What’s Next: CFF Xtreme Hike

One day. 30.1 miles. One 30,000 reasons.

Hiker Main Logo1

My phone alarm was set for 4:45 Saturday morning so I could hike 20 miles with the group at seven. As planned the alarm went off and as planned I hauled my butt out of bed, proceeding to fill my pack and get dressed (a little begrudgingly might I admit). I finally headed out the door at 5:45 to head to the trailhead that was 52 minutes away as I am notorious for getting lost!

As I was driving down the highway the sun was rising and every song on the radio was making me cry. No kidding, Martina McBride’s ‘God’s Will’ came on, I cried, someone else’s song about corn came on and I cried some more – I was a hot mess. I turned off the radio and got to thinking about why in the world would I get up and drive an hour to encounter ticks, snakes, and quite probably worse forms of wildlife.

I wanted the physical challenge of hiking 30 miles in one day sure but with that opportunity to push my body came the chance to fundraise for one of the most amazing nonprofit organizations I have ever had the chance to be a part of – The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – and that’s why I was up, ready to hike.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the mucus membranes in the body and creates excess phlegm making life for the individual difficult and often times cut all too short. 30,000 adults and children live with CF everyday, taking 35 to 40 pills a day and spending up to 18 hours doing various treatments. By the end of September 14, 2013 I’m going to have a minuscule glimpse of how exhausting a day with CF might be like.

To learn more about CF I encourage you check out the national website!

Hiking for Allen:

63062_507793782276_2015254_n

The first time I ever heard cystic fibrosis I was on the phone with my now husband and he was telling me about his best friend and how awesome he was. Stephen (my now husband) had been friend’s with Allen since junior high, they had always played sports and been active together even throughout high school. Allen was sick fairly often and had been in and out of the hospital pretty frequently throughout the years, never knowing or understanding what kept coming back to bite him. Eventually during yet another impromptu stay in the hospital a nurse practitioner had a hunch about what we know now was so the doctor sent blood work to the lab to specifically test for cystic fibrosis, sure enough that was it. Why it hadn’t been caught years before is still a mystery, possibly Allen had had a false false on his tests as a child and no one else had thought to check because of how active he had been as a child or cystic fibrosis was still not very well known. Either way this diagnoses brought both hope and despair to his family, they finally knew what kept putting their otherwise active child in the hospital but were faced with the reality of an average life expectancy of 37 and a half. Allen was 16.

26405_388021654309_6437791_n

Allen actually came into my life as he was turning 22, I met him late one evening when Stephen took me out to play basketball with the boys late one evening in their hometown. Everyone was nice and to be honest Allen or anyone else really didn’t stand out, they were just boys out there having a good time. It wasn’t until I saw Allen next time it became apparent to me just how devastating of a disease he was living with every single day. It was only a few months later when the same group of friends were gathered at Allen’s place to play video games when he looked emaciated and the light that was in his eyes was dimmer than I had ever seen. He had just come back from the hospital and had to lay in bed or sit in a chair to be able to even to just chat. I would go on see Allen the next few months after that and each time he would only be weaker. I also watched the fight slowly slip from my husband as well, each time we would visit Allen it was like a little bit of Stephen would stay behind each time.

The last time I saw Allen he was on the couch of parents home, a puppy pad beneath him and covered in blankets. IVs were in his arm and his wrists were so thin that I could close my fist around them if I had not been afraid to break his bones. That’s as close to death as I had ever been. Stephen and I stayed with Allen about an hour while he drifted in and out of consciousness that day and I knew the only reason he was still here was because God gave him a purpose and Allen refused to give up so easily. Despite being where most would consider the bottom Allen had to prove one more time that God gave him grace and the will to live.

My husband asked me to stay home the last time he went to see his best friend, they needed alone time and I could respect that. An emergency trip was made with Allen’s last wish in hand – the Avenger’s DVD – June 2012. Most of the same group I had met in the beginning was there to watch The Avenger’s with Allen as he was enjoying the last moments of his life. Less than 24 hours later Allen and God had made a truce and Allen’s mission on Earth was completed on June 6, 2012.

Wrap Up:

Hike

I am so blessed to have had a chance to get to know Allen and be able to hike for him and the other 30,000 adults and children who live every day with cystic fibrosis. Not only have I been able to hike under the Foundation I was also given the opportunity to volunteer at the local St. Louis office which has allowed me to meet many CF families and be a part of this fantastic organization so if anyone has any questions go ahead and ask! If I can’t answer your question I am happy to find you someone who can! If anyone is interested in getting involved with your local chapter fine one here, if you feel compelled to give (over 90 cents of your every dollar goes directly to research) click here , or are interested in seeing the list of the events around St. Louis check them out here!

Thank you so much for reading!

The rest of the week:

After my original fitness watch went kaput I did order a Garmin 910XT – heck yes I did! Hopefully it will be in by next Tuesday. (:

Started class this past week (I’m in college) and am excited to see what this semester has in store!

AND my big kid bag of ENERGYbits came in Monday!

Have a great week guys!!

Do you guys have a cause for which you would fundraise $2,500?

Anyone out there with a CF connection who would like to share your story?

