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For me hiking has always been more of a leisure activity that results in beautiful scenic views, an epic camp site or some eno hammock chill time. But this past week, I got my first taste of what it will take to briskly go up and down a mountain 500 ft above ground.

I went hiking with a climber who specializes in bouldering – my awesome co-worker Sarah. She is the mountain goat in this story (even if she hates the analogy). She usually hikes as more of a means to an end. The end being a day’s worth of climbing.

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On this hike we went up High Hampton Inn‘s Chimney Top with 360 degree views including a lookout over 500 ft cliffs. It was a rainy, foggy Thursday morning in the Western North Carolina Mountains. We set forth lacking in supplies with two breakfast bars and one bottle of water.

As we approached the base, a sign read 1.6 mi to the top. Expect a 4.5 hour hike. 

Sarah laughed saying we could do it in an hour. Have you ever seen a mountain goat on tv or in person? If you have you would know that she wasn’t kidding.

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She hopped from rock to rock stopping to pull me up the slippery surfaces and watch to make sure I kept my balance. I looked in amazement apologizing for my mediocre skills.

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Once we arrived at the top, she peered over the edges while I kept a safe distance. As we watched the fog continuously roll through, we had beautiful glimpses of our view below followed by an eerie feeling looking into the abyss of that white sheet.

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Most of the time I hike for the view. But even with our ultimate goal masked to us by the impeding weather, I still had a great sense of accomplishment. This time I hiked to reach the top! This time I hiked with a mountain goat. 😉

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That experience has encouraged me to continue testing the limits on my quest to the top. I want to hike more quickly and more often! (I also want to go back to Chimney Top on a clear day.)

This week I am compiling a bucket list of hikes to complete this year! Do you have any near Atlanta you would recommend? Or any tips to hike like a pro mountain goat?

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This Valentine’s Day do something you love! Whether the you is double, solo or a fun group – get out side, stay indoors, cook in, eat out, go shopping or donate clothes – just do something that warms your heart!

Here are a few options of things I love:

Go somewhere you have never been

Arabia Mountain (last weekend):

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Snuggle:

My favorite Valentines always – Stella and Merlin!

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Go on a run:

Haven’t found a way to take a picture of me running, so here is my upcoming race. The P.I.G Race! 

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Eat delicious food:

My favorite dinner this week was Monkfish at Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham! I highly recommend it by the way!

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What are you doing this Valentine’s Day Weekend?

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Kicking off my one race a month resolution, RT and I did Stampede in the Park Saturday, January 31 at Yellow River Park.

It was beautiful! A 5k trail run with two creek crossings, water views and one horrible hill! The only thing worse than that hill was the 28 degree weather!

I set our pace. RT finished 9th in his age bracket, and I finished 8th! This was our first trail run, so I was very happy! There’s us below at the finish line:

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Lessons from the run: 

  • Be careful where you step!
  • Dress appropriately. I recommend running in similar temperatures to see what works for you.
  • Invest in more smart wool socks.
  • Trails are much more fun and better for you than pavement.
  • Goal for next time: No stopping on hills (not even just for a minute).

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NEXT UP: 

The P.I.G. Race | Saturday, February 21


I am approaching 25 (the only year I can consider myself mid-twenties according to my sister), and I feel like it is time to write down some concrete resolutions and then actually stick to them! So here goes nothing . . .

  1. Get Fit & Stay Fit
    1. I joined Daily Burn (may switch to Class Pass – thoughts?).
    2. I now run enough to officially call myself a runner. So my goal is 1 Race a Month! (more to come on this one)
  2. Get Organized
    1. Heading to the Container Store by end of February to finally organize those drawers/closets in the house we have now had messy for two years.
    2. Financially organized with Mint – I highly recommend it by the way!
  3. Read!
    1. I am a chronic start a book and never finish it type. Well that has stopped! I am halfway through Insurgent! (Divergent is already read! woot woot)
    2. My goal is 5 books this year! I know it’s small, but I need to be realistic!
  4. Get Outside
    1. I want to be able to lift my kayak and carry it from the curb to the river on my own! Then I will actually kayak more than 5ish times a year. 🙂
    2. Camp or hike once a month – I love it, so I need to go do it more!
  5. Cook (or attempt . . .)
    1. My boyfriend and I minimizing how often we go out to eat, which is difficult for us!
    2. I am trying new recipes even recipes that scare me a bit.

