Living My Best Life at 32

And no where close to where I thought I’d be.

This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday (yep… the BIG 3-2). Birthdays have always been a bit melancholy for me. I think because it is a reminder of how quickly the years are going by. Often times, I seem to catch myself focusing on the milestones and goals I haven’t yet achieved.

Honestly, if you had asked me 5-10 years ago where I would be at 32 my vision would have been very different. Back then, I felt sure that I would’ve been married with children by now. Sometimes that isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, especially as I watch my friends begin that phase of their life. It has been a challenge for me to accept that there isn’t a “right” timeframe for life.

One thing I can undoubtedly say is that I love the life I am living. It isn’t always perfect and some days are better than others. My 30’s have been amazing so far and I feel less pressure to fit in and more relaxed in my own skin. I have fun, I challenge myself and try new things. This past year I have been fortunate to make new friendships with some of the most talented, compassionate and intelligent women I have ever known.

As I reflect on the last year, it definitely had its lessons and challenges – oh did it ever! But I am grateful knowing that everyday I am becoming stronger, braver and growing closer to the woman that I would like to one day be. I am living my life for me.

Why I Hike Alone

One question I consistently get from family and friends is, “Why do you hike alone?” and “Don’t you know how dangerous that is?” and the answer is there are many reasons I do, and I am fully aware of the risks involved. Hiking alone can be dangerous and I would never suggest it for just anyone. In fact, as many of my friends know I took a little spill on the ice this week.

 

*Before and after my little accident. 

Luckily my fall wasn’t too bad since I was out alone and pretty far from my car. For me the rewards just outweigh the risks by far.

Empowerment

Being able to complete a challenging hike on my own gives me a sense of confidence like I have never know before. Learning to use a compass, map and my own sense of direction while navigating miles on my own fills me with an amazing sense of accomplishment. This is something that I would never have had the confidence to do alone a few years ago. And these empowering hikes have pushed me to see what other goals I can accomplish (hopefully one day the AT). I am woman – hear me ROAR!

Anxiety Relief

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have coped with an anxiety disorder since my early teen years. It has been one of those struggles that has at times seemed like I am in an exhausting, unending battle with my mind. One thing gives me relief more than anything else, and that is spending time alone in nature. There is something about getting back to the basics – no makeup, hair in a ponytail, no internet/cell phone and just fresh air, dirt, and me and my dog. I LOVE time with my friends and I love staying connected, but sometimes I need to just take the time to unplug and appreciate the beauty around me. I need this time to unwind and remember that tomorrow is a new day; just breathe and let things go.

Gratitude

When I am alone in the woods or in the eastern hills of Kentucky I often find myself in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. I feel so grateful for my body, my life and the experiences I have and I just feel so joyful. Joyful isn’t a word I normally use, but it seems like the only word that truly conveys the feeling of happiness that fills my heart. I sometimes even catch myself just smiling alone for no reason. Being grateful doesn’t mean everything in your life is perfect – there are so many things I could improve on – but I acknowledge what things I do have in my life instead of constantly seeking the next best thing. I am grateful.

What empowers you? What brings you joy and makes you feel grateful? I would love to hear from you.

Please note: Although I enjoy taking a hike and enjoying the solitude, I always let someone know where I am going, distance and expected completion time and I always go prepared. I have a pack filled with emergency gear, extra water and I always study my routes prior to hitting the dirt. I also know how to read a topographical map in case I get lost – pretty important before setting out alone.

 

Louisville Lady Adventures

I tend to hike alone quite a bit, I love it because it gives me time to myself to recharge. It’s been a hobby of mine for a while to spend weekends hiking and taking photos for my Instagram account. Since I started doing this on a consistent basis I always have friends who mention how much they would like to join. Since starting this blog a couple of weeks ago, it sparked an idea to create a Facebook Page just for that. A place where I can plan various meet ups and adventures with other individuals who enjoy the outdoors.

Last night I created my Facebook Page called Louisville Lady Adventures (*follow me*). I have already created my first two events. The first is a hike at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. The second planned event is a hike is one of my favorites (Hansen’s Point) at Red River Gorge. If you’re in the Louisville area and are interested, feel free to join us! I will also plan some casual meet ups and other adventures like kayaking, rock climbing, and zip lining once the warmer months get here.

Anyways, if you are interested at all follow me on Facebook at Louisville Lady Adventures and on Instagram @thelouisvillelady. Also, if you have any ideas for hikes let me know! I would LOVE to know what everyone is interested in!

 

 

Novice Runner & Yogini Begins Her Journey

A little over a month ago, I decided to get back into a solid fitness routine. I have always been very active, but I really HATE going to the gym – I mean REALLY HATE. There have been a couple things that sparked my motivation. Sometime in early November, I got a wild idea to sign up for Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running (this includes a 5k, 10k and finally a 10 miler). I also signed up for my first 502 Fit Pass in December. This has been amazing because I can schedule classes with ease and attend classes throughout the city – never bored with the same old thing. I have really focused my fitness routine on three things right now. Once I have a better habit developed, I’ll begin adding more to my repertoire but this is a good start.

