Meet Analyse: Artist and athlete. Based out of Los Angeles, CA, but originally from Orange County, CA. Recently I had the opportunity to chat with her to learn more about her recent experience taking a cross-country road trip and climbing Half Dome.
Pronouns: Human / Female
A year ago, you went on a cross-country road trip, which is something I think quite a few people dream of doing. How long was your road trip and what was life like on the road? Last November I joined my sister on her cross-country move to Virginia. Our 11 days on the road were full of magical moments that flash into my mind often. We travelled through 10 states before we arrived in Charlottesville, VA. As we drove we listened to an audio book about the American Revolution and an Irish immigrant, who was trans, and his journey traveling through the country.
This road trip was unlike any vacation I’ve ever gone on. The amount of time I spent in my own head allowed me to grow into part of the person I am today. Because we drove through the country in the Fall most places we visited were desolate. It felt like the road was ours.
What was your most memorable moment on the road? Everything about the road trip plays in my mind often. For instance, we travelled during the full moon and saw the sun and moon, rise and set in Bryce National Park. I spotted a bear in the Shenandoah National Park. I was also in one of the world’s largest caverns in Missouri on a tour with only four other people! And on the last day of driving I was hypnotized by the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The road is full of memorable moments. It just depends on how you capture them. For me, they are all mine and collectively these experiences shaped my trip The first 4 days, my sister and I were accompanied by our significant others. But on the first night of just us driving together we had a moment. At a rest stop in Utah heading to New Mexico we stretched our legs, heated up some soup and made some calls. As we pulled out of the rest stop, I told my sister to pull over. The car stopped and I decided I wanted to thank the universe for this opportunity and to ask the road and energy to guide us in the right way. As As I finished setting my intention, I waved my hand to the sky full of stars and in that moment a shooting star flew as we set our intention.
Magic, pure magic created from positive intent and energy set the tone for the many memorable moments that followed.
That moment is the moment that set the tone for the trip. Magic, pure magic created from positive intent and energy set the tone for the many memorable moments that followed.
Have you always been an adventurer? What interests you most about visiting new places? From a young age I was very active. I played soccer, basketball and softball. I remember as a kid traveling to compete with sports teams. My mom, a single mother of three, really created a life of adventure for us. She did whatever she could so we could play, travel and experience all we could as kids and teenagers. My mom the unlikely adventurer, created a life of adventure for her kids and I know my childhood set the tone into adulthood.
I constantly seek out things to get my heart racing and smile beaming.
As an adult I seek adventure everyday. For me, driving home, rushing to get my skateboard and mobbing to the Farmers Market before it’s over is an adventure. Taking my niece and nephew to the park, which we call the castle is an adventure. Everyday I try to do something active and out of the ordinary. This mentality of mine means my life is adventure. I constantly seek out things to get my heart racing and smile beaming.
The past is what interest me most about anywhere I visit. The people that built, created and lived in the places I pass through. I want to feel what a place was like and how lives were lived in a time where things were very different in comparison to the digital world we live in now.
When did you decide that you wanted to hike Half Dome? Has this always been a goal of yours? For those, who may not know, Half Dome is a 16 mile hike located in Yosemite National Park, which is best known for the cables you have to use to climb the final 400 ft. My partner Connie introduced me to the idea of hiking Half Dome. The first time I visited Yosemite was in the summer of 2017. Having never visited Yosemite before, Half Dome never crossed my mind. That summer while visiting the park with Connie, we realized we were physically unprepared not to mention the uncertainty that came with the wildfires that roared around the valley that summer. But as 2018 arrived, we made a clear and intentional goal of hiking Half Dome that summer.
Having scored 4 nights at Upper Pines campground and a day permit, we set off for our summit of Half Dome in June 2018.
Tell me more about your experience hiking Half Dome. Were there any challenges or surprises good or bad that you weren’t expecting? I started my hike with problems. My clothes didn’t fight right in the morning and my stomach was upset. I read an older book about Half Dome and as a result was unprepared for the lack of water on the trail. On top of that my water pack broke and leaked out 1.5 liters of water within the first hour of my hike. Nonetheless, I moved forward and continued the hike.
Half Dome was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.
Half Dome was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t the hours of hiking or lack of water that was terrifying, but the final cables as you approach the summit. Following Connie, we got to the cable and we made it up 3 planks before I panicked. Surely I was going to turn around, but as I looked back groups had already started climbing up behind us. It took us under 10 minutes to reach the top. Adrenaline and nice people, who let us pass by, prevented me from freaking out on the cables.