For 2015 it is time to get motivated:

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And stay motivated even when it’s tough:

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Happy 2015! What are your resolutions?

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On rainy Fridays like toady, I can’t help but daydream about summer and everything that comes with it! Spring is great, but I am ready for the heat. Olaf couldn’t explain it better . . .

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I recently went on my first ever overnight backpacking trip to Mt. Yonah in North Georgia. I grew up camping, but I had always done “truck camping.” Not “glamping.” But sleep in a tent, get away from technology, cook over charcoal, wakeup in Georgia humidity wondering why everything is now damp camping. So when my friends approached me about backpacking I felt like this would be a piece of cake. Why wouldn’t it? The only real difference is that everything I would need for two nights would be carried one and a half miles up hill on my back.

So I packed up my backpack. I was so proud of my ability to roll my clothes and stuff everything I would need for three days into this pack that I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. We parked the truck, and my boyfriend lifted my pack up, so I could slip into it. The second I was strapped in, and he let go. I realized that backpacking was NOTHING like “truck camping.”

One mile and a half up the mountain in the dark accompanied by plenty of complaining from my end, we found our friends waiting for us at the campsite. I haven’t felt that accomplished in a very long time! Along the way I learned these 10 seemingly obvious yet mind-blowing at the time things.1620677_2346148529451_1332310600_n

1.You can never have enough water. (Anyone have any good camping filtration systems?)

2. Cleaning is much more difficult with limited water.

3. Everything in moderation. Just because you can pack, eat and drink it, doesn’t mean you should.

4. Headlamps in the woods = headlights on the road.

5. Staying in shape helps prepare you for life. (You never know when you’ll need to carry everything up a mountain.)

6. Don’t let a fear of heights ruin an epic moment. (Even if you tear up for a second.)

7. Just because you’re a pyro, doesn’t mean you know how to build a fire.

8. A chair IS worth it, but a hammock is more fun.

9. Take the picture, or you will regret it later.1689634_10203142043454554_1128916728_n

10. There is nothing better than great friends, being in nature and hanging out where you don’t have reception!

 

Have you ever been backpacking? Any favorite spots to share?

 


Since I graduated in May, I have had people ask me what I think of working in PR. And while this is often my answer . . .

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A special thank you to 99 Problems But a Pitch Aint One for inspiration and the gif!

The truth is adjusting to the demands of a full-time PR position is not easy. But instead of reminiscing every night about how much fun college used to be make it an adventure!

I have been to Phoenix and Orlando. I have ridden on a race track in a corvette. I have met people from around the world with years of fun stories to tell. I have interviewed a famous Spanish photographer — all because of my experiences in PR. And that is just the beginning.

So instead of considering everyday work and wishing you were back on your college couch watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother, give this new chapter in your life everything you’ve got. College was not the best times of your life. College was four (maybe five or six) years of crazy decisions and a co-dependent lifestyle. Enjoy being out on your own and approach everyday like This Advertising Life so eloquently laid out in gifs:

A special thank you to This Advertising Life for inspiration and the gif!

And accept the adventure (new job, project, assignment, vacation, conference, seminar, etc.) with this enthusiasm!

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A special thank you to This Advertising Life
for inspiration and the gif!

This is your life. Don’t envy those people who say they enjoy waking up every morning for work. Be one of those people!

**Did anyone cringe with my Harry Potter (Dumbledore) Hobbit (Gandalf) combo?

What adventures have you been on lately?

I recently went to Nashville (I wish Atlanta had Honky Tonks!) and my first two broadcast shoots!

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