Two summers ago, Dad and I spent a week backpacking through the Beartooth Mountains in Montana. It was my first "real" camping experience, and while it was a ton of fun, it was also a lot of work. Every morning, we would get up, eat breakfast, pack up our stuff, and hike anywhere from 5-10 miles to the next campsite. 5-10 miles might not sound like that far to walk, but when you are carrying 40+ pounds on your shoulders while doing it (or closer to 90 if you're Dad!), it's quite the challenge.
There were times on that trip I honestly thought I was going to pass out and die. It was hot. There were bugs. My scalp itched from not washing my hair in days. We'd be going up-hill and I would just stop in the middle of the trail and refuse to go any further. "You're going to have to hike out by yourself and come back for me with a stretcher," I'd yell up to Dad. The heavy backpack was the worst. It made me feel so weighed down. So trapped. Each step a challenge.
This is my 'I'm attempting to look happy when I really want to die' smile
But every afternoon, somehow, we'd make it to camp. And when I finally got to unstrap my backpack and let the weight fall off my shoulders, that was one of the best feelings I've ever felt. Strangely...light. Walking felt about a thousand times easier, effortless. Like I was floating on air.
That is how I've felt since January 1st. Light as a feather.
The awful weight of the last eight months was starting to drag me down, almost to the point where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get back up again. I was trying to make it up this huge hill with pound upon pound of sadness, disapointment, anger, jealously, and bitterness on my shoulders, weighing me down, and it just wasn't working. I felt like I was back in Montana, sitting on a rock, swatting horseflies away from my face, crying out that I just couldn't go any further.
No more. I've made a conscious effort to unload a lot of the dead weight I've been hauling around. I've decided to throw it off my back, and I've left it in back in 2010. This new year, this fresh start, it's like arriving at camp.
Since January 1st, I've been focusing on me. I've been eating incredibly healthy (I haven't eaten any processed foods or a can of soda in over a week!). I've been doing Zumba every day (it's this super fun, super intense booty-shaking latin dance workout I do on our Playstation3, see embarrassing pic below). I've been making more of an effort to get out of the house and do the things I love (like taking pictures and spending time with my friends). I've even been waking up early enough to actually blow-dry and straighten my hair.
The controller in the belt around my waist tells the Zumba game how much I've moving my hips ('Nice Hip-Action!'), pretty cool!
I feel so much lighter (and that's not just thanks to the four pounds I've lost since the new year, which wasn't the point of all this, but I'll gladly take!) I feel renewed. Refreshed. Ready to take on the world again.
My 'America's Next Top Model' pose, to show off my straightened hair :)
This is gonna be a good year, I can feel it. Bring it on, 2011, this time I'm not stopping mid-hike for anything.
I miss you, Baby, and love you even more.