Archive for January, 2012
One of my new found loves has definitely been mountain biking and I feel very fortunate to live in Queenstown, New Zealand where we have some awesome trails basically in our back yard! Literally, as I hang up my laundry I get to watch the mountain bikers on their last few downhill bits before heading back up the gondola to the top. This is the trail I ride the most -but it isn’t me in the video. I find riding almost meditative (especially the uphill and cross country) and the more I ride the more lessons I keep getting taught. I realize that these lessons don’t just relate to mountain biking but easily carry over into my daily life so I wanted to share them with you.
1. Look where you want to go. I have heard this in other places (gymnastics, skiing, etc) and I use this in many aspects of my life. When biking, if you focus on that tree you don’t want to hit or the edge of the bridge you don’t want to fall off of you’re bound to wind up there. Focus on the trail ahead of you and the path at the end of the bridge, not the dangerous distractions off to the side and you’ll be smooth sailing. Think positive, focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t want out of life.
2. Granny gear isn’t going to get you up the hill. This is one of my favorite lessons. There is this small but very steep hill that comes right out of a downhill and for the the last two years I’d get ready for this hill by trying to get enough speed on the downhill and put it into my lowest “granny gear” to get up the hill. Every time I would lose power 1/2 way up the hill and had jump off my bike and walk it the rest of the way. The other day I realized I kept doing the same thing over and over again and it clearly wasn’t getting me the results I wanted so I tried something new (sound familiar? That’s a lesson in itself!). Instead of going for the “easy” gear I went up a couple notches. By putting it into a “harder” gear I had more power and more traction and made it up the hill with no problems. What are you doing in your life in the easiest gear that isn’t getting you where you want to go? Step it up a notch – you’ll get to the top.
3. Don’t look at the giant hill. This is for those times that you come to a giant steep hill that you think – “I can’t possibly pedal up that!” Don’t get overwhelmed with such a large task ahead of you, aim to knock out bit by bit. When I get to that giant hill I pick little goals to work towards – “I’ll make it to that rock then walk the rest”. But what happens is I make it to the rock with no problem then don’t want to quit, so I say “Just get to that stick, now that leaf, now that other rock.” Before I know it I have conquered the hill one bit at a time and never felt overwhelmed. Little goals will help you reach your bigger goal.
4. Don’t give up – you will get better each time. After 8 months of being off our bikes, Chris and I were eager to get back into it and jumped on our bikes and began to tackle the hill behind our house. This used to take us 45 minutes, walking some of it and taking some breaks. Our first time back was embarrassing. We were so out of shape and ended up pushing our bikes up most of the hill and it took us about an hour. The ride back down was just as bad – our arms and legs were jello. It wasn’t fun and it made me wonder what I loved so much about biking. Of course I just wasn’t fit at the time and needed to get back into it. That was two months ago and now I feel myself getting better every time I ride. I can pedal up the entire hill without pushing and limited breaks. My downhill skills are getting better as well. I keep track of how long it takes me and how many breaks I take. I can literally see how I am getting better each time I ride. You are getting faster, better and stronger everyday you work towards your goal.
5. Get off your seat!! When I was a newer mountain biker I felt safer sitting on my bike seat going downhill and Chris would holler at me – “Get off your seat!” You’ll get better if you get off your seat and stand on your own two feet. Your legs will get stronger, you’ll find your balance and you will have more fun when you aren’t sitting on your ass.
Now if only I can get as good as these guys here – gorgeous video!
What a what to start a new year.
Earlier this week we ran out of internet.
What? What does that even mean – ran out of internet? Well here on this little island in the Pacific miles and miles from anywhere internet isn’t all you can eat and somehow we managed to make it through 20g of it. What they hell did people do before the internet? Guess I can log into my Kindle acct and download… scratch that, guess it’s off to the library.
A few weeks ago we headed out to a BBQ at a friends house. You know those days you just don’t feel like going out? This was one of those days, but we had said we were coming and I knew sitting at home on my couch wasn’t going to be any better. Towards the end I started chatting with this guy and he mentioned that he read a book called Yes Man by Danny Wallace and really enjoyed it. I knew the movie but didn’t know it was a book and added it to my requests at the library. Fortunately it came in when the internet went out so I had plenty of time to devour it.
Did you see the movie? It’s been a long time since I saw it but I remember thinking it was fun and cool. From what I remember about the movie it sure isn’t a remake of the book it but took the major theme of it – obviously.
I loved how funny it was. Maybe I was just in the mood to laugh but I honestly did laugh out loud. I think it is one of the things that drives Chris crazy when I read. We are normally together so he is victim of my random giggles while curled up on the couch.
I loved that it took me on an adventure. Danny kept it fun and there were a couple of main events that you definitely wanted to know what happens at the end. I enjoyed his nemesis and love interest.
I loved how while Danny was changing his life and saying yes more it was changing others lives and of course can change the lives of people who read the book. It reminded me of the times chance meetings have changed the course of my life. How saying Yes has already changed my life.
I consider myself a Yes Girl a lot of the time. I remember a time while traveling in Australia and met a guy traveling who invited me to spend some time sailing around the Whitsunday Islands. I declined because I already had an onward ticket. I still wonder what would have happened if I had said yes. I don’t like to have things like that in my life – where I wonder “what if”. For the most part I believe I would regret things more that I don’t do than things that I do.
As I read this book I think about the things I say no to and would I be able to do this challenge. I don’t like beer or coffee and am currently on 30 days of not eating cookies, cakes etc. Needless to say, saying yes to all of that would go against a lot of my goals, but it might also mean I say yes to all those gadgets on tv for the ab chair and spanx – could balance itself out…
Anyway… as I read books when passages stand out for me I do love to jot them down, so here they are:
~pg 142 – “The only time you have no opportunies is when you decide to stop taking them.”
