A very good place to start.

I need to be in tip-top physical (and mental) shape for my Grand Canyon trip in the later half of May.

Here are my stats:

  1. 168 lbs as of 3/15. I don’t have a scale so I depend on the one at the gym. I’m about 5’5″.
  2. Emotional vegetarian.
  3. Strong walker.
  4. Working towards a modified primal living lifestyle by restricting carbs, embracing dairy and enjoying avocadoes & nuts (along with plenty of veggies).
  5. Consistently track my food.
  6. Previously flirted with running and swimming.
  7. Have had issues with my post-tibial tendon and shin splints.
  8. Occasionally hit up the gym for the elliptical and abs machine.
  9. Currently advanced beginner to mid-level yogi (I can hold my own in Steve’s class! .. though I may wimper a little).

All I know for this trip is the following:

  1. Start early.
  2. For the lower body and for endurance walk, jog, run, use the treadmill, elliptical, and stairs, etc. Legs need to be in condition and used to downhill and uphill.
  3. For carrying the backpack work to strengthen the upper body, stomach and back area: swimming, weights, fitness machines, walk with a weighted backpack.
  4. Most of the backpack weight will be transferred to hips, so stomach and lower back exercises and stretches are important.
  5. Break in hiking boots.
  6. Enjoy the heat!
  7. Consider the change in elevation.
  8. Secondarily: losing weight should help.

Here are my foci:


I need to lose weight. I’m not concerned with a particular amount by the time of the trip since any bit will help, but I do have long-term weight-loss goals. As far as I’m concerned, a proper diet is all one needs to lose weight (quantity AND quality).


  • back machine: back
  • crunch machine: core
  • Stairmaster: legs, endurance
  • elliptical HIIT: legs, heart

Running: endurance, legs, tendons

Swimming: upper body, upper back, some core

Walking with loaded daypack (30-35 lbs) & boots: upper body, lower back, upper back, core, endurance, heat, confidence

Yoga (Hatha): stretching, flexibility, general strengthening (core, legs, upper body)

I know I’m already behind and that this will be a tough journey. I have plenty of doubts of my own. I’m hoping that by tracking and having a visual sense of my progress I can succeed in making this hike the best it can be!

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