The Natural World, Daily Prompt – Gate Buttress, UT

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt:  Nature, I reminisce Growing up in Salt Lake City, UT, I was surrounded by so many outdoor natural adventures that as a child, I didn’t even realize were there.  My folks are indoor, watch TV, “don’t you dare try that” kind of people.  As predictable as the meat and potato dinner we would have almost every other night, except for pork chop night on Thursday.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is the east side of the Buttress

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but this is the east side of the Gate Buttress

When I hit my teen years, I began exploring the mountains with my friends Steve and David.  There is a canyon not far from our house called Little Cottonwood Canyon; it is known for world-class skiing at Alta and Snowbird ski resorts, but we were drawn to a little place called Gate Buttress which 20-25 years ago when we found it was a secret world to us.  We discovered huge boulders to climb on or over, trails leading to caves leading to massive granite cliffs.

We would come both in the summer when the heat was pretty bad in the valley and in the winter when there was six feet of snow on the ground to hamper us, but always we would fund our way up to the cliffs and traverse and hike and play.  It was wonderful.  What made this place groovy was that this is where I discovered rock climbing.  We had always seen odd men and women with dreadlocks and smelling funny hiking past us on the trail with ropes and packs and shoes that looked like ballet slippers but we had no idea.

My friend Steve and I found an old rope once while we were up there, frayed, old and weathered; probably measured twenty-five feet or less.  It was used on part of the trail to skirt a cave/crawl and you could hand over hand the rope over a boulder face of fifteen feet.  We both decided we wanted to rock climb and with the fervor of youth bought two army web belts, hiking boots and proceeded to cut the nasty rope.

Schoolroom, my first proto climb EVER

Schoolroom, my first proto climb EVER

We hiked to the cliffs full of ourselves and proceeded up one of the first cliff faces we found.  Steve, always the more gung-ho back then, Snapped the web belt around his waist and tied an overhand square knot around the cheap plastic buckle.  I did the same thing.  Seriously, this is what the other climbers were doing, right?  He began his climb and I felt that something was wrong, that there was something more I should be doing to protect in case he fell.  But he didn’t, he climbed as high as the rope let him, and I began.  More slowly than Steve, I caught up to him and there we were; both on the cliff face about 30 feet up not knowing anything.

Needless to say, we climbed another twenty feet before we realized something was wrong, we became terrified or the powers that be just put some good sense into us and we realized we were in way over our head.  We slowly and meticulously made our way back down the cliff, trembling hands and hearts.  When we were gathered back into our senses, we noticed a pack and a book nearby, I looked at the book and it was a climbing book called “Wasatch Climbing North”, I told Steve we needed that book to learn and find other places; he agreed we should buy it, but for once, I was the more aggressive and decided the boys who this belonged to were probably one hundred feet or more up on the cliff, and would never catch us, so yes, I stole the book.

We eventually learned how to safely climb, buying the right gear and learning technique inside and outside.  I climbed for ten more years until life settled me into a routine that had no time for nature as much, and it breaks my heart.  Currently the Church of Ladder Day Saints owns the mining rights to this buttress and it has not been the same.  I don’t know if I will ever get to share this magical place with my kids.  I have to lose some weight and oil off some rust before I climb again, but just the majesty of this grove, trials and cliff system amaze me to this day.  I found God as a young man in the changing colors of the trees, and friends on the trail.  It is a bond surely felt and discovered by those that have known its magical pull.


The One About Regret (21 / 100)

The ONLY Denali I can afford

The ONLY Denali I can afford

There she is, my passion in better times.  Now she sits out on my porch with a flat gathering dust.  I am ashamed and saddened every time I see her.  i have got to admit, it is become easier to live through the adventures of others than to gt off my own fatass.  That is my new trademarked word, fatass.  There is a mile of difference between wanting and doing, and I am slowly learning that at the pace of molasses being poured out over a straight razor.  Too slowly.  I still end most days with a coke, a smile and maybe a doughnut, CAUSE I EARNED IT.  Lame.

Regret can be real, dangerous and deceiving.  But it can also teach us things.  the act i have only recently learned is that it is best to let go of regrets as soon as possible.  I actually learned it years ago from the friends of Bill W. but it means more to me today than it did in my fledgling sobriety, oddly.

Regrets can run the table from not thinking something through and making assumptions, or telling someone something that you shouldn’t or doing something stupid.  It can be for not doing things either; but we are all human and  we all have our regrets.  In order to heal myself mentally, i am going to list some of mine, in order to purge them from my attic once and for all:

I regret:
Not demanding $1000 up front and a pistol 20 years ago, before he skipped town.  Sonofabitch.
Not calling my dad, dad, until I was an adult
Not being as close to my kids as I should
Not being careerwise where i should
Watching the movies Mama, Last Exorcism and god forbid I am sure I will watch it soon, Last Exorcism 2
Not playing soccer more
Not being athletic
Not following through on my writings 20 years ago
Not riding my bike near enough

Funny thing is, we can look back and say yep, should have gone left but went right.  We always have way better hindsight.  Looking at this list of regrets makes me feel better.  No it is not complete, but looking at these, about 4 of them I can change easy, very easy and that is what I am going to do.

