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The Chronicles of Mountain Dew (Month 1)

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The Chronicles of Mountain Dew (Month 1)


Day 1:




Well it has started... The journey of a 44 year old, over weight beer guzzling guy; and his kid’s goal to summit Mt Rainier someday.


It all started last evening. On my way home from work after posting on this site, I found new strength and determination to make this dream a reality. I knew I would have to start out slow and overcome a lot of obstacles. Mentally I made a list of what I needed to do:


Stop smoking ~

This is gonna be hard; it is a 26 yr old habit


Stop drinking so much ~

Around Oct 2001 started drinking on a daily basis. I had drank before on occasion to help me sleep through the night (after 3 combat deployments in my youth I sleep way too light and wake up frequently), but the added stress of my new job made me step it up a notch to where I now can drink a least a 6 pack a night without feeling a buzz… Of course I consume more on the weekends! :lmao:


Start eating right ~

Right now I only eat about once a day, and then I eat until I am stuffed… I know this is not good. I also eat anything I want (which in my case is bad).


Start getting in shape ~

Right now I have no exercise in my life period! That changes now. I am not quite as heavy as I thought. I feel 200 but I am only 183 as noted at the top in red. (I will weigh myself monthly to monitor my progress and let you all know where I am at).


Stop drinking soda like it is water ~

Hence my name, I drink Mountain Dew like a vampire sucks blood! It is the first thing I do when I wake up (while having a smoke of course). It is also the last thing I drink at night (washes out the taste of all the beer) LOL I also drink around 4-6 during the day at work. I don’t drink coffee, but I sure make up for it by swilling my “golden green elixir of the Gods” (as I like to call it). ;)


With all that in mind I approached my oldest daughter to get a time limit for my goals;


“When do you want to climb Mt Rainier”?


“Before I graduate HS” She replied.


So there I had it. 4 years to get this done. I feel this is a reasonable goal… The sounds of “Eye of the Tiger” started playing in my head as I made our dinner of spaghetti!!! I took my first baby step by only eating ¼ pound of spaghetti instead of my normal ½ pound. After words I had the kids jump in the car and we headed to REI in Tacoma.

I tried to get my wife to come along and join in and become a part of our 4 yr journey, but she gracefully declined and continued to read her “Twilight Fan – Fiction” on the computer LOL.


As we made our way to REI I had decided just to pick up the necessary hiking shoes/boots that would be needed to start hiking. As people suggested here, starting out with some nice easy hikes would be a good start. This past weekend we had wore tennis shoes and even flip flops (me), and that would not work if we were going to do this seriously.


Entering the store my daughter and I “oohed” and smiled as we saw the pick ax door handles! Oh boy, good times lay within! :)


After picking out what appeared to be a decent pair of hiking boots for my oldest daughter and I (both got Merrell Gortex), I was ready to head to the check out. Of course my Teenager was not going to let it be that easy.


Peering at me with her “One big brown eye” (the other one covered by her emo bangs), she pleaded for a North Face Denali jacket and hiking pants… arrgghh, I should of seen this coming. Of course I agreed being the sucker for my kids that I am and let her throw the extra stuff in the cart. Not to be out done, my 2 year old wanted some cloths as well… So with two jackets, 2 pants for the kids, 3 pair of boots, and a few pairs of wool socks I went to the cash register where the salesman told me to bend over while he ripped $532.00 out of my butt!!! :lmao:


So that is it. This weekend will be our first hike. I am going to look into the capital forest area that someone here suggested… And I am also going to start a journal of my daily “struggle” to be the mountain man my daughter wants me to be…. I’ll keep you all posted ;)


To Be Continued (I hope)…

Edited by Mountain Dew
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Before you endure any more butt ripping, you may want to check out your local thrift stores or places like Second Ascent where you can get used clothing and gear. I have found name brand stuff that I use for hiking and climbing in Value Village and Goodwill (North Face jackets and vest, Lowa climbing boots, Ibex Schoeller pants, etc). It can help you ease into the sport. I have 3 kids and know the look of gear lust for bright shiny new stuff. You must be strong...save the big bucks for your footwear, shell gear, tent, sleeping bags, etc. I wish you well in your pursuit of fitness and family bliss in the mountains. Sharing time in the mountains with your family is great times and makes for lasting memories.

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DAY 2:



Yesterday afternoon I did research on trying to find some local hiking trails that I heard mentioned here. Went to the National forest service in West Olympia to try and find some maps of the local area... DOH! They only had the Olympic Forest (national forest service duh). So I then went to the DNR (dept of natural resources). They didn't have a map of the Capitol Forest either but had a strip map of the location in Tumwater where I could find one...Plan on going there today :)


After my daughters HS Soccer game (they won, yeah!) I went home to make dinner. Baked some skinless chicken breasts with onions, and ate it with a little rice. Not my normal Huge meal so I am slowly trying to eat better.


