The One Where I Go See a Waterfall

Who has two thumbs and loves these jags?  This guy!

Who has two thumbs and loves these jags? This guy!

Mary Jane Falls.  Is it named after an unfortunate hiker that met her end in a terrible fall from the cliff above, or in an unrelated and just as unfortunate circumstance did a vagabond hiker drop his dimebag?  Who will ever know, the mystery will continually remain for generations as to how this hike got its name, but there is a waterfall at the end, so that makes it worthwhile.

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The trail up and back as shown on Alltrails, available on Google Play and Apple Store

The hike is about twenty and one-half miles up Mt. Charleston’s main road, Kyle Canyon Road, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I call this the Other Vegas as there is way more to do here than gamble, drink and puke.  The route is advertised as a 2.4 out and back trail – for the life of me, I have always thought that meant round-trip, but I have discovered this is not true, that at least in this case, is a one way mileage.  There is also an 2000 foot +/- elevation gain set over the course of several switchbacks and ‘stairs’.  it is mostly unexposed, but the higher you get, the more exposure there is – along the way there are several places to stop and take a sit or take a breather for those of us still working to be the macht wanderer.

This is a family friendly trail, however, my youngest was DONE by the time we were within a quarter-mile of returning to the trail head.  Finally this trail is also pet friendly, but please pick up the dog shit!  There were several turd piles petrifying in the sun, with swarms of nasty ass flies, so please, pack it out.

The gang of evil family I suspect of trying to kill me.

The gang of evil family I suspect of trying to kill me.

I was a bit unprepared for this trail based on the description I had read, and feedback I received an hour before I began this hike.  I forgot to mention, this was a Father’s Day hike which made it all the more special and my kids did a great job.  I, admittedly, threw a little tantrum about two-thirds up and was going to head back – but after a few moments of introspection, tears and a small heart attack, I sucked it up and said damn the heart attack that was looming and pressed on.  It was worth it, very much worth it.

It was a joy to get to the falls and spend a pleasant twenty to thirty minutes being misted by the falls (this time of year it is a bit of a trickle, but it is still there).

A view of the trail.  Or, the Bataan Death March, not sure yet.

A view of the trail. Or, the Bataan Death March, not sure yet.

I was also enjoying the  people watching as this is a very, very popular trail and I saw all sorts of people on this trail from families in over their head, to people I would never have suspected as hikers in my life.  My two favorite groups were the two classy ladies all inked up (I like ink) with the tank top, “Bitches, Blunts and Bath Salts”, oh yes, a few of their favorite things.  The other group was the family on their way up we met while descending who asked, “Did you all make it all the way”?, which we replied, proudly, “YES!”.  The main murder suspect My Wife overheard them murmur, “If those people can do it, so can we”.  What the hell was that supposed to mean?  I had my REI trail pack, my bandana, my flannel shirt and goatee.  I was in my element. These people had no idea!

Yes, I fell prey to the obligatory foot shot so popular on Instagram.

Yes, I fell prey to the obligatory foot shot so popular on Instagram.

Another group i should mention were the two mid-life ladies descending toward us who mentioned at the eight-tenth mile marker that we were “Almost There” (A lie that all descending parties shared with us, probably with a chuckle.  How evil are these people?  Must be from Alabama).  Then as they left a switch-back, performed 20 body weight fully packed squats.  Crossfit Hiking?  Hooollly shit.  I mean, isn’t it enough to hike up and down a hill without performing ADDITIONAL exercised?  I watched them as we rounded the ten-thousandth switch back and they did this every. damn. time.  Wow, I was inspired and kind of revolted at the same time.

The kids playing in the falls

The kids playing in the falls

At the top, we got to spend some time as a family enjoying the sun, the mist, the view and squirrels who apparently think Cliff Bars are a delicacy.  I apologized to my family for the tantrum, they were all kind and forgave me.  It was pretty amazing, the journey, not just the hike that day but the entire journey this family has taken.  This twenty-minute reprieve was deserved and earned by this family.  We literally have been trough the ringer mentally, physically and emotionally and if my wife and kids were not as strong as they are, I may have given up entirely by now and be quite dead.  i love them for the gifts they give me every day.  my wife and I are falling deeply in love all over again, and that is an

These two jags getting along for the first time in months.  Emo and the ManBun

These two jags getting along for the first time in months. Emo and the Man Bun

amazing feeling.  Last year at this time, i would not have even dared make the drive up there, let alone hike this son of a bitch.  I am grateful that i was able to share this quiet moment in reflection with my new squirrel friends.  I forgave my family instantly for trying to kill me this day.  They have suffered a buffoon for a few years and they know I am back on my game so this hike was good on many levels.  Oh yes, i forgot the mention the blatant racism that runs rampant at the terminus of the hike.  A white couple was trying to take a picture of the falls while an African-American man  (on his first hike?), was filling his water bottle and was in their photo, Mr. White turned to Mrs. White and said, “Just tell everyone you ran into Snoop Dog”.  Wow, really?  How bad id it that this is so offensive?  Its Snoop Lion good sir, Snoop Lion.