Running

Well as much as I hate it, I am trying to get in at least 4 runs in a week. Lately, they’ve been on the treadmill, I know… NOT the same, but I refuse to freeze my ass off. I have never really been a runner, so completing a 10 miler this Spring is going to be a challenge that I am really going to have to work for.  Slowly, I am beginning to enjoy my runs a little more each day – despite having to get to the gym by 5:30AM to avoid the New Year’s crowd.

Yoga

Lately, I have been posting a lot of yoga pictures and that’s because I have been taking A LOT of yoga classes. My 502 Fit Pass has let me try some new studios with a variety of yoga classes including (Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram and Kundalini). I love my yoga practice because it helps me to reduce my stress level and calm down at the end of the day. I have suffered from terrible (sometimes debilitating) anxiety since my early teen years, and having a grounding yoga practice has worked wonders for my stress level.

Various Activities

I really don’t hate the gym that much, I just get really bored with it and often prefer other activities. I really enjoy going to the climbing gym near my apartment and as I am sure you know I love a good long hike with my dog (Minnie Pearl). I also like riding bikes at the park. Winter has slowed me down on a few of these things, but it is a huge part of my fitness life.

I really just enjoy staying active. I plan to add more weight training and cross training in the future, but hoping these practices will give me a strong foundation to build some positive habits. What are some of your favorite ways to keep fit? If you’re in the Louisville area, do you have any classes you would recommend?

 

5 Days In and 4lbs Down!

So to kick off the New Year I decided to read and begin Dr. Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet. Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and I really like his holistic approach to wellness. I really wanted to start eating clean for my health, but I don’t like focusing on a number on a scale because it can be so disheartening.

The Blood Sugar Solution incorporates meditation, light exercise and it is a detox program where you are encouraged to eat… Hallelujah!! Now I do have to admit, I am only 5 days in and I have had to cheat. This diet is not easy as it cuts out all sugar, gluten, dairy, starchy carbs, caffeine and alcohol for 10 days. After the 10 days you can add a few things back in moderation. I am training for a 10 miler right now and plan to do a half marathon after, so I am running a lot. My body needs carbs to not feel like complete garbage. So I have made some modifications to meet my own needs.

I will say the first two days I was following this diet to a “T” and I had a pounding headache, and was dreaming about chocolate; however, I have not felt hungry so far. Now my body has seemed to adjust to the lack of caffeine and sugar and I am sleeping really well. The change on the scale isn’t a primary goal, but I have dropped 4lbs already and feel a lot less bloated.  So I am going to see this through to the end and I will keep you updated.

If you’ve completed the 10-Day Sugar Detox, I would love to hear comments on your experience. I would also love to hear from anyone with any questions! If you’re interested here is a link to Dr. Mark Hyman’s Facebook Page.

New Year’s Resolutions

Well it is the beginning of the New Year and I cannot tell you just how ready I am to have this fresh start in 2018. I know that New Year’s resolutions are somewhat cliché, but I enjoy taking the time to evaluate the previous year while setting some small (achievable) goals for the year ahead. For myself I plan to focus on three things in 2018 including Friendships, Hiking and Personal Wellness.

Friendships

Since moving to Louisville 2 1/2 years ago I have made so many friendships with an amazing group of talented women. The only thing is I tend to be lazy with making plans with my friends at times, and sometimes I just want to chill out in front of Netflix with my bag of Doritos (please don’t judge). This year I want to commit to making plans (outside of mandatory Junior League Meetings) once a month with at least one of my friends.

 

Hiking

Okay, so this is an easy one for me. I just want to recommit myself to getting outside and enjoying a great hike. This is definitely when I am my happiest and any stress I have just seems to melt away. I would like to commit to one hike a month this year, regardless of weather. Since I am planning to blog and record some of my adventures throughout Kentucky this will be an easy goal to accomplish. I get way more than 12 hikes in a year, but I usually don’t get out much during the colder months.

 

Wellness

My most challenging goal will be focusing on my wellness this year. I don’t really want to say fitness, because I want it to be more than that. I am not interested in losing a certain number of pounds (although I won’t be mad). Yoga has been a great addition to my life and helps me manage my anxiety. I want to eat more colorful, healthy foods and I have already committed to run more – I signed up for Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running, so come March I better be ready for a 10 miler! Did I mention I am NOT a runner.

Overall, I just wanted to share a few of my goals for the upcoming year. If you have any goals that you are working on I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment. Either way, I hope you have a wonderful 2018!

Here We Go Again…

Okay, so I have tried to blog off and on for the last couple of years. I always seem to eventually get a major case of writer’s block. This happens mostly because I cannot seem to find only one subject to focus my writing on.

My hobbies vary, and I find that I am the type of person that needs new adventures and challenges constantly. This makes it so hard for me to focus on just one thing. With that being said I have decided that this time around my blog is going to be written just for me. I hope you enjoy my adventures and the variety I anticipate that my blog will feature.

Concentrating on what currently interests me and not focusing on a theme will allow me the freedom to run with this. Lately, I have been very focused on learning the basics of my yoga practice, reading lots of books, I plan to start (stereotypically) working on my wellness with the upcoming New Year, and of course I will write and photograph my hikes that I typically post on my Instagram account (@thelouisvillelady). I am sure this will change and grow over time and I am okay with that, because we are all growing and changing and flowing through life.

Feel free to give me a shout! I always love hearing from readers and followers and I will try my best to always respond.