These Old Bones Prove a Happy Life

i have recently gone through the 5 stages of loss and grief. what did i lose, you ask? my young joints and invincibility. i have kicked and screamed my way through each stage to finally come to accept my new physical self. i had to get back to that place where activity solved all of my problems, where all of the weight was taken off my shoulders, where i could let go and do something for myself and myself alone. and i have arrived. i have learned to embrace my new physical self that is a result of years of (what many would call) abuse; but i now choose to refer to as, a happy life. Read More »

The 6th, Unmentioned Love Language – Activity

many of us have heard of the 5 love languages – the book, authored by Gary Chapman, and the concept, now commonly referenced in relationships world-wide. it discusses how we love others and how we want to be loved. it tells us there are five methods through which people express love: physical touch, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, and words of affirmation. but i would argue that there is one very significant love language missing from this list – activity.

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blogging, thefirst2hours, one year anniversary, healthy living, healthy lifestyle,

A Look Back – My One Year Blogging Anniversary

in january of 2015 i decided to launch a blog. i did so with a brief post, and some photos of the destination that inspired me to finally go live – Lake Tahoe. in the past year my blog has molded into a healthy living blog that encourages others to be active, to be outside, and to be themselves. in celebrating the one year anniversary of thefirst2hours, i thought i would share some of my favorite posts from 2015.

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gifts for yoga, gifts for yoginis, gift ideas for outdoorsman, gift ideas for fitness fanatics, gift ideas for her, gift ideas for nature lovers, gift ideas for mountain people, gift ideas for runners, gift ideas for dog lovers, gift ideas for hikers

10 Healthy Gift Giving Ideas

in the spirit of the holidays, i put together a list of 10 recommended healthy gift giving ideas. each of these items encourages healthy living; and i personally would burst at the seams if i found any of them under my tree.

while it is a bit late to be doing your holiday shopping on the eve of Christmas, i hope you will keep this fantastic companies and products in mind the next time you are looking to buy a gift.

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Cutting down a christmas tree, tree hunting, mountains, how to stay healthy over the holidays, health goals, idaho christmas tree hunting

Healthy Holiday Traditions – Tree Hunting

during the holiday season we are surrounded by unhealthy choices: egg nog, Christmas cookies, lazy days, alcohol, football watching marathons, overeating, and more. it is difficult to make healthy decisions during the holidays, but it is doable. one of the best ways to ensure that we are able to indulge during this special time of the year (which i personally believe one SHOULD do in moderation), but still have a balance and stay healthy, is to develop healthy traditions. one such tradition that is a personal favorite of mine, is cutting down our family Christmas tree.

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the benefits of hiking with dogs, vizsla, labradoodle, how fast to vizsla's run, fastest dog, most athletic dog, best hunting dogs, best family dogs

The Benefit of Hiking with Dogs

there are few companions in this world i enjoy taking to the mountains more than my pups. everyone knows that dogs are (wo)man’s best friend; but did you know that dogs are (wo)man’s best hiking companion? let me give you a few reasons why.Read More »

hiking in mccall idaho, attractions in mccall idaho, things to do in mccall idaho, life in mccall idaho

Life, Simplified

living a simple life is easier said than done in our modern day world. so easily we get caught up in our work, our social calendars, our “todo” list, money, responsibilities, etc.. every obligation creates a greater sense of urgency and stress.

and then once in awhile, we find ourselves in a place like this,

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patient, orthopedic surgeon, microfracture, athlete, recovery from microfracture, microfracture surgery, knee surgery, operation, cartilage defect, fitness, knee injury, digital health, health care social media, pain inside my knee joint, knee pain while running, knee pain treatment, swelling in my knee, exercises for bad knees, what is microfracture, micrfracture knee, should i have microfracture surgery, cartilage defect in the knee, microfracture surgery recovery, microfracture surgery athletes, knee surgery recovery,

Microfracture, and the One Orthopedic Problem There Isn’t a Real Solution For

4 days ago, i went on a hike with a friend who was squeezing in her last days of freedom before having a microfracture operation on her knee. 2 years, 4 months and 14 days ago, i had the same microfracture operation on my knee.

you may be wondering what microfracture is. i most certainly was when i was told it was the next course of action for my knee years ago. the surgery is almost completely unheard of in the general public. there are nearly zero on-line accounts documenting the process of microfracture and the recovery. and what one reads, isn’t encouraging, promising, or helpful.  so i have decided to change that. i had my surgery at the peak of my athletic career. one day i was competing on the professional beach volleyball circuit and the next i was told (from 5 different doctors) “you may never compete again. but we aren’t certain, because no one is certain. because microfracture isn’t proven, but it also isn’t unproven, and we have no other option for you.”

since i’ve had my surgery i have been able to act as a sounding board, and a support system for two friends and fellow athletes who have come to me for advice. one of which was kelli, with whom i embarked on this 8 mile “Out With the Old, and In With the New” hike last weekend. after a few hours of knee talk, i decided that others who are faced with the decision on microfracture, should be able to join in on our conversation. therefore i will be sharing posts about microfracture, my experience, and my perspectives, in hopes that it will provide others with some sort of comfort in this frustrating process.

i will preface these posts by saying that this is not medical advice. i do not have a medical background and this is simply me sharing my personal account with microfracture. i would also like to point out that microfracture is likely a very different experience for someone who is not highly active. but for those whose happiness is greatly influenced by their activity levels, i hope these posts can provide more information on this operation and overall experience.

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alaska, aialik bay, seward, kayak, glacier, waterproof, outdoor gear, adventure,

Honeymooning Through Alaska’s Kenai Fjords

generally when you hear of a destination wedding, you hear about sandy beaches and bathing suits. joe and i chose a different route. our wedding destination of choice was Alaska, and i traded in my bathing suit for my Patagonia Piolet Jacket. we had two weeks to adventure through this outdoors(wo)man’s dream state, and one of the highlights was a full day kayaking trip through the Kenai Fjords.

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vashon island, washington, adventure, hiking, nature lover, ocean, pacific, pacific northwest, outdoors, hiking on vashon island, seattle

Surround Yourself with Positivity

who we choose to surround ourselves with, greatly influences our lives. parents push children to hang out in the right crowds. those in the religious community continually preach fellowship. in our professional lives, we seek mentors that show us how we can reach higher.  in nearly ever facet of life, we are told to surround ourselves with positive people who encourage us to be better; yet for some reason, we rarely talk about surrounding our selves with an environment that encourages positivity.  i would argue that is it more than the who in our surroundings that influences us, but also the what.

this past weekend my surroundings undoubtedly made me a better person as i adventured through Vashon Island with some of the best people i know – my parents and a dear friend who’s spirit is infectious. Read More »