Some kind of lean too or teepee built at the eight tenth mile marker

Some kind of lean too or teepee built at the eight tenth mile marker

With the breaks and the wee one, this hike was a good hour and forty-five minutes up, as the pace was set by my little girl, who by the way is a monster hiker and connoisseur of poop piles and every damn rock on the trail, and a little over an hour and fifteen minutes back down.  All in all, i loved this hike even though it nearly killed me and even today I am wearing Camden Gear compression sleeves; but it was the first hike of the season for me, and the first hike in three years, so what was I going to expect?  i am doing this hike next week with some old friends from my previous lame life, and I am excited to share one of their favorite trails and share love and fellowship of nature with them,

The one major problem with this hike, and a lot of them in Las Vegas is that they are all hikes on rocks, as if hiking a dried up creek bed,  I was in good, solid boots and it started to suck so my poor family in their tennis shoes were definitely feeling it, but we carried on.  i certainly recommend this hike, just be prepared for some heat, soe steep switch-backs, dog poop and please do not force march your three-year old like i did, I feel kind of shitty about that, but at the end of the day, she did hug me, tell me she had so much fun and that I was her best friend.  Then we all promptly fell asleep.  I love my life.

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Love, 5:30 AM Style

I am just going to jump right in.  It has been some time since I posted in this blog; I thought sincerely about starting a new blog with a whole new name, but this blog is a perfect testament to the man I was and the road I was at tyrannically fighting against myself.  It is full of plans and goals and ‘motivation’, but ultimately it is filled with self-deception. Pleae feel free to look back over my soul as you want.

In February, I nearly died. Weighing in at just north of 417 pounds, I stopped breathing and had to be intubated.  Luckily, this happened while at the hospital already for a broken and split toe.  9 days later, I had a decision.  Continue on the path I had been or stop always junk talking and actually do some shit about it.

Currently I am at 296 pounds and coming off of a small back step week.  I have learned this week that it is very easy to let mediocrity slip back in when you lose focus even for a moment.  Those individuals like Mia Hamm, Michael Jordan, Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton, Jack Donaghy, Kermit the frog and the list goes on and on, stay on focus nearly 100 % of the time, never losing track of what they want and are willing to sacrifice all else to get there.

I am not there, yet – But I am working at it, so I put this little slip back to bed and I start today, Father’s Day, with a Goddess blessing for all fathers and people who struggle; may joy find you today and may it manifest in your thought, word and deed one hundred fold.  Thanks dad, for everything you are and everything you taught me, sorry it took 35 years to sink in.

Peace my friends, peace and love.

Top of his game, baby!

Top of his game, baby!

The One Where I Am Small (42 / 365)

Hello Kitty, meow.  Wow, I am a dork.

Hello Kitty, meow. Wow, I am a dork.

Small victories.  In life we have choices, my boss likes to say arbitrary things like “Chose the hill you want to die on”, especially when I am asking for something at work, or when he is defending our work.  It implies a large battle, the opposite of a small victory.  What is the difference between a major and a minor victory?  Not as much as you’d think.

Weight loss for one is an ongoing string of small victories.  It is fighting for each pound and recognizing EVERY choice you make impacts that line. It is knowing that you are in it for life and the race may never end, you may have to run this marathon the rest of your life.

Thinking of weightless as a large victory means you are on a diet, and chances are, you probably will gain it back.

Small victories commonly have huge payoffs, big rewards in emotional well-being and satisfaction, even if sometimes it is a little smug.  Early on in my weight loss, I would turn down alcohol or cake for example, and wonder why I was better than those around me.  The smugness wore off, but the feeling of pride that I was able to maintain my choices made me feel awesome.

