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Hiking a Fourteener to Benefit The Gray Foundation

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My goodness, I look all happy and carefree in that picture.  Little did I know that we were maybe 1/8 of the way through the hike!

This weekend, along with traveling to and from a wedding in Dayton, OH, Ray and I made a last minute decision to tackle a 14er that’s been on our list.  The 14ers in Colorado are a set of 53 mountains that meet or exceed 14,000 ft (4,270 m.)  If you recall from my past Proposal post, I had trained for and bought equipment for what I thought was going to be our first 14er back in late June.  Though Ray had other plans (engagement, etc.)

14ers are relatively popular in Colorado, and, per usual, Ray and I started making random friends.

14ers are relatively popular in Colorado, and, per usual, Ray and I started making random friends that were moving at our (read: my much slower) pace.

But rather than hiking Gray’s Peak for the sake of accomplishing a goal, we wanted to do it for a cause much greater than ourselves.  We completed this hike to raise awareness and funds for The Charlotte & Gwenyth Gray Foundation.

Looking relatively defeated, and freezing, with about 1/8 of the hike to go.

Looking relatively defeated, and freezing, with about 1/8 of the hike to go. Which is nothing compared to what these families go through.

I’ve written about this foundation previously, but for those of you that are new to SST, The Gray Foundation was started by good family friends of our’s to support their two daughters, and children across the globe, struggling with a rare degenerative disorder called Batten, for which there is no known cure.  This family is on their way to raise the $10 million needed to save the lives of all children devastated by this disease.  Our family is extremely close to three children (within two families) that have received this diagnosis.  Children typically begin to show symptoms at 2-4 years of age, and usually have a life expectancy of 6-12 years, though they become completely bedridden prior.  Needless to say, you can see why this cause is close to my heart.

Freezing cold in the snow, but we made it to the top!

Freezing cold in the snow, but we made it to the top!

On the subject of the fourteener… I found it incredibly difficult.  Though I hope it’s not our last one!  It got incredibly steep at parts, but I found myself more impacted by the altitude than anything else.  While I’m familiar with nutrition from a working out perspective, hiking to high altitudes is an entirely different matter.  I’m still working on figuring out what my body needs and absorbs in inclement conditions, so let me know if you have any tips!  I will say, however, that these hikes are NOT for beginners.  Be sure to train and gain greater endurance in altitude prior to jumping in.

Looking SO much happier back towards the bottom of the mountain.

Looking SO much happier back towards the bottom of the mountain.

If you’re interested in learning more about Batten Disease or The Gray Foundation, please check out their website found here and watch the video below.  Feel free to Contact Me with any questions directly, as well.

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What was the highlight of your long, holiday weekend?  How are you going to make a difference this week?

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