Back to the slopes!!!

After nearly a year since my first ski trip, I’ve returned to Pine Knob! 😀 Let me first say how stoked I was to be able to return to the ski hill. 🙂 I’ve had nothing but good things to say about my experience with the staff there and how much fun I had.

However having done it once before I know a little more than I did last time and understand preparation is key to a successful trip. The forecast for today stated that it would be 0 degrees with a high of 8. Yikes! So to combat the single digit temperatures, I made sure to add a few new items to my ski-wear. Which included (borrowed) polarized ski goggles, ski gloves and ski socks as well as my recent purchases of a ski coat and thermal glove liners. Mmm… toasty!

Additionally to ensure safety I rented a helmet and paid for another ski lesson. There is a lot to learn about skiing, and I felt so much better having someone there to walk me through the steps again. My instructor said I retained everything from last years lesson, and that I was ready to move on to the big hill! Due to the temperatures I declined. Next time for sure!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

10 Miles

Today I assisted in taking our boy scout troop on a 10 mile bike ride. It doesn’t sound like much, but the preparation for this trip was astronomical. 

When I went to see the Tridge in Midland back in the spring, I had hung out with the scout leaders after the Eagle ceremony and discussed the possibility of helping my brothers and other scouts in the troop earn their cycling badges because there weren’t any adult volunteers able to do so. They needed to complete 100 miles of biking over six trips; two 10 mile rides, two 15 mile rides, and then two 25 mile rides. Being on the hunt for new ways of completing my Golden Year Project, I was game. Just need a bike and make time to meet up with some scouts. Right?

Wrong. To help out required that I first officially join the troop as an adult leader. I submitted my troop application to the council and purchased my bicycle gear in April. When the application was approved in May, I was sent a link to complete the online BSA Youth Protection Training, then had to wait to attend the Protecting God’s Children training session in June which is a requirement of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Once completed I figured that the scouts and I would be working toward the 100 mile goal right away… Came to find out that scouts were out for the summer, and meetings wouldn’t start again until the last week of September. Yeah…

Keeping positive, my brothers and I went on some bike rides to get in shape for all the miles we were going to be putting in. Unfortunately, not long after this, I fell off my bike while jumping a curb at the end of June resulting in a slow healing wrist injury. 😦

When my brothers and I went to do a test run at the Metropark in July, the bike rack I had borrowed failed on the express way and we nearly lost our bikes! The metal base had bent and it was dangling the bicycles mere millimeters above the asphalt when I pulled off the road. Thankfully my mom was home and was able to transport them back home for us. A new bike rack was quickly procured to prevent a repeat occurance.

In mid-September my mom, brothers, and I had our official 6 mile test run which went pretty well. The most difficult part was loading and unloading the bikes on the new rack. We took extra precautions to make sure they were well secured.

Today we had seven scouts meet up for our event. Leadership had everyone carpool and the bikes were spread across several vehicles. Loading, unloading, checking their bicycles and coordinating all the scouts was quite a chore. Thankfully I didn’t have to do it alone!


It was sunny, however once we reached the park it was super cold and quite windy. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the gloves my mom gave me! The ride proved to be the longest ten miles ever, but at the end we were all smiling. 🙂


We came, we did, and we conquered!

In conclusion, things don’t always happen when or how we expect it to, and encountering numerous obstacles doesn’t necessarily means its time for you to give up. It may be an opportunity to overcome, and achieve more than you set out for. I know I have. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Adult leader requirements

  • Application with references
  • Get added to the troop roster
  • Child protection online class
  • Protecting God’s Children Class (requirement of the diocese)
  • BSA shirt

Cycling Gear Needed

  • Bicycle with gears
  • Water bottle holder
  • Helmet
  • Odometer
  • Bike rack
  • Bike lock

Scout Requirements

  • Location
  • Date and time
  • Permission Slips
  • Debriefing
  • Safety checks on scout bicycles
  • Helmets
  • Carpooling/Bicycle transport
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottles

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!