Best news, I only drank 2 beers! One before dinner and one with. (this may save me a lot of money in the long run too) LOL


Around 815pm me and the kids went out for a walk in the dark. Maintained a brisk pace most of the time, and carried my 2yr old/"back pack" a majority of the way. Wore my new boots to help break them in. We went out away from our house for 30 mins and then walked back... So after 1 hour of 'working out' for the first time in forever I was a sweaty mess and my feet hurt LOL I then proceeded to drink 3 glasses of water (first taste of water in like 6 months) and passed out on the couch. :)


This morning I have a tiny tiny blister on my right foot, and my theighs are a little sore... besides that, I feel Great! Forced myself not to drink a Mt Dew when I woke up and drank another glass of water...


I am feeling good overall... Mt Rainier here we come! :lmao:



To Be Cont......

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:tup: Woohooo!! Another good place for gear at reasonable prices is Second Ascent. They've got a great selection of used boots, clothes, crampons, packs, tents, you name it, that will save you a bit of the sticker shock. They also get some great new clearance stuff a few times a year.


if your looking on-line I've also had good luck at Northern Moutnain Supply, and Mountain Gear. (And backcountry supply seems to have some screamin good deals as well.)


It's fantastic that your'e getting out with your Daughters! Hiking and backpacking with my parents is definitely one of my favorite childhood memories (and the little one can start carrying her own pack by the time she's 7 or 8!)


Good luck and keep at it! It's well worth every sore muscle and blister!

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mountain dew,


AWESOME! Starting small is the way to go! Do a few little things, even if its only a few days a week, it'll help to break old habits and start making new ones. Going out for a walk is a great way to get the ball rolling on the exercise! I've had friends who tried to quit smoking, start exercising, and start starving themselves and it was always a failure because they didn't moderate. Just instead of having too much food, smokes, sitting...they went for the other side--not enough food, no smokes, unrealistic exercise regime.


I'm sure you'll have tough days and better days..in time if you keep it up though, the positive changes will start to snowball and you'll find it'll be easier and easier to ride that horse to the finish line and beyond.


keep up the good work!

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One other piece of advice: try to work out every day, even if for only 30 or 40 minutes, or at least five or six days a week so it becomes a habit and your body gets used to it.


I also don't see any point in starving yourself or anything. You should try to eat healthy but if your working out a lot you probably need a fair amount of calories and you should make this an experience that you enjoy not that sucks balls.

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One other piece of advice: try to work out every day, even if for only 30 or 40 minutes, or at least five or six days a week so it becomes a habit and your body gets used to it.


I also don't see any point in starving yourself or anything. You should try to eat healthy but if your working out a lot you probably need a fair amount of calories and you should make this an experience that you enjoy not that sucks balls.


Ditto. The first two weeks are the hardest. Set your goals easy for the first month at least. Eat healthy but eat plenty. Don't make this "suck balls". It doesn't have to.

I'll be folowing your progress...

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good on you!!


Someone mentioned this once already. I recommend NWhikers.net


there are MANY folks who take their kids hiking, backpacking,scrambling, mountaineering, and climbing on that site. lots of trip reports with lots of pics. It is a great place to ask and read about ANY trail or peak. Not that this site is not good cause it is great. Just informing you of and expanding the wealth of knowledge to be found on online forums.


good luck and hope to see ya on both sites posting your progress.

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Thank you for more good advice. NWhikers has a lot of good info on it. I read it for an hour yesterday. Don't have time to post double, so for now I will just come here :)


Also, love the idea for the poster t_rutl, good idea!


Now without further ado....






Well on day 3 I tried to force myself to eat breakfast or lunch (instead of just pigging out at dinner)... Thought of it at the last second and all I grabbed out the pantry were some..



:lmao: :lmao:


The good news is, I did eat one for breakfast and then another one around noon... Even better news is I only drank TWO Sodas at work today!!! (trust me, that is a major feat for me) LOL


Also went to get my map of the Capitol Forest. I went to the DNR Printing office in Tumwater off exit 101. The lady was very nice and I bought the map for around $5.00... (they do take debit cards). Then I did a little recon on my lunch break. Marked out a site or two on the map and went to find the trail heads so I could find it easier on Saturday. Met a very nice older couple there who were unloading their horses for a ride and they were very helpful on suggesting "nice routes" to take this weekend. I did see a sign that said; "closed Nov 1st"...mmmmmm I wonder if all hiking trails close then??