That became my problem.  For me, three years ago now, I knew that I just had to move and stop eating pizza every day.  I did it for a week and it was a small victory that felt huge.   I started putting together strings of these little wins and realized I was creating a big win.  But then my focus became like a gambler.  If you have ever gambled or been addicted to gambling big, you will know this feeling.  Why bet $1.00 and win $1-$2 at a time, if I bet $50, I will win $50. 

That is how my weight loss turned, I stopped cheering for my small victories like my ex-wife’s jaw dropping when she saw that I had lost over 110 pounds when we bumped into each other, or, the first day I was able to ride my road bike all the way to work and home and I didn’t feel like dying.  These were huge in reward and payoff, but still little wins.  I traded them in though for the big win, and I crapped out. 

I LET life happen to me and allowed myself to accept loss, and chose poorly.  I am fat again solely on the bad choices I have made for the last twenty months.  It is time again to relish and love the small rewards, and in fact love ALL of the small things in my life, again.  It is getting in the pool and swimming four laps in good form.  It is finishing out a 40 minute indoor bike ride.  Hell at this point, I will take showing up at the gym as a small victory.

I just told my wife I needed a small win, and she asked what kind.  I hope this answered her.  It is now my responsibility to go get it.

Namaste.

 

 

The One Where I am Hardly Routine (39 / 365)

I brew my own, but love Starbucks cups, I am a junky

I brew my own, but love Starbucks cups, I am a junky

Here I am, like Burroughs, a junky to my own routine.  Sunday mornings are awesome to me, it is like the twilight of the day where the light is golden.  I know that within 24 hours, the work-a-day grind begins again, but I fight for my last hurrah with coffee and internet in hand.  It is my routine.

Some routines are good, like washing your funky self, brushing your teeth and loving – a lot of routines are good, as long as they do not consume you every waking moment like working out, drinking, etc.  Some are just bad.

WHAT ROUTINES IN YOUR DAILY LIFE WOULD YOU CHANGE?

This week I will trade routine for unexpected opportunity and laziness for work (on myself).

Namaste

The One Where I am 10% (36 / 365)

Early morning loving

Early morning loving

Actually 9.86%, but who is counting?

I posted yesterday about being in a hurry, and I am going to continue on that thread.  Today, my wife and I woke up really early, and so did everyone else it appears.  I have been thinking I am behind, if that is possible, in my weight loss and I need to hurry things up.  That is preposterous.  Indeed, I am a not doing everything I can do right now to get to where I want to be in 329 days, but I have time; but it must start today.

I find that if you try to hurry your weight loss or have TOO lofty of a weight loss goal, you will lose weight but it comes back – the Yo-Yo effect.  Also, skinny is not fit.  I am looking to be fit.  I want to have the body I need to do triathlon, surf, bike, run, play with my kids and hike the shit out of these here mountains.  I don’t need to be skinny, I need to be healthy and fit.

I am not in a hurry, not should I be.  I am hoping to average 2.5-3 pounds weekly over the course over the year.  of course at first i will be losing more like 5-6 pounds, but that tapers off pretty damn fast, and that is something not to hurry.

I am also not in a hurry to see these two girls grow up.  Sooner than later, they will be driving, dating, marrying, get pregnant, etc.  I do not think my heart is ready for that.  Today diapers, tomorrow a shotgun.  These are two of the many reasons for me that I want to lose weight.

Namaste.

The One Where I am Hurrying (35 / 100)

Fine line between crazy and sexy

Fine line between crazy and sexy

Here again, I find myself five minutes to midnight, barely waking up to post.  Short and sweet like me, Autumn and Danny Devito tonight.  Keep thinking good thoughts, sharing that positive energy and forgive me my near miss, and those scary, scary ass eyes.

Namaste, friends.

The One Where I am a Perve Warrior (33 / 365)

Awww yeah, this one be for the ladies

Awww yeah, this one be for the ladies

It looks a little like my mug shot.  Actually my wife was taking pictures of me and I was trying to look sexy.  Eek.  There is so much about myself I still do not like, even though I am working on it, and mirrors and pictures are taboo (hence the nexus of this project) in my house for me.  I use words like loathe, and ill as adjectives when I should be using words like progress, love and hope.  I will continue to work out, and I am so thankful to have true friends around me who want me to change for me, because they know I can be the best me I can, still.

Inspired by some around me and a TV episode I watched recently Amanda and i have decided we are going to travel to Phoenix and run the Warrior Dash on April 12th.  It is 9 months away, and I have a lot of work to do, so I am ging to sign off, finish these chicken fingers get some sleep and go to the gym.  hey, I never said I was perfect.

Namaste.