Exploring Washington- Colchuck Lake

Hello Friends,

After my adventure to Discovery Park, I decided I was hooked on this life theme and I needed to go bigger. Like mountains bigger.

The Enchantments. Go only if you want to be left breathless. 

Once again, I had seen pictures of this magical place and heard stories as people journeyed for days at a time as they hiked their way through the enchantments. It was my turn, just a little toned down and with a much smaller backpack.

We drove two hours to a Bavarian town called Leavenworth. This adorable place alone is one of my favorite places to visit during the winter months because it literally feels like you inside a Christmas snow globe. Santa comes to life, there are dancing Christmas trees, hot chocolate tastes better and kids are sledding. It’s almost not real, except it totally is. 

We drove past Leavenworth and on a dirt road for miles before we got to the trail head of Colchuck lake which is the very first part of the Enchantments. The gateway to the Enchantments if you will. We saw many groups of people taking inventory of all their gear for their journey ahead. I felt really good about my $25 Costco backpack and my pb&j sandwich. These people looked pretty rad, not even going to lie about it. 

This hike was one of my favorites. It started out pretty mellow but had very diverse terrain. There were super easy flat parts and more intense times where we had to climb up boulders. There was what seemed like a giant boulder fields, several water falls, bridges, the tiniest little chipmunk friends and breathtaking views at every corner. 

As we were hiking I turned to Devon and realized that hiking is a lot like life. There are parts that are super steep and difficult to walk through, parts that are flat that you coast through but in the end, you make it through the journey and realize it was totally worth the ride and beautiful the whole way. You guys, I am super awesome at analogies 🙂

When we got to the top of the hike, I was literally left breathless as I gasped at the creation that was before me. Water so blue and crystal clear, mountains so tall, glaciers so large and all of it in one place so perfectly created. The air was so crisp and cold and there was a peace about the lake that could not be ignored or explained. 

We had our awesome lunch, hiked around and froze a little before we decided to head back down. It was just as awesome on the way down (but a whole lot easier) with a whole new perspective of our surroundings. Things just looked different on the way down.

This hike was 8 miles of beauty. These pictures don’t even come close to giving this hike justice. But they are still awesome and I am obviously going to share them.

 

Where should I go next?

Anahid


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Exploring Washington- Discovery Park

Hi Friends!

In the last few months I have realized that I truly do live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world with so many adventures waiting to be explored. I have lived in Washington my entire life and have taken its beauty, climate, adventures and opportunities for granted. I have made it my mission to explore parts of Washington I have heard magical stories of and turn other people’s stories into my own.

This leads me to mission “Explore Washingon”. Let’s get started!

Explore Washington Part 1 started with a visit to Discovery Park. This park is located on the shores of Washington in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. It has views of the puget sound I didn’t know existed and 534 acres of parks to explore.

My best friend, Devon agreed to go on this adventure with me. I had no idea what to expect. We grabbed sandwiches from a local shop and went along our merry way in sandals and purses in hand. This my friends, I would not recommend. We looked weird and like we had no idea we were going to a park. Turns out there is some hiking involved and trails that will lead you on hikes that sandals and purses just aren’t the best for 🙀 Based off of pictures I had seen, I thought we would just park and have a short little walk to the shore. Not the case, but it was still lovely. 

We decided to ignore our less than desirable outfits and just go for it. I really couldn’t believe that just minutes outside of the city there could be acres of the most magestic scenery of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. We found a lovely spot along the beach to have our lunch. We watched sailboats, a giant cruise ship and jet skies go by. We watched birds fly in crazy patterns, we watched people as they went on their afternoon jogs. We watched as a newly married couple took their wedding photos and we even saw two seals swim and play right in front of us. Clearly, we saw a diverse range on things and I could have watched forever. 

I can’t wait to go back, this time in my sneakers 😁  And to take more pictures, obviously.

    
   
See you soon as I explore more of what Washington has to offer! 

Anahid 

Las Vegas Ragnar

Hi Friends,

I fell off the earth but now I am back! Ready to attack the blog world again and share my love of health and fitness with you all.

Starting with…another Ragnar! Yes, I ran another one and I can’t stay away!

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Ragnar Finish Line

After I completed my 1st Ragnar, I immediately signed up for the Vegas Ragnar. I didn’t have enough interest for a full team so I signed up for a 6 pack where you provide a team of 6 and Ragnar matches you with another team of 6 to make a full team of 12. This worked out really well for us and we lucked out with an awesome and laid back team!

I was ecstatic about this Ragnar because I knew what to expect and my favorite little bean from Harness Your Energy agreed to join our team.

We traveled to Vegas, stayed in a hotel, rented a car and traveled to the glorious mountains that Vegas provides. Really? Mountains in Vegas? This Washington girl was just as surprised.