After work I stopped by a discount outdoor place in Lacey (used to be Sportsmans wearhouse) and bought a nice little first aid kit to take with us.. (better safe then sorry) :)



Made a simple dinner last evening, and I ate 3




I know, your thinking..WTF?... but 3 is not a bad number for me. I usually eat FOUR, and wash it down with around SIX beers. Tonight I stuck to 3 and only drank 2 beers! (it was hard to stop).


After, I put the 2yo in the stroller and we went for our evening walk. (my oldest had a small groin pull from practice). Went for a 60 minute walk but this time I added a little something. There is a road near my house that is pretty steep. I went down the hill with the stroller (harder then I thought), and then slowly came back up. Huffing and puffing and sweating all the way! LOL The hill/road is only about 1/4 mile or so, but he elevation came up 220 feet from the bottom to the top (at least according to my Suunto) :)


Feet felt better when I got home, no new blisters so far; And this morning even managed to eat a small bowl of cereal...




Hey, its better then nothing right? ;)



To Be Cont...

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This is awesome!


Keep up the exercise and you will find yourself getting hungry at the right times, good carbs before, after and during hikes are crucial to maintaining energy (granola bars work well).


Don't just stop eating soda, replace it with something. You need liquids. Coffee, tea, sport drinks (the lower sugar/calorie the better...if you like the taste of nuun it is a great option).


Mt Zion and Mt Townsen would both be good achievable goals in the Olympics. Mnt Eleanor is closer to home but slightly more technical depending on season/snow.


Hiking some of the stuff from Hurricane ridge would give you a taste of getting up high and getting on top of something without having to hike all the way there. They also used to have awesome kid friendly winter snow shoe tours.


Staying motivated through the winter months is definitely the crux of staying shape.

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Do you know anyone else about your age interested in hiking or climbing? I find it easier to be motivated and train with someone else...especially when I've gotten out of shape. You can also share information, gear, dreams of climbing destinations, etc. I have great times with my family, but my climbing partner has a special bond of trust and familiarity through shared experience. He makes even slogs up Mt. Si with heavy packs good times. I also have friends with kids around my kids ages and find there is a lot more fun (and less whining) for them on hikes when they have someone their own age to relate to. Just something to consider in you quest. Again, keep up the good work!

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Hey doods,

I'd like to join this gentleman in motivating himself to tackle his goal for climbing rainier. Here's what I'm proposing-Everybody who's interested in dropping one or two bad habits that prevent you from climbing or going harder post it here. I'm going to start by saying I'm going to stop eating poorly (i.e. drinking sodas). If you falter please post as well. Sorry to hijack the thread, but I think that if he sees that more and more people are also invested in this endeavor of personal fitness, he might be more compelled to go further and harder as well.


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one of the worst things i do for my health is not sleeping enough. i will consistently stay awake, piddling around with little things around the house or on the computer, sleeping for 3-5 hours a night. then on a weekend sometimes I'll sleep for 9 hours and feel caught up a bit but for the most part I feel like sometimes I'm screwing myself, sleeping 3 hours on a weeknight with work at 8am the next morning.

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All great ideas!!


I do not know anyone else my age (that lives around me) interested in the same thing.. but I will keep my eye out.

Love the idea about posting your weaknesses or what you are trying to overcome as well :)


Without further ado.....








Well yesterday as you all know I finally ate some breakfast (been a long time), and I actually didn't feel full at work. I am feeling a little better (physically) even though I know it is early... (it might be just mental). Either way I felt good.


For lunch I had a can of :




It is actually pretty dry to eat plain, but I just used an old can opener at work and scarfed it down rather I liked it or not...


The biggest news (to me) is that I drank only 1 soda yesterday! :shock: For me that is amazing! (did not get a headache either like I expected). Replaced the urge to drink soda with drinking water... so far so good.


Later at home I made up some plain rice and green beans and a few of my wife's favorite:




I cut off the bone on the two I ate and also trimmed the fat around the sides... I didn't eat as big of portion as usual, but I think after eating something for breakfast and lunch I didn't feel as hungry.... Once Again, I washed down my dinner with only 2 beers!!! :)



Youngest and myself went for a pretty mellow 1 hour walk again tonight, but no hill involved... (did have to carry her on my shoulders half the time) She is like my little back pack in training LOL


Sleeping great (even without all the beer), getting close to 8 hours of sleep and even woke up this morning and had No urge to drink the dew. Ate a bowl of




and did not even think to bring a soda to work with me! (maybe today I can go the whole day without one)? Don't officially have to work today, so I plan on leaving here soon and seeking out a trail or two :)


Thats it for now, I have some questions but think I will save that for a seperate post...


