30 August 2015

I think I've become a hiker

Since June (2015) I have hiked every weekend.
At first it was simply for the added fitness, another sustained cardio exercise in my weight loss journey... Simply THAT... I got out and did it because I thought I NEEDED to... For that..

But something clicked, 3rd or 4th time on the trail. I enjoyed it. Like with weight lifting, I really started to LOVE it. Out on the trail (since I'm a newb) I started seeing new things, wonderful, beautiful things that have been in my backyard for years!!! Critters, I've never seen, except in books, or Google. Plants, wildflowers, rocks and dirt, the variety is incredibly vast right here in Southern Arizona!!

Today I realized how much and WHY I love it. Talking to myself on the trail (when you're alone you have conversations too don't lie) went kind of like this..."why am I up so early?" "Sunrise stupid" What a sunrise it was. Watching out over my entire valley, as the sun peeked from behind the mountains to the east....ACTUALLY watching the sun creep over the mountains!!! THAT is why I'm up so early, THAT IS WHY I'm excited to hike... I wondered how many people am I REALLY watching this sunrise with (elsewhere in my area) FEW I dare say. So there is that, I get to see, I get to experience what few others, know happen, but never SEE happen.

Another thing that came to me was how with hiking, I don't HAVE to depend on anyone but myself... Even if I were to make hike plans with someone, and they were to bail on me (which is pretty regular) IM still on the trail... Their loss. I still get to relish in every bit of beauty that comes with every step I take. No one can take that away from me!!

Hiking allows me to have these conversations with myself in an element that makes me realize some of these "problems" that I think I have are rather small and petty.... For goodness sakes I'm a lone man on the slope of a mountain, with no human in eye or earshot, alone... The "problems" of town aren't anything in the grand scheme of things. The seemingly, never ending drama, of the Internet, and being connected to people that may or may not truly care for me, the behind the back gossip, and hate, are non existent out here THERE IS NO INTERNET! IT IS FANTASTIC!!! It allows me to REALLY reflect on the folks in my life that have been there every step of the way, and those that, well are lacking. I think of the people I've been there for, and some perhaps I should have been, and maybe some that I shouldn't have..All of that is replaced with serene, thriving beauty of nature, raw, right in front of me, new every single time.

I don't know if EVERY hiker feels these feels, but they are mine. I've become a hiker, less than some, more than others but altogether, happy in my pursuit of finding my happy place, so that I MIGHT become a better person.

10 August 2015


Looking back on my relatively short life, I KNOW I've made a LOT of mistakes. I've hurt a LOT of people, and been hurt deep to my core. I've loved, hated, lost, found, been ecstatically happy, and sat in the pit of despair, the whole spectrum, I think it's safe to say I've experienced it.

All these things have shaped me into the man I am today. I've learned who I want to be, from them, and who I no longer wish to be. I've learned.... And I think that is important....Through my learning these life lessons, I've been able to change, not against my self, nor for anyone else, but I've changed for me, into a better person.(or so I dearly hope) I don't think that I went through everything to be stagnant, and unchanging, clinging to what I once thought was the "ideal" me.... Mostly because THAT ideal me, was throughly unhappy as a whole... I know that now looking back.

I want to leave behind a legacy that my kids can be proud of, that my family and friends can be proud of. I try my hardest, to make them my priority, family and friends, because I've (felt like) been without, there was a period when I was a jerk (big time understatement) and felt abandoned by everyone I thought I knew. I don't ever want to feel that, nor have any of my loved ones go through it. So I do my hardest to let them know what they are to me, that I love them, not just in word, but in action. I hope to pass that on. The biggest things in life are friends and family, they are dear to me, and should know that.

Life is so short sometimes, and we can't be timid and simply watch it pass us by. "Grab life by the horns" they say, and "they're" right! There is stuff out there I never knew of, right in my backyard. I've found INCREDIBLE beauty in the wilderness since I started hiking every weekend, my only regret, is not starting last year, 5 years ago, 10 years ago....15 years ago, get the picture?? I wanna leave behind an example of how important it is to get out and experience everything a person can in life.

Although I am, I don't want to be remembered as the BBQ guy, the car guy, or the guy that likes lifting weights. I want to be remembered as a friend. A type of friend, dad and husband that was always there when needed, for fun, or for comfort, that followed through on promises made. I want to be that friend ALWAYS with open arms, and open doors to friend or family in need or just to visit. I want to be remembered as THAT friend that pushed everyone around me to be their best version of themselves. I want to be an inspiration to them. I want to be a REAL friend, like I've written about previously, to be a part of someone's soul.

I don't know how many folks I've impacted, but I hope it's been positive. I hope somehow if inspired you. I know I've been inspired by a lot of my friends, in ways I don't know if I can ever express to them, in words. But know, I'll never forget what you've instilled in my life, and because of it, I'm a better person.

That's the kind of legacy I want to leave behind, one of inspiration, always trying to be a better human.

03 August 2015


This is a tough one, and truth be told (not that you will see it) I will most likely cry at some point during the writing of this post, but it's an important one. It's a part of who I am, so for all 23.3 of you that read this, you're gonna learn today!!

My dad died in 2001, 3 days after he turned 38, I was 17. That is the toughest loss I've had in my life, bar none... It still hurts when memories come flooding in, in fact I broke down a few months ago one afternoon, out of nowhere.... Got it all out and moved on.... It's what we gotta do... But when the news broke... I dunno... I froze... While my siblings and mom were obviously devastated, bawling their eyes out, I was frozen, in disbelief, and denial, not a tear shed for many minutes, that seemed like hours... Not sharing in the loving embrace of my family... I was frozen...

