New Year, New Boots, New Motivation

New Year, New Boots, New Motivation

It’s been over a year since my last, and most recent, Ultra hike. Not quite the blistering pace my ambition had helped me envision in late 2015. Winter came and my day job got in the way. A year passed living life as ‘normal’. I traveled to Utah multiple times, but those just weren’t the right times or the weather didn’t cooperate or I had nobody to go with. These are mostly just excuses, but it’s impressive how quickly time passes you by when you just let it ride and don’t grab opportunity or take action.

The typical time to renew goals and make those long-procrastinated changes, New Years has now come and gone, but 2017 has started out with positivity. I’m 30 days into Whole 30 (we’ll save that discussion for another time) and I feel physically fantastic. My wife and I did this together and we’ve really held each other accountable and supported one another in times of weakness – and there were several. We’ve also begun to toy with the notion that we can and should focus a few resources toward ourselves. For the past several years, our lives have revolved around our children – as they should – but we never really learned to take much time for ourselves and we weren’t willing to spend money on frivolous adventures or girls nights when we needed diapers and shoes. I’m not looking back with negativity, but rather looking forward to a future where we are capable and willing to make room for some of our own personal goals and consider our all-around quality of life.

The other thing we hopefully get to do in the new year is play with the toys we got for Christmas! This year I was most fortunate to receive a gift that I hope will help me with the goals I’ve set for the next few years of my life. It’s a gift that I would have had a hard time buying for myself and one that would have certainly fallen in the frivolous adventure category in our budget. Nonetheless, I’m so thankful, because now I have no excuse. Behold, New Boots!

Salomon Comet 3D GTX Hiking Boots

Now, this is not a boot review and everyone has their own opinion about gear, but these were a great choice for me. While more expensive than any boot (or pair of shoes for that matter) I’ve ever owned, these were less than $200 and came highly rated off Amazon and recommended by a friend. Those who know me, know that I like to minimize expense while maximizing output – that is, I like to find the cheapest stuff that will last the longest. Don’t we all want that? Others may call this cheap… In my case, these boots were not cheap, but they were also a gift so I don’t have to feel bad!

They are full Gore-Tex and have significantly high ankle support. They’re made for real backpacking! An interesting feature I’ve not had in boots before: the tension guides at the middle of the upper part of the boot. The guides have serrated lining that holds the laces tight, not allowing them to lose tension as you continue to lace the upper. I haven’t had these out on a long hike yet, but this feature seems like it will keep the ankle support nice and tight for the duration of a hike. They are also heavier than any boot I’ve ever had, but I attribute that to good construction and the fact that I’ve never had boots like this. Anyway, enough with boot details, you can look those up on Amazon if you want, that’s where I found them: Salomon Men’s Comet 3D GTX Hiking Boot, Dark Titanium/Swamp/Turf Green.

So, I’m in the new year and I’ve got some new gear, what’s the missing piece to get me back on track (or at least back on a mountain)? I need an Ultra to climb – there are 57, just pick one… I need someone to plan a trip with me – there will be times I have to do this alone, and it’s my goal, so I need to be the one to take action regardless of who’s going with me… I need to learn more and be a real mountain climber before I keep doing this – ya gotta start somewhere, and besides, your wife won’t let you do anything too stupid…

Thoughts like these ran through my head for a couple weeks in late December and early January as I struggled with not falling back into the trap of inaction and disappointment at seeing these fine specimens of a boot silently waiting to get their first action on an Ultra.

I have taken Backpacker magazine for probably 10 years now, reading when I get the chance, hoping to get caught up on that issue from several years ago. Magazines are hard for me – if I could just sit down and read one cover to cover in the 2 hours it might take I would probably release a major unconscious burden off my back. Alas, I don’t do that and I have a ‘backlog’ of magazines that tower nearly as tall as I. Even if I read 30 pages and don’t finish, there’s always this nagging suspicion that I missed the best part, the killer trek in my backyard or the story about the guy hiking Ultras…

Well, I found myself reading the March 2017 issue a couple weeks ago and fairly early (thank goodness) I stumbled across a little advert/info piece about some kind of Hike-a-thon in New Hampshire. People of all sizes and shapes descend upon the mountain to ascend it in any which way they like. There are prizes and goodies, activities at the top of the mountain (even for the little kids that make it up), and a big all-you-can-eat buffet party at the end of the hike day. Hmm, sounds cool, wish they had something like it nearby. Wait, Mount Washington. I know that name… Yes! It’s an Ultra, and it’s one of only two that are on my side of the Mississippi! Now this sounds really cool!

Whatever I needed, I found it that day in Backpacker.

The Mount Washington event, cleverly known as Seek the Peak, is a fundraiser hike for the Mount Washington Observatory that sits atop the mountain and is the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather”. MWO is a vital contributor of climate research and weather observation as well as community science education and uses Seek the Peak as its primary fundraiser for the year as it is a private, non-profit institute. This year’s event is on 21-22 July and I’m already signed up and mapping out how I’m going to get there and up that mountain!

I don’t know what ups and downs 2017 will bring, but I’m ready to get back on the Ultra 57 adventure, and I’ve got no excuses left.

One thought on “New Year, New Boots, New Motivation

  1. Inspiring, and setting a good example for your kids. Both you and your wife! Dreams do come true, excuses are just that. Live large and love always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *