Snowshoe

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I made my New Year’s resolutions last month so I could get an early start. I had the normal resolutions: lose 10 pounds, work on my upper body strength, improve my diet, cut back on beer and finally spend less time in front of the television. So when a friend invited me to go snowshoeing on January 1st I immediately accepted. What a nice opportunity to start the New Year off on the right foot. This would be a good way to make myself avoid endless hours of football on TV, decrease my beer intake, work on my upper body strength, and maybe start the process to lose a pound or two. It also meant that I would need to be good on New Year’s Eve.

Five of us departed for Estes Park early Tuesday morning. It was a beautiful day and all of us were looking forward to a day in the mountains. One of our leaders checked with Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers and found out the best snow was near Bear Lake. When we arrived at the Bear Lake parking area and exited the car we were greeted by a very cold, brisk wind. I began to wonder if beer and football might have been a better choice.

I had not been on my snowshoes in several years, so I struggled with the straps and getting them on correctly. After about ten minutes I was ready but with frozen hands and feet. The rest of the group was patiently waiting for me.

Once we were on the trail and into the trees I started to warm up. I seem to always forget how much I enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains and once into the woods I began wondering why I am not on these trails more often. The first part of the trail was uphill and at 9000 feet I was struggling a bit but after about 15 minutes my heart rate adjusted and I began embrace the adventure ahead of us.

Being the old guy in the group the others were nice enough to wait for me as I coaxed my body into the challenge. A little rest, a power bar, and some water and I was able to keep up with the group. My thoughts now changed to how lucky I was to be with such great friends enjoying this winter wonderland that is in our backyard.

It was at this time I realized this is exactly what I need to be doing more of to fulfill my resolutions. It actually can be fun. Often our resolutions are viewed as work rather than fun. I realized the challenge is how we can turn fitness resolutions into activities that have a fun factor. If we can find activities that are fun we probably will be more likely to actually gain fitness. I decided there were several facets of this outing that made it fun. First, sharing it with friends, second the chance to enjoy our phenomenal mountains, and finally doing something that I don’t do everyday.
So, be creative and get together with some friends and spend a day in our backyard playground fulfilling those resolutions.

Happy New Year!

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