"After a dad n lad trip to Banff with my son this past summer, l set a goal for myself to be ready to return to backpacking for the 2015 hiking season. I have not hiked in the mountains in over thirty years but l do remember the aches, pain, panting, and wheezing. l doubt the hills have gotten less steep, nor the distance less distant, but l do know that l have gotten older, fatter, and not all of my parts are in showroom condition. In transforming myself from a before to an after, my plan was simple, BE MORE ACTIVE!!!
That started off with my darling Wife finding me a second hand push mower which helped turn yard work into excercise. I also started walking more, then added a step counter app to my phone, which gave me an added incentive to keep moving. At the time of this writing, l am 1,245,458 steps closer to yodelling along a mountain path. Prior to this, the majority of my steps were on the gas or on the brakes. My walking led to a renewal of family walks through the many paths and trails in the neighbourhood. Winter has slowed much of our spontaneosus walking, so thank God for snow, as shovelling the drive way accounts for 3000 steps per dump. I also took out a gym membership and developed a routine that l have been able to stick with. Normally l would have bailed on all of this activity at the first sign of hockey, but the byproducts of this activity are too positive to ignore.
For starters, l began losing weight. I have always struggled with my weight, so when it started dropping, it got my attention. Then l began to pay more attention to my diet which also led to more weight loss. Reduction in my daily meds, increased energy, mental alertness (though that might really be me being smug more so than alert), plus me thinking l look better in clothes than l probably do are some of the other positives that have helped keep me going. As of today l am still a few months away from cranking up the John Denver on the iPod as l fill up my senses with the sight and smell of pine. The progress that l have made to date keeps me focused on what l have yet to do. Even if for some reason l am unable to walk a long distance uphill carrying a mules load so l can sleep on hard lumpy ground and eat salty glue with styrofoam from a foil wrapped bag, I have already conquered my own personal Mount Everest."
- Barry M., 55
Edmonton, Alberta Canada