*Lindsay’s Note: The following is part five in a multi part series by Rebekka Utermohlen on her 2015 Fitness Journey.
I never quite understood the logic behind drinking on your birthday and giving yourself the gift of a hangover- even though I have given myself that gift on many birthday occasions. Finally, this year I decided I wanted to celebrate my day of birth without subsequently feeling like I wanted to be put out of my misery. It’s not easy coming up with a birthday activity that would appeal to all my friends, nor one that didn’t involve trying to round up RSVPS for a restaurant reservation. So turning to my new favorite activity, hiking, I planned a birthday hike for 9am on a Saturday.
I realized a 9am hike on a Saturday would not appeal too many of my friends, more so because of the early wake-up call versus the activity itself. But it’s my birthday and I’ll hike if I want to. I choose an easy to moderate hike at Griffith Park up to the observatory. At first I didn’t know the correct name so I created a 90% effective map with Photoshop to mark where the trail began. Only one set of friends were confused by my map. I’ve now come to find out it is consider the East route. A completely uphill climb that takes about 45 minutes to complete, I’ve taken this hike in my pre-fitness journey days and would agonize in discomfort.
This time I was able to keep up! No breaks. I could even keep pace with my boyfriend’s niece, who is a weekend marathon runner. Although her breathing wasn’t nearly as labored as mine. Once up the hill and at the Observatory we rested for a moment on the grass, and soaked in the overcast sky before heading back down. I had purchased coffee and very unhealthy potato balls and cheese rolls from Porto’s bakery as a post hike treat. Two of my friends are paleo, and another vegan – so our trail companion Harlow, a Saint Bernard enjoyed their portion.
My birthday hike was one of my favorite birthday celebrations to date! I felt great and got to enjoy some time with the few friends and family that were willing wake up and join me. If you’re on a fitness journey, think of your birthday as a time to celebrate your new health journey with the people you love versus an epic cheat day. Yes, I brought unhealthy indulgences to enjoy post hike. But, I’m happier I decided to go for a hike then bar hop. Basically, a birthday is a celebration of your life – so go out there and feel alive!!
What about you? What healthy ways do you celebrate your birthday? Ever been on a birthday hike? Post in the comments and let us know!