Make a Run for It!

“Jogging? Me? You must be joking!” That was my response before I lost weight. Back then I could jog a few house lengths at best and my chest and calves would hurt so bad I thought they they were going to explode. With such terrible reactions, I believed that I could never be a jogger. 

Fast forward to 50 pounds lighter and the momentum of over 100 hours of swimming, and trying new activities i.e. yoga, skiing, rock climbing, when I read an article that recommended jogging to increase stamina. Determined to swim farther and for longer in preparation for my life guard certification, I incorporated jogging into my exercise regimen on March 17, 2015. I thought “If I can ski, I can jog.” and went for it. Finishing that first lap around the block was exhausting but so exciting!

To begin with I jogged everyday going around the block in the morning before work during the week and before church on Sunday,  but on Saturday I would jog at the track at the Athletic Center before swimming. I had to stop every lap for a breather and to hydrate, but I was not deterred. Slowly I was able to go longer without a break. After several weeks I looked at how many laps around the track equaled a mile, and was surprised. 10 laps was a mile and I was doing four. Just knowing how close I was to a half mile, I started pushing for another lap. That was when I decided to make jogging into a goal for my Golden Year Project. 🙂

So this morning I went to the Athletic Center with a specific goal in mind: Jog a mile without stopping. I put my stuff away, clipped on my tunes, stretched, hydrated and took off at a slow steady pace focusing only on my breathing. I successfully completed 11 laps in less than 20 minutes! 😀 😀 😀


Not bad for a not-jogger!

(8 down, 20 more to go!)

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project status: 8/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!

Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Hello hello!

It’s easy to get so focused on my goals that I forget to step back and appreciate the good that is happening in my life right now. So I would like to just take a moment to share a few things that I am currently feeling thankful for. Here goes. 🙂

  1. I am thankful that through the Lord’s grace I have lost 56 pounds since January 1st, 2014.
  2. I am thankful that I am now able to squeeze into size 6 pants. (Say wut?!)
  3. I am thankful for those who share their ideas and experiences freely on the internet – they have been a huge help.
  4. I am thankful for my family and friends who are always looking out for me.
  5. I am thankful that I had a breakthrough and no longer think of myself as a boring person.
  6. I am thankful for the revelation of “false gods” in my past that were still affecting the now.
  7. I am thankful for discovering natural beauty products 🙂
  8. I am thankful that I made it to the top of the rock wall! (Yay!!!)
  9. I am thankful that I K.O.’d my happiness saboteurs today!
  10. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to assist others too.

For the next week I am going to be challenging myself to find three things that I am thankful for each day and praise the Lord in a special way. Feel free to join in!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Facing the Rockwall

Hello Everyone!

Today I climbed a rockwall for the very first time! I have never even considered doing this before my weight loss journey because of the following rationale: a) “I’m not athletic” b) “I’m too fat” c) “I don’t have muscle” and d) “I don’t want to.” What a transformation! xD


Omigosh!!! Climbing the rockwall is so much harder than it looks! I attempted it twice and made it to the same point both times. My limbs felt like jelly and my hands were sweaty and slipping on the rocks. I had to call it quits when neither my arms nor my legs could pull me up to the next foothold. -_-;

When I came back down the attendant asked me if I went farther than I thought I would. I agreed – but then I wondered why I did. I never planned on going only 3/4 of the way up – I was shooting for the top!

Afterwards I went to the pool and chatted about my first experience with another swimmer. She advised that the secret to climbing the wall is all in the legs and that I shouldn’t have been relying on my arms to pull myself up at all. I was like “Ohhh… okay.” (totes nOOb lol) Since the rockwall is at my gym I’ll have the opportunity to try again later. With some more practice I know that I’ll eventually reach the top. 🙂

Check three y’all!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project Status: 3/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/21/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall

Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes !

Hello Everyone!!!

Today I did something that I never thought I would – skiing! 😀 😀 😀

On Wednesday out of the blue I told my coworker “I want to go skiing.” I have never given the sport much thought and am unsure of where it came from but couldn’t get it out of my head. That evening I started looking into skiing and felt some sticker shock.