Taking ENERGYbits for a spin

Oh BOY guys do I have news for you guys?! YES I DO!!!

Look what I got in the mail Saturday afternoon – my sample from ENERGYbits!!

See, see, see??

IMG_3334

Cool, huh?

I thought so too!

What’s even cooler?

They gave me a code[BLOG] for you guys to get 10% off your order too!

When I was given a chance to try a sample to review for my blog I was super excited mainly because just about everyone can eat them – really! There’s no caffeine, chemicals, sugar, or gluten. They are 100% natural green algae (I swear – it doesn’t taste nearly as bad as it sounds) and are packed with 64% protein and forty nutrients!! All very impressive, huh? I thought so too!

However I will be completely honest in saying as excited as I was I was still a little skeptical since I had tried other “boosters” with little to no success. Spoiler alert – energybits work!

Let’s get to the good stuff!

The instructions say to take about thirty “bits”  so I counted them, I really thought it was overkill but they’ve done research so who am I change to the winning formula?!

IMG_3363

There’s thirty in the picture and it looks like a lot to swallow but I took them in a few handfuls with a glass of water, not bad at all!

So with those in my system I headed out the door to get in a quick run and HOLY COW! I went out for a mile with the dog to see if I would get the jitters and when that didn’t happen I went out for four miles at an easy pace on my own.

I am back at my computer with just as much energy as when I started…this means I need to work out harder, right?! Maybe after this gets published! Seriously though I still have energy and haven’t felt jittery or otherwise compromised at all.

Enough of me just raving let me tell you what I found. Several other reviews say that the bits taste planty and smell fairly offensive, I didn’t agree with either so much. Although no steak and potato dinner the bits are by far better than other things I’ve tried and I can get over the taste without hiccup; as for the smell, I didn’t find it offensive at all, I guess it just depends on personal preference! I was also happy to note that the bits are pretty tiny so they’re easy to swallow, what a relief!

I am so so so excited to be able to tell you guys it worked, it worked, it worked!! I will continue to use the bits until they’re gone and then go and buy more if I get just as fabulous of a result (I have no doubt I will)!! Another great thing about being able to review these for engerybits is the tin they came in is awesome to take on the trail and to races so I don’t have to haul the bag around all the time – awesome!

The only thing I am waiting for is the FDAs stamp but above and beyond that I would and will certainly recommend ENERGYbits

Alright! I am finished for today, thanks so much for dropping by and go get a bag of bits for yourself!!

PS don’t forget to use the code ‘BLOG’ for 10% off your order!

Disclaimer: While I received this item free for review, all opinions expressed within are my own.

Getting Started

Hey! I’m a twenty-something wondering why the heck I got out of shape and trying to get back in it! I played tball, soccer, and basketball plus we had a pool during different parts of my childhood so I never had to think much about being active! In high school I slowed down quite a bit, didn’t do a whole lot but I never gained a whole lot of weight, again I still didn’t have to think much about it because it wasn’t yet an issue.

Then…

Here comes college…yikes! I gained probably thirty pounds my first year of college and it made me feel awful, I was wearing the largest pant size I had ever had to wear to accommodate my body and although it shouldn’t have been my self esteem was tied pretty closely to that number on the tag.

Two years into college I have dropped two pant sizes but haven’t really lost any weight which is A-OK with me! Why?? It means I am thinner, toner, and stronger which equals HEALTHY! Well, at least healthier 🙂

I am looking forward to smaller pant sizes, more energy, and a long life!

Thanks for reading! I encourage any and all comments!

E

The Blog’s whys and hows

Last September I had every desire to to start something, I just wasn’t sure what. I went from cupcake bakery to running a marathon which has turned into every desire to do a triathlon. I have posted every day in the week leading up to going live with my blog in hopes you can get to know me a little better before I begin just spitting training logs (and more) your way! Hereafter I will post every Friday, about noon – I look forward to seeing you guys back week after week 😉 I will post mainly workout logs with motivation for personal purposes mainly but I started a blog so I could hopefully inspire others and show that “if I can, you can.” This blog may also include an occasional rant of some sort usually pertaining to an every day topic that bothers me, random lists (I feel like I could probably be labeled as a compulsive list maker by the way), and little bits and pieces of my life.

Goals and “limits”

I put limits in quotations because I think, for the most part they’re mental, sure you can only push your body so far but your mind is ready to stop long before that point so here it goes!!

Eventually I’m looking forward to completing and decimating a triathlon! As for the immediate future I am in the midst of training for a 30.1 mile charity hike this September and the Go! Saint Louis marathon April 2014. Between now and then I am looking to improve day-to-day habits and enjoy life! Cheers!

Involving You Guys!

I really do enjoy interacting with people so I encourage you to comment on any and all entries, find me on Twitter (@emkslone), and even come hang out with me Pinterest (skemily)!

I do ask that you be respectful of all parties and although you may not agree with every opinion of someone else that you do not bash, harass, threaten, or anything else that may fall even loosely into any category listed. If I do see any of this happening I do have the right to delete comments and block users if necessary – please don’t make me!! I am looking forward to seeing everyone across platforms! 😀

PS feel free to email me any time at thesaltypretzelblog@gmail.com!