Around my birthday, Jeff and I decided it was time to get fit. For each of us, this was going to be a somewhat difficult task. I had a lot of weight to lose (upwards of 75 lbs) and he has a considerable physical disability which precludes certain types of activities, such as traditional free weights or running. I also have exercise-induced asthma, which was only recently diagnosed, so I am learning to read the signs of my body to know when I need to use my inhaler. 

Our first few forays back into hiking have been difficult to say the least. It took me two tries to summit Tiger Mountain in Issaquah. The review said it would be a light, easy walk, and so we decided to give it a go after walking the boardwalk in the Nisqually Basin. I didn't have my inhaler, because it was a light activity day. Halfway up the marbled back of the beast, I couldn't breathe and we turned around. It took me a month of training and my trust inhaler to make it to the top, but the views were breathtaking! (Maybe I'll post a blog entry on that another time.)

The second hiking adventure was up Pilchuck Mountain. A friend of ours recommended, but neglected to mention how grueling it was. Armed with pain killers and inhaler, we crested that big boy in a single day, but we now vow to never do it again. Pardon my language, but we now refer to it with dread as "Fuck Chuck" Mountain. This was the mantra that sustained us on the weary trudge back down the mountain. 

The fourth time around, we prepared. We bought the Creaky Knees Guide and looked for the closet, easiest trail we could find within the range of our mutual capabilities. Hello, Barclay Lake! 

Much of the forest is covered in felled trees until you get to the lake and the beautiful camping areas that surround it. I thought it would be a grand old idea to bring home a pine cone, until I discovered it was leaking sap all over my pocket and cell phone. Ultimately, pine cone stayed behind with its naughty fellows. 

Even though I had a minor bit of a setback last week after completing a second fitness challenge and both of us dealing with some medical issues, I can proudly say that I have lost 30lbs send we decided to work on our fitness as a team. 

I was a little hesitant to put that number out at first, for a number of reasons. However, accountability and celebration go hand-in-hand in this aspect of my life, so I think this will be a helpful remind when we look back at what we started. It's more than just getting physically fit. We are spending more quality time together, seeing more of the beautiful sites the PNW has to offer, and getting a little more in tune with the Earth than we have been in a very long time.