We recently went on a road trip, aiming to visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon, and a few other places. We could have flown, but I hate to fly, so we opted to rent a car and take the scenic route. We put nearly 4000 miles on the rented Prius, and we had a wonderful time.
Constantly over the course of the trip, Mr. Stuck and I would marvel at not only the natural wonders we were seeing around us, but also at the improvement in our lives that allowed us this opportunity. I don’t think we would have taken such an ambitious journey if we hadn’t lost weight and gotten healthier. I could not imagine doing what we did with all those extra pounds to carry around.
Because we’re feeling good, we were able to walk around a bit and see the beauty of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, Death Valley, the Hoover Dam, and so much in between. We were so busy with things to do and see that we never made it to the Grand Canyon.
My point is that when I was heavy, I was tired. My body hurt. My feet hurt. I just wanted to sit down most of the time. I was so preoccupied with the voice in my head and the running tally of aches and pains, excuses, justifications, negativity, frustration and depression, that I didn’t enjoy things fully. There was always a ‘but’ — I’d love to, but… was my answer far too often. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. In time, the spirit became less willing and more discouraged as the flesh became weaker. I became a stick in the mud, unwilling to move out of my rut. It was just easier that way.
I was a little apprehensive about riding that many miles; it had been a long time since I’d done so, and I was concerned that my back might give me trouble. We stopped often for breaks and made sure to move around, and I never had any problems. Even the hotel beds, another potential problem spot, were remarkably unremarkable. My healthier, more energetic self managed to do just fine. Wow!
The trip was a success on many levels. We got to see some of the best of God’s creation and man’s, as well.
We saw things we’d never seen before, allowing our whims to inspire us to take side trips ‘just because.’ In Vegas, I got to spend time with my cousin, who was my best friend growing up; he’s still a lot of fun to be around.
We brought a cooler and had prepared a bunch of healthy snacks for the road, and we also stopped at some great spots.
It was fun sharing the turkey posole at Hell’s Backbone Grill, a gourmet restaurant in the middle of the Utah desert, and treating ourselves to iced mochas at Kiva Kottage. We put a few rounds through a P90 submachine gun at Arizona’s Last Stop and sampled beautiful berries at Godiva Chocolates.
This trip really showed us how much better things are, now that we are taking better care of ourselves. A road trip may not be a big deal to some folks, but it is to us. It started out as a fun way to mark our wedding anniversary, but it became much more than that. It became a celebration of our renewed health and spirit.
It gave us a little preview of how good the rest of our lives can be.