At the top I didn’t have the magical feeling of accomplishment. InsteadI cried in terror. I realized what I had done and where I had gotten myself. I’m not a fan of holding on for my life and I wasn’t ready to do that going downhill. After a few deep breaths, I was able to ground myself and enjoy the beauty of Yosemite and Half Dome. We weren’t at the summit more than 20 minuets when we decided to head down.
As we descended, quite a few people were on their way up, but somehow we managed to slide passed each other. At one point I was crouched down and as I looked up the sight of the valley, granite, trees and sky swirled all around me before settling. . After the cables we trotted down Sub Dome and as I got off the final steps my stomach was a mess. We ate and I later threw it up.
The last 3 miles were tough. We ran out of water and tourist now crowed the trail. After the steps on the Mist Trail, Connie and I set out to jog our way off the mountain.
I got off the trail feeling stronger and more in shape than ever before. I realized that I was physically prepared for the hike, but mentally I was unprepared.
Earlier you mentioned that while on the hike you met a 70-year-old woman, who was doing the hike for the first time. Can you tell me more about your conversation with her? As we approached Little Yosemite we passed a woman and her husband. Giving them a friendly hiker hello we continued on our way. Playing tag for a little on the trail we waved and acknowledged each other. The final time we passed them, she shared that hiking Half Dome was on her bucket list. Motivated and determined she led the way as her husband followed, giving her all the power and encouragement she needed.
I let her know that what she was doing was inspiring and that I had full confidence in her. As we hiked down sub dome we saw her. Again I encouraged her and let her know she was looking strong!
The team dynamic between the couple was admirable. You could tell that her husband was there solely to support her and her life goals.
I know you and your girlfriend Connie have done a lot of adventures and challenges this year together. What has hiking together taught you about yourself, Connie and your relationship together. We’ve grown a lot in our relationship through hiking and getting outdoors. We work as a team 95% of the time. Whether it’s splitting the drive time or motivating each other up the mountain we are always by each other side.
Connie is more logical and plans a lot of our hikes. While I’m more of the lets push our bodies. Physically I like to take it to the limit. Hiking and getting outdoors helps us ground each other and exposes our strengths and weaknesses. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. Sometimes we don’t gel and have to work through whatever it is getting in the way of us being in sync.
In what ways would you say you show up for yourself and what would you say to someone, who is just getting started on their self-care journey? Anyone who is starting off on his or her self-care and/or fitness journey, I want you to remember this… YOU ARE HUMAN. Our bodies are designed to be vessels. Learn to take your body to new heights. Whether it’s going the extra 15 minutes on the treadmill or getting outside to begin with,take yourself to another level, every time you get out.
It has become second nature to me to push my body. If I go for a run I run as fast as I can and end up finishing the run sprinting. Without thinking about it, I push my body because it makes me feel alive. No matter what physical activity I am doing, I am pushing my body to its limit.
The only way I am able to show up for myself is by getting real deep and personal with myself.
The only way I am able to show up for myself is by getting real deep and personal with myself. I question my actions when I lack the motivation to get up and drive an hour to hike and yet the second I get on the trail I wonder, why the hell was I dreading getting up? Or when I’m contemplating my evening workout yet the second I pick up the weights I’m zoned in. I show up for myself by holding myself accountable for the good and the bad.
So if you’re looking to get in shape or summit a mountain, make sure you know how to communicate with yourself. Know that your body can reach new heights everyday if you allow yourself to get there. Everyday is a chance to improve and push yourself. Just know that you are human and its possible.
What are some outdoor issues that are important to you? Diversity in the outdoors is lacking. Climbing up Mt. Whitney it seemed like Connie and I were the only 2 female Latinas hiking together. Of the 100 people heading up the mountain, we were one of the few brown females. I am not involved or following any organization, but I think it’s important for girls to get out today.
What has been your greatest challenge on your journey this year? What has been your proudest accomplishment? This year my greatest challenge has been getting validation from myself and knowing that everything I do should be for me and not for anyone else. In 2018, I deactivated my Instagram twice. I realized that I had become invested in likes and views when thatreally wasn’t what made me feel good. To this day I struggle with detaching from social media.
My proudest accomplishment has been doing a big hike on Sunday and showing up for work with drive and motivation on Monday. I’ve learned to live at 100% everyday and by doing this I am always proud of myself and feel accomplished. Whether its hiking 12 miles on a Saturday or an intense run on Wednesday I am living my life to its fullest everyday of the week.