The 1st 15 seconds of my 1st leg was great until I got passed by a girl. In Ragnar world, it is not okay to get passed. If you get passed you are considered someones road kill and visa versa. Everyone keeps a tally of their roadkills on their vans and I was not about to let her have me. I decided to pace with her in order to hopefully pass her at the exchange. This girl could RUN. I ran the fasted I have ever ran in my entire life and beat the girl and the exchange. I immediately paid for it with cramped legs, but it was well worth it 🙂

 

 

The remainder of my two legs were also great! I loved running in the heat of Vegas and participating in the camaraderie of the race. There is no other race with the same amount of energy, craziness and beer. There is no other place where you become insta-BFF’s with complete strangers and find it completely acceptable to give bear hugs and high fives. There is no other race that unites a van full of stinky, sweaty, sleep deprived and sore humans the way Ragnar does. My van LAUGHED, and I mean LAUGHED until we cried with real tears streaming down our faces. Well, mostly my little bean and I laughed which resulted in the rest of the van laughing at us.

Also, I should mention that the real reason why I wanted to complete the Vegas Ragnar specifically is because you can earn a double medal by completing 2 Ragnars in one year. For completing the Northwest Passage and the Las Vegas race in the same year, I earned the Dueces Wild and Las Vegas medal!

These are memories that I will always treasure and I feel so blessed to have my health and the opportunity to push myself beyond my limits while somehow managing to call it fun.

Next Ragnar? Northwest Passage 2014. Cannot wait!

Click here to read about my 1st Northwest Passage Ragnar.

 

Thats all for now friends!

Anahid

P.S. Remember to “Like” ChasingCake on Facebook and follow me on Instagram @chasingcakeblog- it will make me a happy happy girl!

 

Dear Dad, Today I Simply Miss You.

Dear Dad,

Today is hard.

Today I simply miss you.

Today I have missed everything about you and carried you in the deepest most treasured part of my heart for four years.

I miss your face.

I miss your smile.

I miss your bahaha belly laugh.

I miss standing on your feet while you walked around. Pretending as if I was still 5 years old.

I miss hearing the way you unlocked the front door and running to the front door to greet you.

I miss your voice.

I miss you advice. I miss it a lot. No ones sits in my heart the way yours did.

I miss the way you loved my child like heart. You embraced it, adored it, cherished it and protected it. You understood it.

I miss calling you on your way home from work to ask you to bring home icecream. I always knew you would bring back at least three different kinds.

I miss the way you would eat it with me so I wouldn’t have to enjoy it alone.

I miss the way you clipped your nails so carefully.

I miss your amazing comfort. More than I could ever imagine.

I miss calling you on road trips. You always knew how to keep me awake.

I miss your hugs.

I miss seeing your shoes at the front door and I miss your precious soft feet.

I miss your adorable plaid shirts and matching vests.

I miss your handwriting, you were such an engineer.

I miss doing chemistry, math and physics with you. I hated the subjects but loved your devotion to me.

I miss the family gatherings we would have in our backyard. You used every excuse to gather everyone together.

I miss sitting around the fire with you. Just hanging out.

I miss you during every holiday, birthday and fathers day. What I would give to celebrate with your smile again!

I miss your special eggs. I can still taste them. I miss that you insisted on hand feeding them to us up until the last time you made them.

I miss watching you think.

I miss how you said moos-tard instead of mustard and yah-gurt instead of yoghurt.

I miss sitting on your shoulders…even when I was 23!

I miss the times I would hear you come home late at night, pretending to still be asleep knowing you would adjust my blankets and kiss my forehead.

I miss not worrying about my car, an oil change or tune up. You took care of everything!

I miss knowing you knew all the answers.

I miss your guidance.

I miss the way you called me “jootik” and “hamov”

I miss how you would bite our cheeks!

I miss your tough love because you knew I could do better and be better.

I miss taking pictures with you. You always appreciated a real smile.

I miss laughing at you for wearing tall white socks with brown leather sandals.

I miss you letting me take all the change out of your pockets.

I miss seeing the garage door open knowing you were working in the garage.

I miss how you took every opportunity to teach us a chemistry, math or physics lesson.

I miss how selfless you were. Always thinking of everyone else.

I miss your pop quiz phone calls. Sometimes…teehee!

I miss seeing “Dad” when my cell phone rings.

I miss you telling me you are proud of me.

I miss your oh so old fashioned ways. They were so valuable and I didn’t even know it.

I miss being your prized possession.

I miss leaving out my math tests on the table for you to see when you got home from work. I loved knowing you would be proud.

I miss your sense of humor and your silly jokes. You made everyone laugh.

I miss your perfectionism and how OCD you were about certain things.

I miss your incredible patience.

I miss how you understood my heart better than anyone ever will. I could never fool you.

I miss everything about you.

I miss the memories we were supposed to make.

What I am most grateful for is that you knew the person I could be and you guided me there. Never doubted me, never ever gave up on me. Always ensuring me that I already had everything in me to be the best Anahid I could possibly be. I carry with me every lesson and piece of advice you gave me. I use them every day! Although you are not physically here to guide me, the values you instilled in me are so deep and so true, they will guide me forever.