I did grieve, but it was short. I think... I don't really know if you can set a timeline on an individual's grieving. It's a personal thing, you can't take that away from someone. They need to go through every step, at their own pace, and hopefully they dont get stuck.. That's where friends and family step in however. I had a great team of friends watching my back, and of course my loving family had each other's backs. Because of them I'm alright, they allowed me to do my thing, but also were there when I needed them to just be my friends, not to talk about my dad's death, but to simply be there.

I came to the realization, that I was hurting, and Dad wouldn't have wanted me like that. None of our loved ones would want us to dwell on the pain of their death, they'd want nothing but happiness, for our future. Once that clicked in my head (which was a few months later) I got back to being me. I had gone through my grieving process, and though it wasn't any less painful he was gone, I was, and am ok.

The breakdown a few months ago, was from a new pain realized. I was 17 when he passed, and at the time, (since he'd been sick for a couple years prior) I missed out on him teaching me to drive, and he didn't get to see me graduate.... But 14 years go by, and there's a snowball effect of stuff that I realized I missed my dad at... He wasn't at my college graduation, which would have made him so proud. My wedding, man would I have loved to look out and see his big smile there, but he was gone. And Makaela, my daughter, he never got to meet her, or her soon to be brother. So I grieved once again, and again, I had a few awesome friends, that were there to listen to me, to be the shoulder I needed. I can't thank them enough.

I want to let my friends know, I WILL be that shoulder when/if you need me. It doesn't matter how far away I am, I am a phone call or text away. I know each situation is different, everyone's process of handling loss is different, but one thing I'll say is I'll be there for you. It's what friends do, it's what family does.

01 August 2015


If I've learned ANYTHING as an adult, plans change.... Plans get cancelled, people flake, vehicles break. Weather does what it wants, and sometimes things can just suck....

Things may suck.....that is IF you look at everything, as set plan, written in stone, non flexible... If you cannot bend when the curve is thrown your way, things will seem miserable.

This is why I like to "plan" events more like an adventure. With adventure, unexpected things pop up , and you roll with them, you have no choice either way, but how you deal with it, is what makes a less than desirable situation, bearable, even more fun, than what was planned.

Today was no different. We headed to the mountains an hour and a half away, to have a picnic. But as normal in Arizona the monsoon had different plans. Rain... So instead of a nice picnic on top of the mount, well we had a nice picnic on top of the mount, just in the car, instead of at a picnic table. We still enjoyed time together, we still ate in a place we've never eaten before, we had an adventure.

Eventually the rain ceased and we got to experience some beautiful rock formations, fantastic valley views and I found some fantastic, & new (to me) hiking trails that I cannot wait to hike!!

So make it an adventure, each day live a little, take things in stride. We've only got one life to do what we've got to do, don't waste it regretting plans that didn't line up perfect. Some of the best moments in life are probably wasted planning every detail. Relish in the missteps, mishaps, and unchosen outcome, for they tend to be special.

25 July 2015


I love nature. I love the deepest corners of it, far from civilization, where it seems no man has been before. I love the struggle as nature must prove itself viable in the midst of the largest cities. I love her caring side, seen in the flowers, and animals rearing their young. I'm astonished by the harshness of the reality of the circle of life.
I am drawn to the harshness of nature because I live it everyday. Living in the desert is fantastic. Most of the country knows Arizona as a wasteland of rocks sand and cactus, and it is a shame. Of all the states I've been too my home is my favorite, probably because it's home, but also, because we have every single climate type right here between our borders.
The plants here must protect themselves, so they are thorny, and will bite you if you're not on your toes. The animals here too will knock ya down if you mess with their turf. And that's another reason it's so cool. Much like the state itself, the animals and plants here won't be told what to do,(daylight savings can kiss it WE DO WHAT WE WANT) they flourish where they shouldn't and survive when most would perish.
The beauty in the desert is everyday, it begins with the sunrise, and oh my what a rise it is. As I stood watch in the sun come up on my last hike it's was amazing to watch the sky come ablaze and the landscape change I front of my eyes. I'm not sure in the rest of the country, but here at sunrise there is a rush of cold air that you can almost feel rush across the land, it's kind of an epic feeling, I hope you get to experience it sometime!
The sun sets and again the sky is set ablaze, with vivid pinks and oranges, purples and reds, our sunsets are epic, our flag is representative of our sunsets, it's a real thing Arizona has them on lock.
The summer here is interrupted when monsoons hit and they are a welcome event. The rains can take a 115° day, and cool it to 65° in a matter of minutes, while at the same time shut down a city with flooded streets. With the monsoons come all kinds of creatures and plant life, exploding to life with the rain. Plants grow like crazy. I mowed my yard this morning, some weeds were shoulder high, when two weeks ago they were nay higher than my ankles.
Some of my favorite animals are the roads tha pop out with the rainy season. Until then they are buried deep within the dirt, dormant hibernating til the next year, so when they come out it's quite an event. It's a party when they pop out, with song and muddy dance. As they croak deep into the night, it's actually quite peaceful, their song.
So if you ever get a chance, come visit. See the grandeur that is Arizona, come see our big hole in the ground, our painted desert, come see our extremes. Come and sit with me while the sun rises and sets, you won't be disappointed.