Monday, July 8, 2019

July 4th 2019 Mt. Baldy

We decided to spend the mornings hiking on this holiday. We are very lucky to live close to some of the best trails in southern California. The Iconic Mt San Antonio Aka Mt Baldy; the Dome which on a clear day can be seen from just about anywhere in So Cal. When we arrived at Manker Flats the trailhead the parking area was already full. There was going to be plenty of company on the mountain today.

The valley below was overcast, but not a cloud in sight as we began the trek to the summit. We decided to ascend on the ski hut route then loop back by the backbone trail and the fire road. Just over 9 Miles. 

Can you see the ski hut in the distance? 

Plenty of others on the Summit 

10,069' above sea level 

We enjoyed the view then headed down by way of the devils backbone.

We made it back down the mountain and back home safe, to find out that while we were hiking there was a 6.4 Earthquake in Ridgecrest Ca that was felt throughout the valley. Another beautiful morning spent doing what we enjoy; spending time together in nature.

2019 Holcomb Valley Trail Run

Last month on June 15 Tanya broke out our trail shoes and headed up into the mountains. Big Bear to be exact to run the Holcomb Valley Trail Race. We have run the Ultra distance there a few times in years past; but this year we decided to run the 15 miler. The sun was shining and the temperatures began to rise early! The views of Big Bear lake were stunning and the snow on the distant peaks in the middle of June was special to see!

Another fun day spent together, doing what we really enjoy; running and hitting the trails.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My Year Long Journey: A Physique Story: July 4th 2018

As I contemplate whether to compete in the Muscle Beach Bodybuilding and Physique competition in Venice Beach California again; I thought it would also be a good time to share my story or should I say my Year Long Journey to last years July 4th competition.

Sometime in April 2017 I was talking to my cousin Clint Johnson and he challenged me to find and compete in a California bodybuilding competition.  He said, he and his wife Paulette would make it a California bodybuilding vacation. He wanted to show his younger cousin “How to do it”, he was feeling very confident after placing in a few East coast events; I could hear the bravado in his voice. So, I didn’t say yes at that moment; I needed to think about it. I knew what challenge lied ahead for me if I accepted his challenge! The weight training wasn’t going to be the hard part, I’m a health coach a marathoner and trail runner! Training and working out is part of who I am! But to lean down into single digit percentage body fat to show case lean muscular development was going to be the bear; the all-encompassing commitment day in day out to deprive yourself, to sacrifice. That was going to be the hard part; was I willing to go through that; in the past I had tried and failed. So, I said let me think about it and I will get back to you.  Participating in a bodybuilding or a physique competition was a bucket list type of event for me, so I started looking for events and began talking to Tanya about it.
Tanya was of course in right away, she told me she would help me and support me if I stayed committed. If you didn’t already know my wife Tanya was once a competitive bodybuilder, earning  the title of Miss Bermuda. She knew what it was going to take and how to get there! After a short search we chose the date of July 4th, 2018 the Venice Muscle Beach competition, the Mecca, the Birthplace of bodybuilding.
I called Clint and told him “I am in! let’s do this!” The date of July 4th gave us both just over a year to prepare, so no excuses, put up or shut up! We made a friendly wager, whoever placed higher had to buy the other dinner at a spot of their choosing.


July 2017 the Journey begins :Weight 215 lbs. 19% Bodyfat


July 4, 2018 Competition Day: Weight 164 lbs. 9% Bodyfat

 Master’s Physique (Over 45)

Master’s Physique (Over 45)

Clint and I about to get "Pumped" in the staging area.

Feeling the Heat

Morning Preliminaries

Afternoon Finals

What a day! What an experience! In my category there where six competitors; in the end I placed sixth, the top five were awarded. That of course was a little disappointing but it is all about size and peaking at the right time. I was as they say in bodybuilding a little "Flat" in the prelims. After eating during the break my body seemed to peak and "Tighten" up for the Finals; but my competition had a little more size and development. 
Clint competed in a different category and age group than I. He was in the bodybuilding category (Over 50) with five competitors ;he walked away with fifth place. 

Post event sporting our hardware..

The next day we headed to a resort in Palm Springs for some fun and relaxation; which was well deserved. Clint paid for dinner 😄 wink wink. Vacation time!

The Ladies showing off their stuff pool side!

I couldn't have done it without Tanya's support, she is my Rock! 

Time to get back to the drawing board. Work, train, eat, sleep in that order, then do it again.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Plenty of Snow

On Saturday morning April 23rd Tanya and I woke up extra early and said to each other Mt. Baldy is calling! So we decided to go hiking. Our local mountains have had so much snow this year we knew making it to the summit was out of the question; but a fun brisk walk to the Notch was just what we needed. We made it to the Manker Flats trail head just after 6:30 am the morning sky was already bright and many other hikers where preparing for fun. Getting out doors and experiencing nature and all of its glory is so refreshing and soul cleansing.

The temperature was a chilling 32 degrees at the start but the forecast predicted that the temperatures would rise into the 50's so we dressed in layers. This would allow us to shed as needed as the temperatures began to rise. The fire road was clear and free of snow until the last half mile or so then it was completely ice and snow covered to the notch.

The sun was shining so brightly and the sky was clear and blue, millions of people in the valley had no idea of the fun we were having above the clouds.

It took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make it to the "Notch". Plenty of people had ridden the ski lift to the there to spend the day having fun in the snow. I think most of the ski runs were open, people were sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and hiking like us.

That's the top of the ski lift hut in the background which ascends the mountain from the parking lot above Manker Flats. 

The outlook form the "Notch" that's the Mount Baldy Dome in the background on super clear days you can often see Catalina Island. We went inside for a short rest, sat by the wood burning stove to warm up and shared a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Time to head back down the trail. Until next time get outside and have some all natural fun.
Marc and Tanya