It’s not cheap.

I thought of the episode of the K-drama Boys Over Flowers where Gu Jun Pyo took Geum Jan Di to a ski resort where they lodged for a few days and she was decked out in ski gear. $$$$$$ Oh my gosh…. I suddenly have a greater appreciation of how much money Gu Jun Pyo showered on her. Despite my sinking heart and mentally seeing my bank account emptying, I kept researching how it works and what I minimally would have to have for gear. The most useful article I came across stated that if you could only purchase one piece of ski gear, get good snow pants. I wanted to go Saturday but it seemed like a pipe dream. So I challenged myself to think differently about this potential outing. Instead of focusing on how impossible it seemed, I focused on how to make it possible. To put it simply, don’t over think it. Cut out all the negative talk and focus on the steps.

Wednesday night I located Pine Knob ski resort which I thought was reasonable driving distance, checked out the prices, decided on the services, Googled snow pants and found a pair that was on sale at Dick’s sporting goods. Thursday I resolved that I was going to do it, Friday I fought my negative self talk and called the resort for additional information, messaged everyone that I knew who had experience with skiing, then went to Dick’s Sporting goods to locate the pants.

When I found them in the store they weren’t on sale. Fighting the panic I went to a cashier and asked if they price matched their online storefront. She stated that they would so I grabbed the last pair of their largest size which was a medium and tried them on. They were too small. Fighting another wave of negative self talk, I used my big brain to think around the problem. (BH6 reference lol) They fit my legs perfectly, so just because I couldn’t zip the pants didn’t mean that they wouldn’t offer the protection that I needed. I bent and stretched to test them out. No issue, I would just  have to wear a belt to ensure that they stay put. Issue resolved. While I was there I also located a face mask or “Ninja Hood” as I like to call it. 🙂 It seemed rather important in the articles I was reading so I picked it up. (Was it ever important to have this! If you don’t have a face mask and are going skiing, get one!

Before I checked out, I looked to see if I had gotten any responses to my information request about basic skiing gear. Nada. Nothing. I was in this alone without any other opinion other than what I found online, and my own conclusions. Was I really going to go through with this? Just the two items were costly. I swallowed hard and checked the forecast. Weather looked really good. I told myself “It’s now or never. I’m going to do this.” and I checked out.

When I brought my expensive purchases home I discovered that one of my younger brothers was spending the night. I remembered that he and a few other brothers had gone skiing with my uncle before so I picked his brain for information. 🙂 After talking about what he wore and where they went I felt reassured that I could pull off “mission I’m-possible” and got the rest of my gear ready.

Specialty Gear

DSC_0730 DSC_0732 DSC_0733IMGP3406

Clothes with wicking are very important to the skier – so I used my exercise clothes as my base layer. 🙂

When I got ready to leave the next morning my younger brother asked me a very valuable question – “Are you bringing hand warmers?” I actually had one pack and they were a total finger saver! I don’t own ski or thick gloves and they kept my hands nice and toasty. 🙂

The Journey


 Pine Knob Ski Resort


After my hour lesson I was left to my own devices and used the tow rope and ski lift myself. So much fun!!! Other skiers that I chatted with were surprised that I was advancing so quickly! I really surprised myself when muscle memory kicked in while going down the most difficult path in the beginners section. I successfully made it to the bottom without incident and I swear other skiers were rooting me on as I made my way down! 😀

Skiing is absolutely exhilarating and I can’t wait to do this again!

Second one down! Twenty six to go!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Anna’s Skiing Adventure Gear List

  • Snow Pants
  • Hand Warmers
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Ninja Hood
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Regular Socks
  • Exercise Pants
  • Exercise Shirt
  • Exercise Jacket
  • Jacket
  • Coat
  • Visa
  • Car Key
  • GPS (my phone)
  • Camera
  • Lunch Bag

Golden Year Project Status: 2/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/21/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes