Struggling to Find the Right Path

Struggling to Find the Right Path

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Activities Activities: Hiking

Tribute to EastKing...and to Rebekah LaSala

BearQueen heading up

Hello, it is August 9th and I have been suffering over the past two months (after being in remission from all of my infections since October and spending too much time being depressed over residual chronic pain and stress)with another severe infection. However, I got good news today...Another recent cat scan and trans ultrasound reveal that I do not have anything "serious" going on and that my cysts that were in my ovaries are "resolving" and that my (serious bladder) infection is treatable. My Urologist told me, "You are just one of those people who has to live with pelvic pain for the rest of your life..." and I just realized that I have to live my life in spite of the horrific, stabbing pain, the horrific, crippling and paralyzing fear that being chronically ill can create, and to revel in the times when I am entering remission, which I will hopefully be doing soon.

Me at Frozen Lake

To be completely honest: I want to defy them all...I want to lose weight through hiking for sure, but also through changing my Nutritional lifestyle, joining a support group and going to the gym. I also have Fibromyalgia since I was 19 and I am now 38 and of course, there are a lot of complex issues around that due to the SEVERE muscular pain I have when I am going uphill.

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I think that being heavy and making this decision to be healthy means that I am in a FIGHT FOR MY LIFE and that it takes MUCH MORE THAN WILLPOWER, but rather A WILL TO LIVE. That is what I choose today. And, like that song that I was just listening to by Boston, “Don't Look Back”, I guess I am not interested in looking back anymore.

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There have been a lot that EastKing and I have been through over the 11 years. I have allowed fear to rule my life during much of that time due to growing up in an alcoholic family and dealing with all of the feelings of inadequacy of being in a family where unconditional love is not, and never was (from them), a part of my life and where being heavy means not getting "approval" from them. My life is sort of reminiscent of that song "Second Chance" where the guy talks about "Sometimes goodbye is a Second Chance" and that is how I feel about my life. I have had to weed out some very toxic people and I have an uphill battle to climb. I weeded out toxic and bad neighbors and "friends", doctors who scoffed at and belittled me, people who said they would "be there" but left me alone and abandoned when my pain was at its worst. I am ready to bring in new, healthier people and I welcome them all.

I strike a pose

I am ready to step out of the fear zone and lose the 120 pounds. I am ready to change. Ready to go. The doctors, the ones who have been there for me, tell me there is hope for me yet, but that I better start acting now. I love my husband so much and I want to be part of this site so I can be part of his life more.

Me and EK on top of Long View Peak

I have never really been of the philosophy to climb peaks just to do it, even if I was really fit and think and in shape, I just want to see what I can do and enjoy the journeys. I am only interested in bettering my life. I am not interested in competing with anyone.

Final pose

I write this because there are TOO MANY TIMES TO COUNT when my wonderful, courageous husband, EK, who could have just up and left so many times during this ordeal with my health and the horrific stress it has created for him and both of us...but he has always encouraged me to hike...and to write...and to lose weight through hiking. He is my hero...I am always awe inspired by this man. This wonderful, caring, and sensitive and compassionate man and hiker who also always cares about others on the trail.

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I am listening to one of my all time favorite songs "Don't Look Back" by Boston and I am ready to move forward into my life. I am ready to go. I am ready to move forward. I am ready to lose 100 pounds.

I am looking for hiking partners...Preferably other overweight people b/c I will understand where they are coming from and they will understand where I am coming from on a that deeper, emotional level of the gutwrenching part of being overweight or heavy that most thin or superfit people are not able to relate to.

There have been many times when people's insensitive or downright piercing or compassionless looks or remarks on trails have gotten me so raging, so angry that I have been scared into submission and allowed myself to feel oppressed, afraid of the mountains because of my size.

During all of this time, I have always had EastKing by my side, encouraging me, but often feeling helpless as my husband over my chronic illness,and me, often unable to express to him how helpless I feel over not being able to see the things he awesome wildflowers or marmots. He is my hero, though, and I want to share that with those on this site...because he has fought for us with two jobs and I know he would be doing a lot more hiking if he could but our circumstances have not allowed it. I am working a crappy retail job where I am not getting enough hours, but I keep trying and praying for something better.

I know that I have to live life now hard core, live life like that "livestrong" bracelets or website says. I know that in order to lose the 120 pounds, it is going to take summoning all my courage, all my bravery of my 38 years, and to do defy the doctors, defy the illnesses, defy the diabetes that I am not far from.

