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Manic Sunday: Channeling ‘Rocky IV’

2011 March 20

Top of Dog Mountain ... again.

I hit a point today in my training and exercise that felt manic.

My trainer, Paisley Ann Meekin, showed me the new facility where she’ll be working in a few weeks and gave me a free session on the house. Our last several workouts have been as tough as any, and I frequently found myself out of breath this morning. When it was over, I was finished. Done. Exhausted.

So what did I do?

I jumped in my hybrid and headed to the Gorge.

I was on a high as I drove east on I-84 after my workout, blasting the radio and thumping my hands on the steering wheel. I realized I was what the kids might call “amped.” I was on a high from the morning workout in particular, and the past week of exercise in general.



In a manic kind of way, I missed my exit and and overshot my target by more than 20 miles. I nearly ran out of gas before I hit a station in Hood River, then I crossed the Columbia and backtracked to my intended destination: the trailhead of Dogwood Mountain.

This is the same hike my buddy Yoss and I did four weeks ago, and in the days afterward I noticed a significant weight drop. This hike is a ball buster (and chaffer), and if you look it up online it falls into that extremely difficult category. There are two ways to the top, and the hardest path is 3.8 miles straight uphill. I normally wouldn’t do the same hike twice in a row, but this one kicks your ass and I decided after working out with Paisley that I was going to win this fucking weight-loss contest. Not maybe, definitely. I was juiced.


When Yoss and I did this hike on Feb. 21, we stopped multiple times on the way to the summit. He would get way ahead of me, then get tired and need a breather. Then he’d get way ahead of me again and stop again 10 minutes later. By the way, if I haven’t already mentioned it, Yoss is an asshole.

Riding solo this time, I kept a medium pace and never stopped unless it was to drain the Oscar Mayer or take a picture. About 30 minutes into the hike, the heavens opened and unleashed the rain. But I charged on. I was feeling manic.


Heavy snow near the summit.

The snow this time was even worse. I encountered several hikers, and seemingly all of them were wearing waterproof boots, designer REI clothing and those hoity-toity hiking poles. I was wearing a cotton hoodie, blue jeans and my tennis shoes. Everything was soaked.

When I reached the top it was nearly whiteout conditions. The spectacular view I had seen here with Yoss four weeks earlier was replaced by blah. I took a picture of myself flipping off Yoss at the summit so I could text it to him. When I looked at the picture on my phone, the first thought that came to my mind was “I Know what you did Last Summer!

But the second thought was of Rocky Balboa from “Rocky IV.” You know, the one where he opens a can of Ronald Reagan on that Soviet punk. There’s a ridiculous montage in that movie where Rocky is training in rural Russia, chopping wood and sprinting to the top of a snowy peak.


I felt like Rocky as I charged to the top of Dogwood Mountain today. I think I know what it feels like to be an exerciseoholic. But instead of screaming “Drago!” (or “Adrian!”) from the top of the mountain, I yelled “BEEFCAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Food Journal (click to view):

Sunday, March 20

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, orange
Snack: Builders Bar
Lunch: Cheeseburger (with buns removed) and small cup of vegetarian chili with black beans (at Big River Grill in Stevenson)
Snack: Perfect Foods Bar
Dinner: Grilled chicken (from freezer), small apple, almonds.

Saturday, March 19

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, orange
Snack: Power Bar
Lunch: Sausage, grapes, orange
Snack: Greek yogurt
Dinner: Turkey burger patty with extravagant salad
Snack: Power Bar

One Response leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    March 26, 2011

    I didn’t stop to catch my breathe, I stopped to wait for you sally…

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