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Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nature's Gym

You name it, I’ve tried it. Beach Body, Orange Theory, Body Pump, Spin and Strength, CX, the list goes on and on. The past 5 days I’ve taken the most epic family vacation to Colorado traveling from Denver to Southern regions in the state. We have hiked through Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, The National Sand Dunes, San Juan River, Durango and the San Juan National Forest. I have challenged myself, and my poor children, through physical challenges I have never encountered in any gym.

One of our last family hikes was through Sheep Creek Trail in San Juan Forest. The drive alone to get to the top of mountain was breathless. A 6 foot wide dirt trail that hugged the mountain on one side and the other side a 1000 foot ravine that I could barely look at it was so terrifying. After a 12 mile journey that felt like an hour, we made it to the parking lot. We took out our gear and started our trek to find the hidden natural springs at the base of the mountain. It was easy at first. Completely downhill, breathtaking views of San Juan River and untouched rocks kissed by sunlight. After about 1 ½ miles we found what fellow hikers blogged about, the natural springs. Hot and relaxing, perfect after our hike. Our children played in the 100 degree waters while we hopped along the rocks. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever laid eyes on. After a picnic lunch and frolicking in the waters, we journeyed back up the mountain. It was the most difficult trek I have ever experienced. The air felt thick and the incline was so high, my 9 year old and 7 year old had to take a break. The sun was hot, perhaps as we were closer to the horizon. Did we go right or left at this fork? We chose left and thank goodness because it lead us back to our car. Imagine hiking up at 60 degree angle for a mile with elementary aged kids. It was hard! My calves burned. My mind was focused on our kids who were slipping and sliding along the ravine. One wrong move could have been a devasting life changing maneuver. The trail said easy, yeah right!
On our way home, I sat on the passenger side looking down at the most untouched earth I have ever seen. It was terrifying. At one point our car slid off the dirt path towards the ravine, a cold sweat drenched my tired body. In the end, I am so proud of my little ones and my husband and the beauty we got to bask in, on the other end, I realize no gym or workout or training program could prepare myself for today. It was marvelous and grueling all in the same time. This family vacation has pushed my physical limits more ways than I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful to have the time and opportunity to experience Colorado for it’s beauty and splendor. We are halfway through our journey and have more to go. I encourage families to go off the beaten path of family vacations and try Colorado. You will not be disappointed. Among the red casted mountains exist an opportunity to challenge yourself physically past what you thought you can do. A point where you think you have to quit but you can’t because others depend on you. Where rivers run deep, cold and fast and nature dances on the horizon. It’s a sun kissed region that welcomes you to explore and find your inner self that is strong and undefeatable.