Angels Landing, a plateau at the peak of a red rock face, perched in the heart of Zion National Park.
2.5 miles of strenuous hiking up multiple series of switchbacks, including Walter’s Wiggles, takes you to the landing point where some will stay while others scramble to the final landing. Two long series of chains bolted into the rock with steel poles provide a safety net from the 1000 foot drop offs.
I wasn’t sure what the trail would really be like. I knew the distances. I knew the height gain. I know what it feels like to hike up long, steep descents. I have done some scrambling. But I wasn’t sure what these chained sections would be like.
My first attempt at reaching the summit of Angel’s Landing, I had taken the first shuttle of the day from the town beside Zion park. I darted across the park entrance to catch the next shuttle up the canyon. I disembarked at the Grotto stop, along with dozens of other eager hikers. The herd quickly thinned as the climbing grew strenuous. At the top, many other hikers already milled about. The first series of chains wasn’t nearly as challenging as I thought it would be. I stood on the flat section before the second series, looking up at a daunting rocky climb. I wanted to do it. But, all I could think about was the growing number of people, of various hiking abilities, streaming both up and down sections only wide enough for one. The communication was minimal. The chaos was growing. I didn’t feel this was something I should do. Or that I wanted to do under these conditions.
I recently had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Tasneem. Tasneem is small in stature, but big in personality. Her energy flows from her, and leaves one feeling uplifted, excited, and ready to take on life! She is extremely hard working and dedicated to quality and the people in her life. She is an absolute fireball, taking on life straight ahead, no backing down. She is also wise beyond her years, embracing both balance and learning from her mistakes. Let me take you on a journey with Tasneem…
Tasneem has been a part of many sports thoughout her life. Many, including basketball, rugby, rowing, running and trialathon, came into and went out of her life. In high school she took her first kickboxing class. She immediately knew this was the one. She really got into it in her 20s, and at first she struggled!! She had two left feet and no co-ordination. But she chose to keep getting her ass kicked, literally. She stuck with it, she worked hard and she learned.
We left Friday Harbour on a ferry and headed to Orcas Island. We didn’t have confirmation of a place to stay that night. We had contacted one of the few places that may have some vacancy, so we took a chance. When we arrived, we drove the peaceful, quiet road, easily sinking into the slow pace of everything and everyone around us. We found the one small ‘main town’ and a lovely breakfast. How delightful!! The food was tremendous, the view was spectacular, and who knew what the day held? After our adventures in escaping from the blazing fires in Oregon (Burning Eyes of Fire) we were definitely ready to turn over a new page on our road trip!
I love the look on my face in this picture. It really sums up my entire experience when I weight trained ‘for real’. This wasn’t something I was planning on getting into, and it isn’t something that I have done over the years. It just happened. And it was an amazing experience in body, mind and soul. Really.
It all started when I needed a place to shower so that I could ride my bike to work. I found the gym that was closest to my office building, and walked in to inquire about membership.
An unexpected opportunity presented itself. There was a package that I could buy that included some personal training sessions. Something inside tugged at me to sign up. So I did. I didn’t think about it again until the winter months presented themselves. I had been working out on my own during lunch hour, and was quickly getting bored. I was really keen to stay in shape through the winter months so I could enjoy the short cycling season when it finally came again.
My friend had invited me to join her at an exercise class that she raved about. It was a choreographed class, which I didn’t often go to, however, she had convinced me that I didn’t need any specific experience. She also told me I would have fun and I would get in a great workout. Sounded peachy. So off we went.
The minute the instructor, Amber, entered the room, the energy level was raised about a million notches! In she came, or rather, in she bounced, whooping, smiling, and convincing us that yes we can!!! I thought to myself, wow, this woman is ripped!! Within seconds I was PUMPED! I was ready – for what I didn’t know – but I was ready. Off we went.
The holidays are over. Did you eat more than you intended go? Did that nightly rum and egg nog by the fire, that extra chocolate or two, and those ever so delicious ginger snaps that your aunt sent you home with…all catch up with you?
It’s ok. You can either dwell on what you can’t change, or, you can release it and move forward. Life is life. And sometimes you simply need to enjoy yourself a little. The simple things in life are the best.
Thus, let’s move forward together. And let’s keep it simple!!