In fact, I started this "Peakbagging for Weight Loss" below..
Throughout the better part of 15 years I have had serious struggles with health and weight issues. Back in 2004 I started hiking with Greg to help me lose 90 pounds. And I lost 91 pounds, but then I gained it back after a stressful job and...another setback and leaving the job, and before you know it, I was heavy again...Hopelessness and that same old self hatred ensued.

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Unfortunately on my toughest climb up Mount Lafayette (Picture here in the Blue Jacket, ten pounds away from my weight goal) when my husband and I were almost at even pace I blew out my knee and didn't hike at all for a couple of years, due to a physical therapist who told me to stop exercising. (Bad advice, and even more dumb that I took it.) I did manage to hike occasionally in 2005 through 2008 but never really got into peak bagging until November 2009 where despite it being the rainiest month of the year I was able to go peak bagging quite frequently. But by February of 2010 I was yet again strongly affected by a number of bladder infections which caused me to spend a number of days in the hospital and I was not able to go hiking again until recently.

EastKing has always motivated me and therefore, I want to make him proud, but it will be one slow step after another. At the point that this was was a few months ago, but now I would be happy with 15 instead of the 20 that I had originally wanted.

I am not caring if they are difficult or not but I do want to be consistent in peak bagging because I know this is the only way I will reach my goal. At first this album might be boring because I will be doing a lot of lower end hiking but hopefully by the end of the year I can tackle some more interesting mountains.

I will be updating this page as I attempt to reach all 20 summits. None of the 20 summits will be drive ups because the whole idea is to use it for weight loss. Hopefully by the end of this year, I will be triumphant both personally, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, and every other way, and more than I am now, and I can make Greg (and many others, most importantly, myself) proud. It is going to be a long and difficult journey, but I am ready to do it (to face fear and pain) and I need a lot of help and support and encouragement along the way. I am ready to put one foot in front of the other. Thanks for your support in reading this, it means so much!

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Viewing: 1-19 of 19
Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis - Aug 9, 2011 12:58 am - Hasn't voted

You should be proud

You have quite a goal but with lot's of will to do it, I know you'll succeed. I pray you get out there. Breathe the lofty air, smell the feilds of shooting stars. It is heaven on earth for those that can make the journey. It starts with small steps but they are all important in getting there. And I promise, it's the best freedom you can find.

Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis - Aug 9, 2011 1:12 am - Voted 10/10

What a story

Rebekah, any time you would like to go on a adventure with me or even have me come over just to chat, let me know! You and Greg have endured a lot within the time that I have known you two, which I'm proud of you for enduring such hardships. I certainly encourage you to make great efforts in changing your life situation. For me I been recently considering my own health which I need to evaluate more. I had a good talk with a friendly of mine last night that I should try to avoid food with ingredients that I am unsure of, and go for whole foods that don't have things that make us unhealthy. So I plan on making great changes with my diet and my health. An inspiring quote for me was this one from the story "Into the Wild".

"...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty." -Christopher Johnson Mccandless


EastKing - Aug 9, 2011 7:03 pm - Voted 10/10

It is not the summit but the journey


For years and years I have been doing these mountains knowing there was something or someone missing. The mountains often help us face or toughest challenges, fight our hardest fears and make us better people from our experience from them. They show us the true beauty of the earth and toughen us up when life is not kind to us. Most of all they help us get our sprit back.

Weight Loss will come to you!! But it will be the spiritual growth that will change you. In the next couple of weeks you will be chasing some milestones, including climbing a 10,000 foot volcano (Lassen Peak) and doing a number of other above timberline summits. You may only lose 10 to 15 pounds in the next two months but if you allow yourself you will grow dramatically which make you grow spiritually.

As a result you will also grow inside and that will help you get the power to cure your insides and in turn and time lose all of the weight. Be a "have" and not a "don't have" in your life.

As your husband I will be by your side and support you when I can on your way to losing weight and living a better life. Also remember; Lassen Peak is not a final destination, but a starting point for future summits. And there are many, many out there with your name on them!!

Love always,


Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Aug 10, 2011 4:10 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: It is not the summit but the journey

YOU on one of the best husbands on earth. :) You guys rock. Best wishes on this special journey together. -Sarah


mvs - Aug 10, 2011 9:53 am - Voted 10/10


I'm really touched by you guys. Rebekah you and your husband are both inspiring. With your attitude you'll do amazing things. Only shop in the edges of the stores for meat, nuts, veggies and my personal favorite...olive oil! Make your peak bagging into adventures. Moonlight? 3 am? The spirit world is closer then. Sending you energy for your journeys! :) :) :)

Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Aug 10, 2011 4:06 pm - Voted 10/10

Get AFTER it girl!!!

Wishing health, happiness and many, many summits to you.