My heart rests in the power of Jesus, knowing that you are safe and happy with him. Knowing you are healthy and free of pain. Knowing you were saved by Him. Mostly, my heart rests in knowing that I will dance with you again.

For today, I simply miss you.

I love you infinity!

Your little hamov one,

Anahid

Part 2- I Dont Like To Run So I WIll Train For a 200 Mile Race

Click here for part 1 

Hi Friends, 

I wish I was writing this post to tell you all about my magical transformation and new love affair with running.

I wish I was here to tell you all that I have found a new passion and that my life has been forever changed.

And I wish I could tell you that I run like the rest of the gazelles on my team.

But… In all reality, every run is still a mental battle.

The wind still makes me ears freeze and I have to wear something called an ear bag to prevent the worst frozen ear headache

We have to make nose-blowing stops for yours truly- thanks to my allergies

Bugs fly into my eyeballs

My arms run into the garbage cans every Monday (trash day).

And with every run I secretly try to find a way out

…but…

Instead, I have chosen to call myself a gazelle in training.

I choose to put my best acting skills on and pretend to like running. You see my friends, I have made a decision and have committed to training for this crazy new adventure. Let’s be honest, I have also announced my new goal to the whole world and there is no way out.

All complaints aside, there are two things that are keeping me going:

  1. I am making progress! I can run further than I could two months ago and I can tackle hills better than I could two months ago! Also, I am ahead of my training schedule. I am now running around 4 miles three times a week. This gives me encouragement and make me proud of myself! Woohoo!
  2. I have the best running buddies ever! Really! I do! We have a no excuses rule and we hold each other to it! No matter what, we have to run at least three days a week with each other. We have also promised to not leave each other behind on our runs. We start every run together and we finish together. One of us is always feeling better than the other and we use this as a push and as encouragement. We laugh, complain, tell stories, question our sanity and we celebrate every run as an accomplishment!

Also, we ran in the pouring down rain with metro buses splashing dirty road water on us. Does this qualify us as real runners? What I think I look like when run. What I actually look like when I run

Teehee!

Anahid

P.S. Remember to “Like” ChasingCake on Facebook and follow me on Instagram @chasingcakeblog- it will make me a happy happy girl!

Start Where You Are Today.

Hi Friends,

I love goals. I think they are awesome. I think more people need to make them.

Daring ones. Crazy ones. Simple ones.

Goals that are scary. Goals that will make you better. Goals that will make you grow. Even goals that seem impossibly out of reach.

Go get em’ tiger!

Am I trying to set you up for failure? Psh! Never my friends! I just want you to know that you are so much better than you think you are. You are nothing less than anyone else who is reaching their goals. You are awesome, strong, capable and have everything you need to reach your goals.

You may crumble, totally suck some days and wanna quite. That’s okay too! Really, it is! The wanting to part…not the actual quitting part!

The most important piece of goal making? 

Start Small

You have to start where you are today, not where you want to be. 

Start small! If your goal is to run a 5k, start by walking 1 mile. Find success in walking your mile, then walk 1.5 miles. Your success will give you the confidence you need to keep chugging along. On the other hand, if you goal is to run a 5k and you walk out the door determined to run a mile for the first times since 8th grade P.E. I can tell you for sure it’s not going to feel so amazing and you probably wont want to feel not so amazing the next time you go out there…so you may not. And that would be sad. Break up your big goal into smaller baby goals. As small as they need to be.

It is okay to start where you are. Accept where you are, knowing that you won’t be there once you have reached your goal.

Also, put meaning behind your goal. Why is this important to you? Knowing the “why” will help determine your “how”.

Starting small in the beginning will mean winning big in the end!

What is your goal? Leave me a comment below letting me know! I love being inspired by amazing goals! My small goal is to get 10 goal comments on this post and 10 new subscribers. Will you help me get there? Share this post with your pals and like Chasing Cake on Facebook to help me get there. Thanks Friends…you are all the greatest!

Anahid

No Excuses.

Hi Friends, 

By now I have heard just about every excuse. I consider myself a rather empathetic individual with one exception. Excuses.

There are very few excuses that people give me that I don’t have a very simple solution to. The issue? People come up with an excuse as to why the solution wont work! Gah!

Does this sound a little like you?

Don’t you fret my little one. You are in the majority. Everyone makes them. Including yours truly. I would be the biggest liar if I said I didn’t make excuses. In fact, I will be the first one to admit that I do. The difference? I know very well when I am making an excuse and quickly kick myself in the rump for it!

The question you must ask yourself. Do you choose to make excuses or choose to get results?

No Excuses

My friends, you cannot choose both. 

As you may have heard before, if its important you will find a way, if  it’s not important you will find an excuse.

As Jillian Michaels says best, you have to first find the “why” before you can figure out your “how”! Why is this goal important to you? Do you want to live longer for your kids, prevent your family history of heart attacks, or have more energy to do the things you love? Find the real reason! Dig deep. Be honest. Then figure out the “how”. Make small, short-term and most importantly doable steps to get there. (more on the “how” coming soon!)

What will you choose? Excuses or results?

Anahid

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