The following Sunday Reflections is written by my angel wife and best friend Elisa!
Several years ago I went through a weight loss and physical fitness journey. I went through a program that helped the pounds to come off and I started walking every day all over Hyde Park. I would try to extend the length of my walks every so often and made sure I climbed the steep hills as often as I could. I made the decision to celebrate my changes by hiking with Les to White Pine Lake in Logan Canyon.
White Pine is a beautiful high mountain lake that is only accessible by hiking, mountain biking, or horse-back riding. It is 4 miles to the lake. Many people like to backpack into the lake and set up camp to spend a night or two and then to hike back in the morning. On our hike we saw many people doing this.
Life got in the way that year and we didn’t go. We did go on a hike with my extended family at Fish Lake near where we grew up which showed me that I was physically fit enough to hike. It wasn’t White Pine, though, so it didn’t fulfill my goal. We wanted to go the next summer and still didn’t go. I really think the busyness of life got in the way and my goal was pushed aside.
CHALLENGES OF LIFE
We went through a challenging 3 year time period where we experienced the passing of Les’s dad, my dad, Les’s brother, and then my Mom and starting a business. During this time my eating habits and walking habits changed. I put back on some of the weight I previously lost and didn’t go walking for days which turned into not walking for months and then years.
I became discouraged about where I was with my physical health and frustrated with myself that I let things slide. I recognized it would take a lot of work to get me to where I was and became so discouraged that I didn’t have the motivation to make the effort to get physically fit. During this time I once again went on a hike in Fish Lake with my extended family. This time I realized that yes, I was not as physically fit as I would like to be, but I was still able to hike. This gave me some motivation to get walking, but not enough.
My sweet kids gave me hiking sticks for my birthday last year and Les gave me hiking boots for Mother’s Day. Les and I made the decision that 2020 would be the year we would finally hike to White Pine Lake. We started out really strong in the spring going on walks around the neighborhood and short hikes on a regular basis. We set a date to hike on August 8 because we have heard the best time of year to hike White Pine Lake is in August when the wildflowers are in full bloom. We were hiking and walking consistently until mid-July and then for some reason we stopped. When we realized that we got derailed from our goal we decided to reevaluate our hiking date. We set the new date for August 29. Les and I still, for some reason, let ourselves get too busy and didn’t go out walking or hiking in preparation. I thought that once again, we wouldn’t reach our goal.
JUST DO IT!
Les said to me one day, “Elisa, when we hiked in Fish Lake a few years ago, we were not prepared and we made it. White Pine is an easier hike. Let’s just do it!” This felt so right. We determined that we were going to hike over Labor Day weekend while camping at Paris Springs which is a short drive to the trailhead at Tony Grove.
On the morning of the hike, we got up early and had a nice breakfast and picked up our hydration packs that we filled the night before. We got to Tony Grove around 8:30 a.m. We put our shoes on, applied sunscreen, loaded on our packs, grabbed my sticks, and headed out.
About 1 mile into the hike, we sat down to eat some snacks and take a break. The 2nd mile of the hike was nice. It was flatter and we gained our stride and we were cruising. We marveled at the vast meadows of now dead wildflowers that would have been so beautiful just a few weeks ago. At mile 3 other hikers gave us words of encouragement. Many told us the hike is so worth it and that we were in for a treat. One hiker told us we were almost to the top, then we would hike down some switchbacks, go across a meadow and then we would be at the lake. At this point, we knew we could make it! When we reached the meadow, Les invited me to take the lead so I could be the first to see the lake. When I caught my first glimpse of the lake, I cried! I was overcome with the joy and exhilaration of reaching our long sought-after goal!
We enjoyed some time at the lake and soaked our hot, dusty feet in the crystal-clear water. Then we made the journey back the 4 miles we had just come. We climbed the switchbacks this time, which was hard! When we made it to the top this time, we knew it was pretty much easy going from here. It was until the last half mile. By this time, I had literally gone as far as I could and it took all the strength I could muster to keep going. I was so happy to see Tony Grove Lake again and the parking lot where our journey started. It felt so good to complete this goal and the raspberry shakes afterward were the best!
Have a beautiful Sunday! We love you our friends!
Elisa & Les