I am my own masterpiece and there are certain ways I have always judged my progress. My new way: Getting ready for Mt. Kilimanjaro.
t I have a new fitness goal: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this summer. 12 days, 19,000 feet, two weeks, no kids, all the way to the “ceiling” of Africa. When it comes to wellness, I am part trainer, artist and bullfighter, coaching and sculpting and teasing myself to better health. I am my own masterpiece and there are certain ways I have always judged my progress.
- Jeans size: Every woman has a “jeans range.” I feel psychologically comfortable between a size 6 and 8. At size 4, I might need an extra sandwich and a size 10 indicates a calorie restriction might be necessary.
- Weight: Every year my weight moves up a few pounds but since the eighth grade, my self-proclaimed spectrum begins with 130-something. No. Matter. What.
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: While my girlfriends are all shaped differently, I am able to borrow some of the clothes hanging in their closets. I’ve got a problem if I can’t fit into something.
- The former self. I got married for the second time a few children ago. A good rule of health-and-wellness thumb is my ability to at least partially zip the simple white cocktail wedding dress I got married in 15 years ago.
- The problem spot. Most people have at least one “issue” with their body. After four kids and 43 years, my belly is my problem spot. I can’t do much about the stretch marks but I’m up for any activity that shrinks that genetic insult.
t Here are four new ways to judge your body:
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t Each day I seek to build strong, mountain-climbing muscles. An extra push-up, box jump, wall climb; all signs I am a little more ready for my adventure.
Photo credit: Jordan Siemens/Digital Vision/Getty Images
t My daily activity is classified as sedentary, filled with hours and hours in front of clients and laptop screens. I’ve never moved constantly for six hours in one day, much less the 12 days it will take to summit Mt. Kili and return to base camp. Each additional minute of fitness is a mental and physical victory.
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t Every day of my life is a mountain, filled with barriers that could keep me from the gym and the road. Training is a process of increments, strung together into the days before the climb. I won’t be able to cram the fitness into the weeks before the climb, so each day I work out is a personal triumph.
t No one is more surprised than me when I look in the mirror and admire my body. The muscles developing under the sags and aging skin are undeniable. I admire my developing character, springing from this daily commitment. I said I would do it, and so I am.
t Ironically, I’ve never felt so… well there’s no other way to say it… hot. People are starting to ask what’s different (is that a new haircut?). They comment on the definition in my arms and inquire about my workout regimen (are you doing Crossfit?). And none of it matters.
t I’ve traded in the vision of the “130s” for the privilege of sleeping above the clouds and under the stars. And while I plan on moving on to another challenge when I finish this climb, Mt. Kilimanjaro has already changed my life. I think I’ll keep this new way of judging myself.
t Want to know more about Liz’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb? Watch this video and learn how you can get involved!