Friday, August 8, 2014


I made a promise that we would walk up Pikes Peak to my son (seated in the picture) 3 years ago this month. That year we visited Big Bend, Carlsbad Caverns, and Pikes Peak. At each National Park he wanted to hike explore and play. I was in denial of my obese condition but reality quickly hit and I could do nothing with him. I forfeited a lot of great memories and experiences. By the time we had driven to the summit of Pikes Peak I was completely beaten down with shame and sadness for disappointing Simon. The depressed look on his face to this day sickens me. It was on the way back to Texas I apologized and promised him in 3 years for his Senior trip we would return to Pikes Peak and we would walk up that mountain. I was 370 pounds with a 60 inch waist. Since then my weight has been a roller coaster but have netted a 130 pound loss and brought my waist down to 42 inches. I also replaced my right hip which I damaged in 1986 in a car wreck. Now we are driving to Colorado Springs to complete this promise. We hit the trail head of Barr Trail 8/9 will go half way and spend the night at Barr Camp and then summit 8/10 which also happens to be Simon's 19th birthday.

Tomorrow we hit the Barr Trail trail head, will spend the night on the mountain at Barr Camp and summit on Sunday.  We arrived in Colorado 2 days ago and went straight to the trailhead of Barr Trail to practice both physically and mentally.  We went about a1/4 mile up the trail just to get a taste.  I have been telling other Texans that are going to hike up with us, "we have no idea what it is REALLY going to be like"  I felt the truth in my own words while walking up that 1/4 mile.  The trail is even more intimidating for me than I thought.  Especially after stumbling to get around a precarious rock, while a hundred foot very step drop off was just to my right. 

From a physical perspective I could definitely be in better shape.  What I am proud of is that I had my right hip replaced March 20th and while not as strong as had hoped that leg would be it has held up very well.  I don't know how affected I am by the oxygen at the 6500 foot level at the base of the mountain in Manitou Springs but I don't feel like it has affected me very much if any at all.

We have trained every day this week.  Yesterday I went part way up the Manitou Incline, which is a mile of stairs straight up.  I made it about a quarter mile of the way up and then descended back down; which was even MORE taxing on my quads than going up!  This was do to the slow step down really feeling the burn as I lowered my body to the next step.

We are ready as we will ever be!  Today is rest day our legs are sore!  We will be driving to Leadville Colorado today, the highest town in the USA at 10, 152 feet.  The group in the picture are those I am very blessed to have joining my son and me on this adventure.  Seated in the picture is Simon, my incredible son to whom I made this promise. To the left are Mike and Lisa Martinez.  Lisa is also blogging about this adventure at Catholic Tourist's web site.  In the middle is a new wonderful friend Terri who had also turned her health around and made this trek 5 times already! At my side is my incredible, supportive wife, that has lost over 90 pounds in preparation for this adventure.  Then there I am on the right.

Thank you ALL of you who have supported us; Family, Friends, and Facebook pals!  Especially those of you on facebook that have encouraged me, educated me, and at times have tried to SET ME STRAIGHT!  

So tomorrow we are off with a strong will, great support, and prayers for a safe hike and good weather.  PIKES PEAK OR BUST!

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