Setting an Annual Fitness Challenge

Let me start off by reiterating that I am just a normal, working girl trying to share simple and easy tips on how to stay healthy and fit in today’s crazy / busy word! Being an avid reader of blogs, I have had a very hard time finding a good fitness blogger that I can identify with. Some bloggers are just those crazy runners that run ALL THE TIME. Others have tons of intense pictures of complex weight-lifting routines that just do not appeal to me. My hopes are that you’ll get a sense of my style, and what keeps me motivated and perhaps some of the suggestions will rub off on your own routines!

So without further ado…one technique that I have picked up has been creating an annual fitness challenge. I’m one of those Type-A personalities that really thrives in being challenged. It helps me get outside of my normal workouts, challenge myself to work harder and have a little fun too.

Annual Fitness Challenge 1What do I consider an annual fitness challenge?

Quite frankly, it can be just about whatever you like! In 2013, my fiance (boyfriend, at the time) and I decided to run a 5K charity race, every month, for 12 months. We liked that it was something we could share, and even more so that we could “double-down” by also supporting some awesome Bay Area charities.

Let me tell you, the running was one of the easiest parts of it! The scheduling of 12 local races…that was the hard part. That being said, we supported some awesome causes during the year…ranging from autism awareness to wetland restoration projects. And we even got another couple involved too!

Supporting educational programs in developing countries.

Supporting educational programs in developing countries.

I’m sure you’re all thinking, “It’s already April. Did she set a 2014 challenge? Or was this just a one-hit wonder?”

The answer is: YES!!

However, first let me share a little background information. In 2013, on a quick weekend trip, we decided to hike to the top of Lassen Peak (10,463 ft.). It was a short, but thrilling ascent, but it was our first experience hiking above 10,000 feet. It was breathtaking!

  • Seasoned Hikers or those that consider themselves really fit will find that this 5-mile (2000 feet elevation gain) roundtrip hike is easy-peasy. However, be prepared for some slick snow/slush fields to scurry up, and the effects of high-elevation on your hiking pace.
  • Newbie Hikers will find that this is a challenging but completely attainable day hike. Plan to wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water and take your time going up. It’s not a long hike, but you start hiking upwards from the second you step out of your car (and for the rest of the 2.5 miles to the summit).
Snapshot of my fiance on our Lassen Peak adventure. Snow in the summer!

Snapshot of my fiance on our Lassen Peak adventure. Snow in the summer!

So back to our Annual Challenge – what may it be? I’m sure a number of you are thinking Half Dome or possibly even hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail? Instead, we decided to go for the gold of U.S. hiking and take on Mount Whitney (14,505 ft) in a one-day ascent.

For those not as familiar with our California terrain, Mount Whitney is a major challenge. It will be a 22-mile, high-altitude, high-elevation gain (6,100 ft.) adventure. What does this translate to? A really long, hard and tough day. Our preparation began last month when we applied for our permit to hike. Even though we were unsure if this would become a reality we started loading up our daypacks with heavy (and realistic) weight and trekking around the Bay Area. Now that we were awarded a permit for this July, the serious training begins.

I look forward to sharing more about my 2014 Fitness Challenge in the coming months, and challenge YOU to create one for yourself!

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