Wilderness Heals

Thank you for visiting the Wilderness Heals blog. Wilderness Heals is an all-women, three-day annual pledge hike that benefits the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH), a Boston-based emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and therapeutic community that provides services to women and children who are escaping violence and overcoming trauma. By encouraging hikers to set challenging physical, emotional, and financial goals, Wilderness Heals mirrors the experiences of hundreds of women who have sought help from the Stone House. Committing to hike is a way to grow personally while simultaneously standing in solidarity with women of the Stone House and women everywhere who are working to overcome the effects of violence in their lives.
Wilderness Heals 2011 will take place July 15-17, 2011. Registration materials may be downloaded here.
Go here to view the 2011 routes, and visit our Who's Who page to meet this year's team leaders and Recruitment Committee members.
Want to learn more? Visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions? Contact Erika Whyte, Wilderness Heals event coordinator, at 781-726-0551 or ewhyte@elizabethstone.org.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Winning the Losing Game; or How I Trained for Wilderness Heals

I never hiked much until I moved to Boston two years ago and became involved in Wilderness Heals. Prior to that, my physical fitness activities consisted of easy day hikes through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and irregular trips to the gym. Needless to say, hiking in the Whites came as a bit of a shock to my not-very-fit body. During my first year hiking, I injured my knees. The second year, I rolled my ankle. And this past winter, I sprained my back while biking with a pack loaded full of Christmas presents.

I'm a reporter for BU Today, Boston University's daily news Web site, and in January, I made a deal with my editors: if they agreed to pay for a personal trainer, I promised to write a first-person, eight-part series that chronicled my four-month fitness quest. Even though the series would require divulging my weight and body fat content to the entire world, I figured fifteen free sessions with a personal trainer would more than make up for any shame I'd suffer. And, I'd be sure to get in shape for hiking season.

I finished up the series three weeks ago, and even though I was disappointed that I didn't lose much weight, a recent hiking trip proved that those four months of rigorous, sweat-induced training sessions were more than worth the effort. I am stronger and more fit than I've ever been in my life. Over Memorial Day weekend, I climbed four mountains with relative ease, and I didn't even have to use my hiking poles. My overall balance has improved tenfold, and best of all, when I returned home, I didn't hurt. Talk about a boost to my morale! My quads, calves, and arms--while not bulging--have muscles! And while I still get out of breath while climbing, I don't have to stop for as many breaks.

For anyone who is interested in what I did to prepare for this year's hike, I've provided links to each installment of my fitness series, "Winning the Losing Game." I hope it helps you as much as it helped me!

Click here to read the first installment, “One woman’s four-month fitness challenge.” Click here to read the second installment, “After an injury, changing the game.” Click here to read the third installment, “Calories in vs. calories out.” Click here to read the fourth installment, “Glimpsing the gain.” Click here to read the fifth installment, “When seeing is not believing.” Click here to read the sixth installment, “Shape-shifting — how weight training can modernize a Botticelli body.” Click here to read the seventh installment, “You are not what you don’t eat.” Click here to read the eighth installment, "The pain, the gain, and how to walk it off."

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