Climb strong,


PAROFES - Aug 11, 2011 7:11 am - Voted 10/10

This is quite

a Story Rebeca, you guys should be proud to say the least. Great, great story. I am moved by the whole thing. People like you make things way, way better to me (and all os us here i'm sure) as a reader.
Way to go, keep up, never give up, and yes, fight for your life!
Best wishes from Brazil!



silversummit - Aug 13, 2011 9:09 pm - Voted 10/10

You can do it!

Writing about a struggle sometimes helps and I hope this brings you more courage to keep moving forward. In my thirties I had many similar health problems with doctors constantly giving bad news so there are others here who know a little about what you are experiencing. And you have the support and love of your husband! Here's wishing for continued strength to believe in yourself.


lcarreau - Aug 14, 2011 9:48 am - Voted 10/10

Don't Look Back ..

It will slow you down instead of speeding you UP ..


MoapaPk - Aug 17, 2011 3:32 pm - Voted 10/10

Good on ya

I like stories about people who overcome obstacles.

Foxy Long Bottoms

Foxy Long Bottoms - Aug 18, 2011 11:52 am - Hasn't voted

Best wishes!

Keep pushing Bear. You already know the road is going to be rough as it seems like it always has been but you are strong to have come this far and to be working on your goals in spite of the obstacles.

For the first 18 years of my life I had difficulties sleeping upstairs in my bedroom because I could barely walk up the 14 stairs from my couch to my room due to illness. Through tenacity and hard work I've been climbing mountains for years and even smoking some of my long legged male partners on the way.

You can do it! Stay strong. When you start to feel down and those thoughts creep in that tell you that you can't, come back here, re-read what you have written and realize that you can and you will.

Good luck!!


EastKing - Aug 18, 2011 10:58 pm - Voted 10/10


Yesterday you went hiking with a couple of friends from work despite having another bout of a uninary infection and feeling like crap. You held your own with them and inspired me today to go out despite my hiking partner having to bail at the last minute and me having a serious bout of bronchitis. I was granted with a gem of a peak as a result and granted with perfect weather.

Just remember that when you fight your fears and illnesses for the better you bring positive changes to yourself and many, many others. This manuscript proves that point. Without you realizing it you are motivating others to out get a summit and the beautiful world around them.


surgent - Aug 19, 2011 5:08 pm - Voted 10/10

Thank you

My wife, and my best hiking partner ever, has been grounded now for almost 4 years due to chronic pain, arthritis, torticollis and other maladies, all intertwined somehow. You are an inspiration to many, to her, and to me, as someone who loves and is married to someone with chronic pain.

We still enjoy the outdoors together: she is happy to be "camp manager" while I run off for a hike. She loves the mountains, the outdoors, the quiet spiritual energy that it provides. I have gone through considerable struggles as I watch my wife suffer, and there's not much I can do to assuage her pain. I empathize with you and EastKing.

You have a sharp mind and a wisdom that very few people will ever possess. You are in the right arena with the right mindset and I am sure, no matter how much the pain, you can always find solace in the hills. I daresay for my wife and I, it has been the one continuous thread that has helped us cope with this gigantic struggle. It will be for you, too.


ktnbs - Aug 21, 2011 1:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Most excellent

My best thoughts and wishes for you.

Bark Eater

Bark Eater - Aug 26, 2011 1:51 pm - Voted 10/10

You go, girl!

Keep it up!

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Sep 3, 2011 8:53 am - Voted 10/10

Best of luck

Your dedication and your courage and your honesty are admirable and inspiring. I hope you reach your goal and have many more great years of hiking and mountains ahead of you.


Diggler - Sep 7, 2011 12:48 pm - Voted 10/10

The first steps are the hardest

...& they get easier from there. You're lucky to have someone who is there for you through thick & thin- some people never find that person. Get rid of the hindrances & negative people in your life, if they cannot be positive, even if it is difficult. Be strong & keep it up- you can do it! Which 20 mountains, by the way, are you going for?


EastKing - Sep 9, 2011 4:31 pm - Voted 10/10

On a good pace!!

You are doing well beautiful Bearqueen. Right now at 10 summits and one is a 10,450 volcano! Lassen was tough but you made it up to the very true summit and you looked quiet comfortable on that snow. With an average of 2-3 summits a month you will hit your goal. But will there be another volcano?? Keep it up and know I will be by your side.


dien2liv - Sep 25, 2011 5:05 am - Hasn't voted

the best of luck

Always happy to see the adventure spirit cannot be stifled by our bodies persistent reminders of frailty and weakness. "Pain is weakness leaving the body." The juice is always worth the squeeze in the case of the goals you have set for yourself and i wish you the best of luck. looking forward to the updates.

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Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.