to my body and slow down a bit. Sometimes being “healthy” means to NOT exercise so much and to sometimes eat the cake! I love all of your pictures and reading about your adventures!
We always seem to be on the same page! Thank you friend. ❤❤
These pictures are gorgeous! I loved this post. I think it’s super fun to look back on and recognize patterns of much movement both mentally and physically and when things have been a lull in the past, and remembering how I felt in both places. I’m glad you’re finding yourself some balance and recognizing what you need. ❤
Movement sure is fascinating! As well as psychology.
So much YES and head nodding to this post. Why is it so hard to just listen to our bodies?! Crazy. I’m glad you are enjoying the journey as you hike, and in life! These photos are gorgeous, even with the smoke!
Our bodies are so much smarter than our minds.
YAY! Glad to hear you are loving ur bike lately!! That’s my fav thing to do….although I recently almost got hit by someone who I don’t think was paying attention (hard to tell because all the windows were tinted) so that sort of scared the crap out of me making it a lot less fun and more stressful to commute to work. It’s crazy because it made me realize that even though I can do everything right (have lights on my bike, wear bright colors, signal my turns) something can happen so fast that could have been really bad….
OH LORD, I would have been terrified if I were you. I’m sorry you had to deal with that shitty driver!
Glad you’re listening to your body and doing what you need for you. Enjoying the journey and taking care of yourself is so much the right thing to do. It’s something I’m always working on too! Let’s keep working on it.
Preach my friend. ❤
I posted on your isolation post that we’re twins. After also seeing this post again, yep we are. The “funny” thing is that as I sit here in massive digestive h*ll yet again and just stressed myself out watching YouTube testimonials about diets that are opposite from each other…I gave up and said I don’t know WHAT to eat anymore (vegan is a must for me…but the type of vegan is the issue). Then you popped into my head and I came here to your blog…to see you say: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. IT’LL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. — On another note, so glad you are following what makes you happy in life. I’m 51 now and have mostly done work I hate.
It’s an ongoing process for me, I try to take each day as it comes and just keep as positive as I can! I’m certain part of my problem is my mindset, and the stress of BEING stressed is causing more harm than good. We really are very similar. ❤
Gorgeous shots! Listening to your body sounds easier said than done — I’m glad you listened to yours 🙂
Nicole @ http://www.bentomomentos.wordpress.com
I definitely agree, some days it’s easier than others! 🙂
I agree- listening to your body is key. I’m glad you were still able to go on the hike and enjoy it 🙂
It was a fun trip!
SOOOO I miss you and love reading what you’re up to (even if this months old) I can picture myself with you or perhaps its just the fond memories from our camping trip!
Lets adventure soon! ❤
Pleasssee. Love you/miss you. ❤️