Climb a Mountain

At Camp Getting Ready to Climb | the beauty in simpleIt’s strange that I don’t workout at a gym since my husband is a personal trainer by profession. In fact, we met at the first gym he was employed at where coincidentally I was the first client he trained. Going against all professional rules, we fell in love soon after on the trails, mountain biking, skiing, and climbing. Our love has been one of adventure with a sweaty dose of adrenaline. My husband’s motto has always been, “work out so you can get out.”

I canceled my gym membership when I became pregnant with our son, choosing to take daily walks instead. Two years later and I still haven’t returned. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that for now I’d rather that time be spent with my family. I still value a strong and healthy body, so instead I incorporate my workouts into my daily living. I expect I’ll return to the gym, but for this season in my life I’m training with what I have, which for today is a 30 pound toddler.Ascent of a Colorado 14er | the beauty in simpleSummer is climbing season for us. In Colorado we have 58 mountains that hover above 14,000 feet. My husband has climbed 47 of those peaks and I’ve climbed 30. It’s our goal to summit them all. Our progress has slowed, but not stopped since the birth of our son. He goes along for the ride, and let me tell you, he’s the best adventure baby one could hope for. Last year my husband carried him up four 14ers, which is no small feat. In case you’re worried for his safety (the baby’s, not my husband’s), I can assure you, we only take him on non-technical routes, achievable distances, and climb on days when there’s no known risk of bad weather moving in.

If you haven’t climbed a mountain so high, I can tell you it can be a challenge. The air is thin, the grades are steep, the terrain is rocky and often unstable. It requires a certain amount of stamina – both physical and mental. More so if your climbing partner happens to be my husband. Even with a child on his back, he scales mountains with such speed and grace that few can match. Never wanting to be the weak link, I push myself hard to keep his pace, often forgoing rest to stay on his heels. A child on his back levels the playing field, but I still have to condition to prepare for these climbs.

Now given that I don’t throw around weights anymore or do sprints on the StairMaster, I have to get creative with my training. While carrying my son on my back, I’m taking long walks and throwing in a bunch of lunges and squats for good measure. May I remind you, he’s 30 pounds. Hopefully my husband won’t get the wrong idea and think I want to carry our son up the mountain.At the Summit of a Colorado 14er | the beauty in simpleI recently shared in an interview my favorite quote, “You can have what you want, or the excuses for not.” I bring it up again, because it would be easy to let excuses fall in the way of doing what I want, which is climbing mountains. A lack of a gym membership, a toddler that supposedly makes it impossible, a husband that doesn’t stop on the trail to even drink would all be viable excuses of why I can’t do it. I’d rather climb a mountain.

10 thoughts on “Climb a Mountain

    1. I think since we started him as a baby, he loves being outdoors and is perfectly content in the backpack taking it all in. Soon enough he’ll be climbing mountains with his own two legs.

  1. I read this a few days ago and the last paragraph has been bouncing around in my head ever since. Forget the excuses, “I’d rather climb a mountain.” Yes, yes, yes.

    1. Since there are no mountains in Chicago (to my knowledge), does that mean you’ll be visiting me in Colorado to climb a mountain? 😉

  2. What beautiful pictures! Your family has brought you so much joy….. I agree, the mountains are an incredible way to exercise not only physically, but without spirit and soul?

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