Okay, so for a while I’ve been feeling a bit rubbish about myself. Well actually, for the last few years I’ve not felt fully happy with my health and my body. I drink way too much generally and I’ve been drinking even more since in Canada as it basically feels like a holiday.
When I drink, smoking comes. So despite doing some inadequate exercise here and there, my general health feels absolutely crap. Two weeks ago I was walking home from university up a slight hill, wheezing and puffing, and I realized, I’m 20! This is a total joke!
I knew I needed to make a complete change in my life, and that I wanted to feel healthy and happy with myself – both inside and out. So I joined hot yoga classes, which have been totally amazing and I will go more into that in another blog post, but this blog post is going to be about how sensational I have felt whilst hiking.
I’m the sort of person that would never usually enjoy hiking or walking, I’m actually incredibly lazy when it comes to walking anywhere especially when there is effort involved… but I thought I’d give it a try and it has honestly been so refreshing for me.
Last week to start off I went with some friends to Geoffre Lakes hike. The hike was a 4 hour round trip and to make things harder, it was out in Pemberton which is extremely snowy at the moment, so the hike was very tough and slippy.
There are three lakes on the hike, and the further up I got, the harder I found it to breathe (as I have slight asthma) and the more tired I found myself getting. I had given up smoking only 3 days earlier and it was totally taking its toll on my lungs. It was actually ridiculous how much I was puffing and panting and I thought my lungs were going to burst.
I even considered turning back at one point I found it so challenging. But I’m so glad I didn’t. When I reached the top, I have never seen a view like it. It was breathtaking. I felt like I was in Narnia it was a complete winter wonderland. At that point I was like, fuck, I just did that hike and I made it up this hill (despite nearly collapsing) to see such an incredible view that I would probably never experience anywhere else.
It really changed the way I felt about my life. I felt so empowered after it.
I went home that night with such a different take on things. I was so proud of myself for doing what I didn’t think I was capable of.
It was almost an addicting feeling in fact, because today, only a week later, I hiked up the ‘Grouse Grind’ which is one of the most challenging hikes in Vancouver, apparently. I’ve not smoked for around 10 days now, been doing quite a considerable amount of yoga, and I felt ready to take up the challenge.
My legs did not have it.
This hike was verging on too much for me. It wasn’t even so much a hike, but a vertical climb up steps for around 2 miles. It wasn’t the sort of hike that was pleasant that you could speak to your friends on and enjoy the scenery. It was just constant steps.
My friend and I started the hike at 3pm and we were trying to make it up the grind for sunset in order to see the view. The climb took ages. I was worried after a while that I wouldn’t make it up to see the view before it got dark (because it gets dark crazy early this time of year) and I decided to power on as quickly as I could.
I thought, theres no way in hell I’m putting myself through this without having a worth while view at the end. So I pushed past the tiredness and felt like I’d basically became a monkey pulling myself up these stairs as they were so vertical. Eventually, I saw the end, 1 and a half hours later, feeling so tired I felt my heart pounding out my chest, and turned around and saw the most stunning sunset I have ever seen.
The water was like glass reflecting the sky and the clouds were like marshmallows and I looked out at it and thought, oh my god, I cant believe I actually made it up here. I felt so in love with the world at that moment and believed that I can literally achieve anything after that.
I cant even describe how different I feel just two weeks after making this change within myself. It’s nothing too extreme or anything, and I mean, I know I cant do a hike every week of my life, but its definitely something I’m going to take up more. Pushing myself in a way I never usually would and it really made me understand why people push themselves in this way because its so rewarding when you reach the top. And if the view is beautiful, its even better.
Anyway, thats all for today, but a message for you all reading this is is to challenge yourself! Push yourself in ways you don’t think you’re capable of. You will shock yourself and realize how strong you really are. And it feels so good.