Honestly, I have a long way to go, and i cannot even look how far I have come because I am still in the starting blocks, even 3 weeks into this project.  admittedly, stalling, but not stopping.  Today though, even though I am not showing it, I am happier than I have been in a while.  Namaste.


The One Were I am Amazed (10 / 365)

Chilling after a 10:15 PM workout, cause sometimes that is what it takes (Work)

Chilling after a 10:15 PM workout, cause sometimes that is what it takes (Work)

My wife hates it when I thug up my pic, but I can’t help it, I am a four digit hustler, trying to make racks and stacks, all while swinging new jacks and stuff.  Actually, if you want to see what my life is like, this post over at an up and coming photographer’s website really captures two of the most important things to me, be careful, it is so gangster.

On a serious note, I am amazed and thankful and a little apologetic.  I have a theme for this blog and it is inspiration and motivation and documenting ME to truly learn to appreciate myself through mini posts about my day, with some longer posts spread in for good note on some days (One in the works for tomorrow), I call this my WeightLoss 365:  Sometimes Fitness isn’t Pretty.  Yesterday’s post, 9/365, i actually pulled off of FB, but left on WP for better or worse.  i was trying to be funny, but kind of went the other way from inspiring.  i stand by my work as a whole, so I left it up here, but after re-reading it, I sounded kind of pervey and juvenile.  And that is not the theme of this blog.

Why I am amazed is that after 7 days of working on myself mentally, not eating out and giving a meh effort in the gym (meaning this week I would rate on a 6 / 10 for overall good ness, where before it was a 2 or 3), I have lost 5.6 pounds.  I am amazed and thankfull to my friends and my wife and kids who are letting me learn to put myself at the front again.  You effing rock.


Friday Night Date Night – Married Style

Picture it with me if you will; nine-hundred and fifty square feet if it is an inch, of condo. Three bedrooms, two baths. Children: A grown ass man-teen, an emo tween daughter and the connoisseur of co-sleeping, little princess. Throw in two adults and you can see that my wife and I value our private time. So we have a newly established ritual.

Friday afternoon, sometime around four PM, we lose little-man to either the X-Box or to his friend Ira and most weeks there is Girl Scouts, so Emo-girl goes to scouts (after complaining about it for an hour, and then later referring to her friends there as her BFF’s). So this gives Amanda, Little Princess and I about one and one-half hour to find something to do. A few weeks ago, we realized, the gym (24 Hour Fitness on Wigwam) takes children in care until 8:00 PM. Perfect, and thus Date Night Friday Night Gym night was born. Perfect, almost. Generally her majesty only gives us about thirty to forty minutes to work out, so we have become super efficient.

Last night was a little different. Somehow and in a plot similar to the Manchurian Candidate, Emo-girl recently conned talked Mimi and Mark into taking her and brother to Circus Circus. How she pulled it off, nobody will ever know. Mimi and Mark are my mother and father-in-law, so even though sometimes I would gladly let Emo-girl go with a stranger, they were in good hands. So now we had a whole night to the three of us, which means by little princess count, we were one heavy. But I digress…

So to the gym we went! If you have never worked out with someone, you should try; also, if that other person is a significant other (brother, mother, Jesus or wife for example), it is amazing. We keep it real by only going to the gym together once or twice a week – and we really only work out together on Friday night. Again we value or solitude and this allows us to still be alone, together. We got in a great lower body workout, and little princess was still OK in day care, so Amanda threw down some additional cardio while I kicked it in the dry sauna. Yep, 120 degrees outside my condo is something to bitch about, but 120 degrees in a five by five wooden room with sweaty fat men? A reward.

After the gym, sweaty gross and starving; I mean I could literally eat the ass end of a cow at this point, we thought about our dinner options…

<Interlude> Tara Costa from the Biggest Loser posted on FB the other day, “You cannot train through poor nutrition”. That hit me like bricks. I have been cheating nutritionally and I am able to compensate in the gym. This is another blog post coming some day, but it is relevant to what is about to happen, NOW


Co-Sleeper, Joy Division fan and angry baby turned one 5/17

Co-Sleeper, Joy Division fan and angry baby turned one 5/17

… And decided that we would go to Island Sushi for all you can eat sushi for $26.95. I mean, it was little princess birthday and all. Island Sushi is amazing, it is a little of the 808 in the 702. We have been going here for about eighteen months and they have always been so welcoming and good to us. The food is fantastic, the servers are nice and I recommend island to anyone looking for a great deal for AYCE Sushi in Vegas (how awesome would it be for an AYE sushi place to sponsor a blog whose main theme is weight-loss and triathlon. Awesome balls, and nudge nudge to Island Sushi – I am looking your way for a giveaway).

So that was Friday night Date night and little princess first birthday. I have had some mixed emotions about myself this week but have learned a lot. I can suffice it to say, Damn, it is hard to be 40 and still a man child finding himself. So much I want to do, so little will power right now to do it. But, like I said, I learned a lot about me, Amanda, my communication, my sense of humor and my desire this week. So, since I ate like a starving prisoner last night, I close with breakfast this morning Much love, mahalo for stopping by.

Scarmbled Egg with siracha, Toast (unbuttered) and freshly ground Peruvian blend coffee (thanks Bellina!)

Scrambled Egg with Siracha, Toast (un-buttered), four strawberries and freshly ground Peruvian blend coffee (thanks Bellina!)