Utah Mom Completes 14 Hikes in 100 Days to Improve Her Heart Health


One of my goals in the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute’s My Heart Challenge: Moms Edition was a tough one - Fourteen hikes with my daughter Chase throughout the 100 days. I CANNOT believe we did it! 

It's so funny when I have to write down or talk about "my hobbies". I have filled out numerous questionnaires and applications in the last 10 years of my life. Many of them ask me what my hobbies are and I now realize that I've been completely dishonest. I write down things that haven't pertained to me in over 15 years... such as "hiking".

Growing up in Sandy, I had unlimited access to the Wasatch mountains, from which I took total advantage of in my youth. I hiked Bell's Canyon almost daily in my teens. I traveled quite a bit in my 20s and lost that desire and motivation to hike.

The goals of these challenges are to motivate and inspire yourself and others to get and become active. I chose to hike with my daughter in hopes of showing her what an awesome feeling it is to complete a challenge and in a way I love.

Our first hike was rough. She did not want anything to do with it. I had to coax her through the trails with the promise of snow cones afterward. Hike #2 was awesome... She was such a trooper. I took her to Bell's Canyon and she rallied up the trail like a pro. Hikes #3 through #8, Chase's friend came with us. That made everything a little easier: Two seven-year-old girls, both with a little competitive edge.

Right after hike 8, Chase went to a Family Reunion in Idaho and broke her leg. This was a bad break and has been a very traumatic experience for my family. She is in such good spirits and she feels bad that she can't continue the hikes. She told me she is a little relieved that she doesn't have to do any more, though. Oh Boy. I think some of the hikes were not as "family friendly" as they were said to be.

Well, I've continued hiking. I took my dog on the few trails that allowed dogs. Sophie girl had a great time in the off leash areas. We did do an incredibly hot hike in Rattlesnake Gulch. This is a trail in Millcreek Canyon that lives up to its name. RATTLERS EVERWHERE!

I just completed one of my final hikes and I am absolutely shocked that I did it on my own. I hiked five miles up a very vertical trail in Bell's Canyon to the first waterfall. This is an intense hike that ends up with one of the biggest, most beautiful waterfalls in Utah. I have done this hike before, but it's been 15 years. I am honestly shocked that I did it. The trail is narrow and very rocky. There were two times that I had to stop and sit and really focus on my breathing. SO WORTH IT! When I made it to the waterfall, I just sat there and took it all in.

What an accomplishment. I am so happy that I have completed this challenge. This was such an amazing opportunity to reignite the passion I have for hiking the Wasatch. I am humbled by the experience and grateful for the time I spent with my daughter Chase.