They set a aim for themselves: Hike 100 instances for the train in 2020.
Not solely did wanderlusts Colleen Fadden and Kendra Swanson go on 100 hikes in a single yr, they loved it a lot, the longtime associates determined to hike collectively much more instances this yr.
Two years in the past, the chums turned to climbing to assist them drop a few pounds. At their heaviest, Fadden weighed 322 kilos and Swanson was 250 kilos. Fadden had weight-loss surgical procedure in 2019 — the sleeve gastrectomy lowered the dimensions of her abdomen by about 75%. Swanson had simply had a child, and wasn’t a fan of the additional kilos she had placed on in being pregnant.
Collectively, Fadden, 43, of Startup, and Swanson, 37, of Monroe, have misplaced a complete of 243 kilos. Fadden is 170 kilos and Swanson weighs 158.
“It’s well worth the climb,” mentioned Fadden, who’s a paraeducator for the Index College District. “I do know that sounds cliche, nevertheless it’s true.”
They’ve been going climbing each different day for 2 years. If they will’t make it to a climbing path, they’ll go on 6-mile walks round their neighborhoods. If their schedules don’t match as much as hike collectively, Fadden and Swanson exit on their very own to maintain their numbers up.
In 2019, Fadden and Swanson hiked 68 instances, masking about 338 complete miles. In 2020, they hiked 100 instances for a complete of 498 miles. As of Feb. 12, they’ve hiked 19 instances, masking 85 complete miles in 2021.
Along with climbing each different day, Fadden and Swanson additionally had been taking sizzling yoga courses collectively. However then COVID-19 hit.
When Washington trails had been closed to gradual the unfold of the coronavirus, they misplaced lots of time. After COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted, they often hiked two or thrice in a day in an effort to hit their a centesimal hike on Dec. 31, 2020.
“Mountaineering or strolling — we don’t do a lot else,” Fadden mentioned. “By no means have stepped foot in an precise gymnasium.”
They downloaded the AllTrails app — which options greater than 100,000 path maps — so they might discover trails in and round Snohomish County, in addition to file their tempo, distance and elevation for every hike. The app additionally has a GPS tracker so you may comply with the path in case you get misplaced.
“We didn’t even notice all of the hikes which are in Snohomish County,” mentioned Swanson, who works as an support at EvergreenHealth Monroe Medical Middle. “We did all of these inside our first yr.”
“We attempt to do new ones as a lot as attainable, however we normally go on ones proper round Index and Granite Falls as a result of they’re nearer to residence,” Fadden mentioned.
Their favourite hikes in Snohomish County are Heybrook Ridge and Heybrook Lookout close to Index, Might’s Creek Path and Lake Serene close to Gold Bar.
“Lake Serene is our all-time favourite,” Fadden mentioned. “It’s simply probably the most lovely lake I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s serene, just like the lake says. It’s simply completely lovely. “
“It’s breathtaking,” Swanson mentioned. “You stroll round a nook and it’s similar to — bam! Wow. it offers me goosebumps simply speaking about it.”
After a yr, they’ve ventured past county traces to take a look at climbing trails, corresponding to Rattlesnake Ridge close to North Bend, Colchuck Lake in Leavenworth and Poo Poo Level in Issaquah.
“We principally keep right here,” Fadden mentioned. “These are large journeys for us.”
The toughest hike they’ve been on is Mailbox Peak, which is a 9.4 mile roundtrip with a 4,000-foot elevation acquire. On the 4,822-foot summit is the well-known mailbox the place hikers have left letters, postcards, stickers and even an American flag on the high. Fadden added a Bigfoot sticker to the mailbox.
In addition they took a five-day backpacking journey by means of the Cascades. They beloved that they pitched their tent and cooked their meals over a campfire all by themselves. “It made us really feel so empowered, as a result of neither one in every of us had ever accomplished that with out our husbands or youngsters,” Fadden mentioned.
The buddies just lately received matching tattoos to commemorate their climbing adventures and to have a good time that they met their 100-hike aim. On each of their proper forearms is a tattoo that includes a lone Douglas fir within the foreground and the Cascades within the background. Flanking the phrase “Wanderlust” are units of climbing boot prints — one set for every of them.
“We’re our greatest cheerleaders,” Fadden mentioned. “We wouldn’t have been in a position to do that with out us cheering one another on. It’s all about our friendship, and the way we’ve grown collectively, and the way we’ve accomplished this wonderful journey collectively. We wouldn’t be the place we’re at this time with out one another.”
Fadden and Swanson have some recommendation for these impressed to comply with of their footsteps: Don’t be afraid to take breaks. Good sneakers are necessary. All the time deliver the ten necessities with you.
“Once we first began, we took like 10-minute breaks to have the ability to breathe once more as a result of we had been so out of practice,” Fadden mentioned. “We pushed ourselves. We sweat, we cried, however we stored going.”
“It was arduous,” Swanson mentioned. “We couldn’t stroll some nights after we received residence. However we’d nonetheless go, as arduous because it was.”
As if it wasn’t arduous sufficient, Swanson even carries her toddler in a particular backpack once they go on hikes. “She’s pushing 40 kilos, and I’m nonetheless carrying her,” she mentioned. Swanson loves that they now share a love of climbing, as a result of mom and daughter have gone on so many journeys.
Kensington, now 3, likes to see waterfalls, hear birds chirping, eat snacks — “Her favourite is path combine so she will select all of the M&Ms,” Swanson mentioned — seek for painted rocks and greet hikers they meet on the path.
On Feb. 12, Fadden and Swanson had been joined by Fadden’s cousin Sara Boyle, visiting from Wichita, Kansas. She’s been on quite a lot of Snohomish County trails together with her climbing cousin prior to now two years. The three of them hiked 3.5 miles out and again at Heybrook Ridge.
This yr, Fadden and Swanson have set a aim of 200 hikes. Though, Fadden admits she’d be comfortable making it to the path even 150 instances.
Fadden has posted pictures from all 187 hikes on Fb. It helps her keep motivated to go climbing.
“Life simply occurs, and also you acquire weight,” she mentioned. “As you grow old, it retains piling on sooner and sooner. I did each weight loss program I might consider to drop a few pounds, however then gained it proper again as quickly as I finished weight-reduction plan.”
Mountaineering works for her.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org; @sarabruestle.