To Be Cont...

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have a good weekend mt dew! have fun!

you're doing very well and eating a few times throughout the day will give your body the energy it needs and help it to be burning calories more efficiently throughout the day.


when most of us starve ourselves, (ie no breakfast or lunch) the body responds by thinking this is a 'famine' and it must conserve energy, hence long term lots of that starving behavior with sudden large quantities of food, the body is geared to 'store store store' and not to burn.


good job on the soda too!! just don't hard on yourself (if you're that kinda person) IF you do wake up and feel like a soda or now drink 3 or 4 in a day sometime-its not the biggest deal. you are looking for making lots consistent small changes over a long time - so long as the trend is in the right direction small aberrations won't matter much and are only worth learning a bit from and moving on.

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Tomorrow will be a Busy day for me, so I am going to post todays "Chronicles" right now ;)


BTW, if your wondering why I call them my Chronicles, its because my work-mates call me "Riddick"!!!




Sadly, it is not because I am "built" like Vin D., But because I have a pair of "pugs", which look just like the eye protection Riddick wears. (bought them at a truck stop in Idaho if you wanna swing by and pick up a pair) LOL




Here we go!




DAY 5 (9-25-09)



Today after posting I told my friends at work what trail I would be taking and where I was going...(I know I wasn't going on a mountain, but I figured better safe then sorry) LOL


Then I jumped in the car and headed to the Capitol Forest. I figured I would walk the trail I planned on taking my kids on tomorrow first to make sure that it was safe for the 2 yr old. Around 9:15 I started out on Mima Trail #8 from the TH. (that means trail head for those who are newer then me LOL).


I had a small bag with straps with me (made do for a back pack) and this is what I brought along:


Bottle of water (20oz)

small 1st aid kit

2 small bags (1.75 oz) of planters peanuts




and my .....




Glock .45cal auto :blush:


I know, I know.... you are LYAO right now... It wasn't because I was scared of Cougars (which I am), but since I have never been in the woods all by myself, I was more scared of meeting people like this:




I have made it 44 yrs without squealing like a pig..didn't want to start now ;):lmao:


I followed the trail and it took me 58 minutes to get to Mima Falls. It was a lot of fun and I felt like I was the only person in the world at the time... I didn't see another soul while I made my hike. The signs said it was 2.5 miles to the falls, so I don't know if 58 mins is good timing or not.


When I got there, there was a little pinic table and the site of an old campfire... the falls were not very big (more like a trickle from a creek) but I was still stoked that I did it!


I walked down to the creek and scooped up a handful of water and drank it... (my new tradition) LOL I also noticed a couple of pieces of trash in the campfire site and I picked them up and put them in my 'back pack'. I had a smoke (to reward myself) and drank up my water. (which was now 80% gone). I ate 3/4 of the small bag of peanuts for energy and after about 10 minutes I headed back. The only excitement I had on the trail was dodging Horse Crap... I now am not such a big fan of horses. ;)


Just before I got back to the TH, I ran into a nice young lady on a horse and moved out of her way. That is the only person I saw on my little hike...


After the hike I drank up the rest of my water and made a note to bring more water tomorrow...One bottle was NOT enough for me. I then decided to drive to the FALL CREEK TH to see where it was and I was soooo pumped up I alredy made up my mind to climb Cap. Peak next week (if I can) as someone suggested here. The "C" line roads were no joke!! Narrow and gravel, my poor car was not used to it, but I pushed on ahead LOL


After finding the TH I turned around and headed back home. I was dying of thirst and wished I had brought more water :( (I stopped by a store and "treated myself" to a Mt Dew.) Only drinking One soda is a Miracle for me.


Now home, I am giving myself an award and allowing myself to drink more then 2 beers.... I am now on my 4th




And I will prob drink 1 or 2 more with dinner (BBQ Spare ribs, chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob)...But WTH, I deserve it :) :) :)


I cannot wait for tomorrow morning to take my kids hiking... I will be back on later after grubbing out :)

Edited by Mountain Dew
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Good job! I would also advise Second Ascent for getting gear...I'm on a tight budget, and I've gotten quite a bit of climbing gear from there for low prices...just picked up a Lowe Alpine backpack for $60, it would have cost over $200 new!


Also, drinking water straight from a creek is not a good idea...it can give you giardia, which is NOT something you want. Water filters can eliminate this problem, but for a dayhike, it's easier to just pack in the water you will drink. A way to make it taste better is to mix half water and half Gatorade.



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