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New beginner and OUT of shape!

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby Matt » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:05 pm

I'm 5 foot 6 inches, and did 8 14ers last year while weighing >200lbs.
It sucked. :oops:
I lost 20 lbs for the TM memorial hike and five more since, and it's made a world of difference.
Everyone must know his limits, but I like michaelverdone's idea. It can't hurt to try an easy one and discover either that you're in better shape than you thought or just how much work lies ahead. Better to find out for yourself than limit yourself, IMO.
I get a LOT more out of 14ers without the extra baggage. What was a struggle last year is easier, leaving energy to enjoy.
We are all greater artists than we realize -FWN
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -HDT
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Postby smudge » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:24 pm

I'm 5'10" and 6 years ago weighed 225 lbs...I'm now about 165-170 and can move pretty well in the mountains. But I started fairly easily by just going to easy mountain lakes (emerald lake, mills lake) then bumped it up a little and within a month decided to try Flattop. It was easy so I hopped over to Hallet and was stoked! It took a lot longer then it takes now, but so what, I was doing it.

I say go for it. What's the worst thing that can happen if you use common sense? You turn back short of the summit. That's it. No big deal. And I don't consider that a failure...not even in the slightest. The fact that you are off your ass doing something about being unhealthy is more than most people in this country are doing...

It's pretty cool to see people being open about their struggles with getting back into a healthy state. So don't let people tell you you can't or shouldn't do it a certain way. If you heart is telling you to go try to climb a 14er, then go try it. Again, the worst thing that can possibly happen (if you use a little common sense) is that you don't get to the summit on this first attempt. Afterall, the point is not to summit mountains, but to get healthy, which will result in a lot of summit days...
~Michael

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Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Thank you, everyone.

Postby tlt » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:42 pm

I would like to thank everyone for all their suggestions and encouragment! I've read a variety of advice!

When I first moved here from below sea level a couple years ago I use to hit Apex, Lookout Mountain, Red Rocks and many other trails on a regular basis, probably 2-3 times a week. I was running on Green Mtn (Lakewood) a few mornings a week before work, of course only about a mile or two.

I desperately miss being in that kind of shape! I've added a half of me to my size and need to get rid of her! I DO eat healthy but, I'm one of those people that the ONLY way I can lose weight is to really bust my butt working out.

I'm a pescetarian as of February but, I don't consume very much dairy because of what I have read about cow's milk! I've heard so many people talk about how they lost 10 lbs in a month just by changing their diet! NOT me! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! I haven't lost an ounce and for the past 5 months I've been eating healthier than ever!

I'm really looking forward to getting back into hiking and the advice on here has really helped! I'm really glad I found this site. Thank you again!

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Postby coloradokevin » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:06 am

SanibelSandy wrote:I live in Lakewood also, and your story sounds familiar! I lost 90 lbs about 5 years ago, and my biggest accomplishment AFTER that was beginning the 14ers! First one was Quandry--and it was amazing, but that was AFTER I lost the weight. The I hiked Green Mountain right there in Lakewood (and still do) on a daily basis for almost a year during the losing phase, and it was a great start on training and close to home. Give it a try! You go girl!!!!


I was going to add something about Green Mountain too, seeing that you live in Lakewood. If you are very overweight/out of shape, asking your body to do a 14'er right off of the couch is asking a lot! But, being in the front range, there are plenty of training options! Green Mountain is a great training/exercise hill... it is maybe 1.5 miles and 700-800 vertical? It is ugly and crowded, but great exercise just 10 minutes from home!

You may also want to visit some of the Jefferson County Open Space Parks... Mt Galbraith, Apex Park, Matthews-Winters, and others are all good hikes for exercise and weight loss.

One you gain some confidence in your hiking ability, move up in altitude...

As for a first 14'er, I'd suggest Quandary or Bierstad. Sherman is also easy, but I thought it was ugly by comparision.

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