A Trail by Fire

A Trail by Fire

Thanks for noticing, but no, I didn’t misspell “trial.” I was just being clever. It’s an intentional twist on a popular phrase. Why? I’m glad you asked. 

I was recently invited to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I was invited to take a week off and hike a 100-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. I immediately accepted, and over the next 24 hours, I was excited, giddy … and terrified. The prospect left me feeling a little like Frodo. “I will take the ring! I will take the ring to Mordor … though … I do not know the way.”

I’m not exactly in shape. Granted, “round” is a shape, but I don’t plan to roll along the Appalachian Trail, so I need to get into another shape. And how’s that gonna work? Well, let’s start with diet. Not “diet” as in “let’s eat little-to-no food, and when we do eat, let’s have Styrofoam-tasting wafers.” I mean “diet” as in “di·et /ˈdīət/ noun: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” (Thank you, Google!)

Basically, Frodo went to the fire to achieve his goal of destroying the One Ring. I’m going to have to go through the fire to reach my goal of destroying the One Ring Around My Belly. And I think I’ve already put together a good guide. I’m sticking to it at least for breakfast. (Don’t judge! I’m slow to start sometimes … most times.) Anyway, dinner is being worked on by my sweet wife. That leaves me with lunch … in downtown D.C. … Wow. Yeah. So many restaurants, so little time. And that’s why I’ve decided to boil lunch down to this: A protein shake. “But Ken, won’t it be hard to drink your protein shake while others are sitting at the table with their luscious, scrumptious food?” Ha! Get thee behind me, Popeyes! That’s exactly what the next part of the plan is for.

Exercise. And I don’t mean “exercise” as in “do cardio till you can’t walk, and lift weights till your muscles cramp, you ball up into the fetal position, and whimper like a little baby.” I mean … no … wait. That is what I mean. But I’ll do it during my half-hour lunch break. I have a gym in the basement of my building at work. (Quit looking at me like that. I’ve been down there before! They have a water cooler. Yeesh!)

I’m going to be mixing it up with cardio (mostly treadmill), and weight lifting, because I’ll be carrying a hefty pack on my back throughout the trip. — unless I can hire someone to carry it for me. … which probably isn’t a good idea. Yeah, nix that. I’m probably throwing in some core exercises as well, although I admit that I currently have no clue as to what those are. Enter Google. I’ll find ’em.

So, all this to say, I’m planning on dropping as much weight between now and the first week of June. I’d rather carry as little with me as possible over 100 miles of trail. And, if I’m able to keep up the pace, I’ll have made some good, lifelong habits. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: I didn’t really lose a lot before the hike. I tried, but c’mon, I have a Dunkin Donuts right around the corner. Oh the inhumanity! However, I did lose 14 lbs. the first four three days of the hike. I’ll take whatever I can get.

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