Life is full of opportunities. You just never know. Give it a shot, at least then you’ll know.
~pg 168 – “I’m just saying that maybe sometimes it’s riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you’re guaranteeing is that things will stay the same. Sometimes it’s more important to say yes to things than it is to say no.”
You’ll probably notice that many of the passages that stood out to me focused on regrets. Saying yes to Chris and the opportunity he offered to me was WAY more important than saying no and staying the same.
~pg 242 “So maybe Yeses are meant to be shared. Maybe life’s about finding opportunities to share with someone. That’s all it is, when you think about it. A series of opportunities to share.”
It is so much more fun to say yes with someone. Chris has the means and wanted a Yesser to enjoy life with.
~pg 253 “And what do I mean ‘No was best?’ I mean No is power. No says ‘I’m in charge.’ Think about how many times you’ve said yes in the past year, and how many times you would’ve liked to have said No instead. Maybe being able to say No is the one thing that keeps us sane. Some people go through their whole lives saying yes over an over again- yes to things they don’t want to do but feel obliged to, Yes to things that allow other people to take advantage of them, just because that’s the way things are, the way things have always been. Some people need to learn how to say No. Because every time they say Yes, they say No to themselves.”
It was really refreshing to see him really struggle with his challenge and want to throw in the towel and just say NO! As a Beachbody Coach I do encourage people to say NO more. Especially the women/mothers who are so used to taking care of others that they no longer take care of themselves and it shows.
~pg 292 “When you think about it, probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said Yes to something. Otherwise, things just sort of stay the same.”
Chris often says “When you are lying on your death bead I doubt you’ll say ‘I wish I hadn’t traveled to Croatia/bought that kite/learned to spin fire/etc.’” I think he has a pretty valid point.
~pg 388 “Maybe I was reading all this wrong, but suddenly, not having said Yes to something that would have been great seemed worse than having said Yes to something that could have been bad.”
Anyway – I hope I encouraged you to check this book out. After reading it I bought two copies. One for me and one to give to a friend – seems like it would be a perfect gift. Here is is on Amazon or just check out Danny’s website. Oh – and let me know if you end up saying yes to something that you might normally have said no to
Just to be perfectly clear – this is NOT a trail guide, map, etc. I’m not 100% sure we went the correct way.
It starts like the other hikes in the area, drive up to the parking area and start walking up the road. At the first fork take it to the right. Once at the first saddle find the old goat trail amongst the scree and follow it to the rock garden. Continue around the peaks then over Wye saddle and down by Lake Alta and back on the road to the parking lot. The goat trail looks a lot more sketch than it actually is (that being said I wouldn’t do it if there was still snow on the tops). Many times rocky, scree covered skinny trails over extreme heights get me a bit freaked out but this didn’t really affect me at all.
I really enjoyed the walk along the face but after over an hour of boulder hopping I got a bit over it. There isn’t a ton of elevation gain and I read that it is marked as an “easy” hike that takes 3-4 hours. I wouldn’t call this easy due to the heights, the lack of trail, alpine nature, boulder hopping, etc. and the total loop took us 5 1/2 hours – we aren’t slow pokes – but maybe we missed the trail a bit.
Go prepared – good shoes, hiking pole(s), lunch, water, layers, etc. Not for kids or dogs.
Other hikes in the area are Lake Alta or just do the first 45 minutes of this hike to get you to an awesome view of Queenstown. On our list is still Double Cone.
Here is our little photo journal of our hike, enjoy and let me know if you have questions.
This first picture was taken from tramper.co.nz and shows where the trail cuts across the face of the mountain.
After lunch we finished with the skinny trail and made it to the rock hopping section. Definitely not on a “trail” just headed in the general direction. We saw a small rock fall start ahead and above us on the mountain. Made us not waste anytime in this section while not rushing too much and twisting an ankle. Many of the rocks are wobbly and barely balancing on whatever they landed on. It was pretty exhausting mentally and physically. We crossed a couple snow patches as well.
Hope you enjoyed this! Let me know if you come to New Zealand – we’ll take you on a hike!
This has been my New Year’s Day hike the last two years. It’s important to start the year the way you would like to continue it. Starting out hungover and feeling unhealthy is not the way I want my year to be.
Going up to the top of Bob’s Hill via the Skyline Gondola or hiking is a must do while in Queenstown. There are three different ways to get to the top of the Gondola
1. Ride the Gondola – $25NZ round trip and enjoy the Luge, cafe, short walk and the view from the top. One way tickets are also available.
2. Walk up from the base of the Gondola – there is a walking track that takes about an hour.
3. Walk up the old forest road that starts at the top of Glasgow Street. There is some parking there and gets you up a bit of the hill. We do this the most as it is near our house.This takes about 45 minutes.
Once at the top you’ll see signs for the Ben Lomond track. This is a BIG walk and by taking the gondola up you cut out about 500m of elevation and about 60 min of hiking. It’s about 11km from the bottom of the gondola and about 1500 meters of elevation gain. From the gondola allow about 5 hours (we did it in 4 1/2 the other day with lunch at the top and a couple short breaks along the way) or 6 hours from the bottom round trip.
Make sure the weather is clear and pack a layer as it may be windy/breezy/wet up on top. Bring plenty of water and lunch or snacks for the top. The views are 360 degrees of amazing up there.
There is an easy to follow trail for the first hour that gets you to the saddle – even this is a nice walk with great views and worth doing. The next 45 minutes is up, up, up the rocky steep path to get you to the top. Hiking poles would be useful.
Below you can see what you have in store. This first picture was taken from the Queen’s Drive hike around The Remarkables.