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JMT: Part 1

jmt 1

The top of Donohue Pass where the Ansel Adams Wilderness meets Yosemite National Park.

This past summer my brother J, my dad, and I decided to hike a portion of the John Muir Trail in Yosemite National Park. We had to restrict it to 60 miles due to the Ferguson Wildfire, my fathers diabetic crash, and my need to drive back to Oklahoma to report in for work. Now 2 weeks in the wilderness may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it. Highlights include:

  • Quality time with my dad and brother
  • Avoiding my political campaign for 2 weeks.
  • Learning how to effectively poop in the woods.
  • Finding out how incredibly kind strangers on the trail can be.
  • Unplugging and focusing on the moment at hand.
  • Seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes [Looking at you Garnet Lake].
  • Swimming in a freezing glacial lake.

Downsides:

  • Falling off a small waterfall, landing upside down with my arm pinned and getting waterboarded.
  • Running a few days behind and as a result running low on food towards the end.
  • Looking like Willie Nelson due to the braid situation.

My dad and I are discussing finishing the 100+ miles left of the JMT [from Agnew Meadows to Mt. Whitney and from Tuolumne Meadows to Happy Isles]. Our respective spouses think we are insane, but I’m pretty certain we can make it work. I just need Bride of Frankenfoot to heal up so I can get back out there.

I am so unbelievably grateful for my Actemra and other RA/RD medications. If you’d told me this was possible 5 years ago I would’ve thought you were taunting me. Don’t mistake this gratitude for inspiration porn [when everyone gets the warm fuzzies because ‘look at that sick/handicapped person go!]. I am simply grateful for the medical advances I have seen over the course of my illness and hopeful for what is yet to come.

So keep an eye out for me on the trail, see Y’all out there.

jmt 2

Me, my brother J, and our dad down near Agnew Meadows.

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16 Minute Miles

tea rex It’s no secret that I was never really an athlete, all my competitiveness was channeled into art growing up. In high school I used to [try] and run with the JROTC orienteering team with 2 of my best friends [who are amazing at it for the record]. At my best my run time was 11 minutes , while that is admittedly not great it was something. When I had my huge flare up my Junior/Senior years I quite trying to work out completely and assumed I wouldn’t ever have a chance to again.  Since I started my workout/ weight loss plan I started off my walking a little bit every day. For someone with RA that is active in the lower joints running is really a big deal. 3 weeks ago I jogged for the first time in 3-4 years and today I full out ran for the first time since my knee surgery my junior year of high school. I couldn’t run for long but I ended up with a 16 minute mile, which is pretty dang awesome for us RA’ers out there. For the record running is not typically encouraged in RA patients as it is a high impact for of exercise. However running is something that I do truly enjoy and miss, so in my personal opinion [for me] it is worth it. I just wanted to share this small victory with ya’ll and also say that I’ve managed to get my weight from 187 to 155 since the beginning of last semester. Remember that every pound lost is 4 pounds of off EACH knee, which has been my primary motivation [and looking fabulous] in all of this.

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