The following is an interview done with one of my friends over email. It was a reluctant interview so the play may be a little choppy here. But it’s a good story. The guy finally had enough of being out of shape and decided to do something about it. He’s a private sort of guy so he chose solitary hiking as his outlet.
I like this story because it is a unity of goal setting, travel, and getting in shape. Good stuff.
My questions are in the headers or denoted by a CW:
What made you want to start hiking last year?
– I had enough. (of everything). Fat to me is potential energy that needs to be turned into kinetic energy for sanity and health.
So why hike?
CW: In opposed to other things – scuba diving & tae kwon do, my gym & swimming, etc?
– I wanted to be outside and not in a group activity. I needed some alone time to gather my thoughts as well as burn calories.
Had you ever hiked before?
CW: I know that you have not camped. How did you get started? Just leave work one day and head to Crowders (local Charlotte mountain)?
– A friend and I went to Crowder’s before my two week vacation. I felt better and slept through the night after that hike. I decided to see what I could change in two weeks.
CW: So, he had been to Crowders before then, huh. I bet you slept well. You were in awful shape before.
How did that first hike go. Any injuries?
– No injuries. Just lots of breaks and sweat.
CW: And then you just hiked Crowders every day for 2 weeks of vacation? Your body could handle that? Mine couldn’t. I miss having feet.
– Just about every day. It was my boot camp. either complete it or die trying (literally).
How did you feel at the end of those 2 weeks?
CW: Did you end up changing your diet, too?
– I felt great. changed diet
So how much weight did you lose those first 2 weeks?
-10 lbs or so. I didn’t really keep track. It wasn’t so much about weight loss versus starting the machine. Getting blood sugar levels leveled during strenuous exercise.
Ever pass out? How did you mitigate crazy blood sugar levels? Snacks?
-I came close. I carried performance sugar drinks as well as peanut butter and jelly. over time I adjusted to where I would take water and food breaks and gave up the sugar drinks.
How did your life change (if at all) when you came back to the rigor and schedule of work?
-I was determined to keep up with what I had accomplished. I was not going to go back to the habits that had made me miserable. I found a way to balance the stress of work with the stress of the new routine, until the routine became part of the normal day.
What do you mean by ‘stress of the new routine?’
-As with all changes it can be stressful. Not getting enough calories at the right time makes some people cranky and emotionally taxed.
What was your biggest challenge after the 2 week vacation?
-Maintaining the intensity of the workout. I had to work, then travel to the mountain for a workout. The schedule put me in late and eating late. The idea that you can’t eat after 7:00pm is bunk. I was eating at 10:00 pm most nights. Calories in and calories out.
CW: Yeah, I can imagine that distance would be an issue.
How did you mitigate it?
CW: I’ve seen your trunk. It looks like you manage very efficiently now. How did that come about?
-I use to carry everything after I left work – a cooler with sugar drinks, sandwiches, power bars and change of clothes. It is mostly trial and error. It started with a big day pack full of stuff. After awhile you finally carry only what you need.
So what essentials are you down to now?
-Water is essential as well as a power bar – just in case the blood sugar levels drop. not as likely now if I have been eating properly. Flashlight if close to dark and bug spray.
I never got to finish the interview as my friend stopped hiking. He’s on to a new quest now; studying German. Still, he’s displaying the same kind of focus pursuing that goal as he did while hiking. And I’d imagine he’s receiving the same benefit as he’s only serving one master.
What do you think? Could you drop 50lbs hiking? Have you ever done something like that? How did you apply those lessons to your next goal?