Camelback Mountain: One Step At A Time



Anxiety is something that I’ve been trying to understand and deal with my entire life. It works behind the scenes, constantly telling me that I can’t do this or I shouldn’t do that, while other people do those exact things seemingly without much grief. I’ve always been so envious of people, like Eric, who aren’t impacted by these constant worries and fears. To be able to do something so freely, is something I’ve always dreamed of my entire life. There are so many opportunities and experiences I’ve missed out on because of debilitating fear.

And that almost happened yesterday.


After enjoying a nice lunch out with my mom and John, Eric and I set out to tackle our next hike on the famous Camelback Mountain. Naïvely, we had no idea just how “strenuous” this climb would be. Still riding yesterday’s hiking high at Pinnacle Peak, we were eager to tackle the next mountain. We set out on the Echo Canyon trail- the most difficult climb of all 4 trails on the Camelback. We didn’t know this at the time though!

A website describes it as the following: “Beyond the first ¼ mile the hike up Camelback becomes physically demanding and potentially hazardous. The slope is quite steep in spots (there are hand rails and chains to steady your ascent) and the hundreds of trampling shoes have produced a fine coating of slippery, pulverized rock. Many hikers are very fit and use the trail for fitness training.” (source)

Right from the get-go we knew this would be a whole other kind of hike, and at first, I was excited.


The start of the trail is a series of large stairs and rocky parts, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. Within minutes, we arrived at a steep part of the mountain and this is exactly when my anxiety started to kick into overdrive.

I had to climb this…without killing myself?


The pictures really don’t do this climb justice, by the way. I took one look at it and told Eric I was turning back. “I can’t do this, I’m scared”. I felt paralyzed, unable to move forward.

“You can do it Ange! We’ll go slow and you can hold onto the railings as much as you need to. Look at all the other people who are doing it just like you can.”

Looking around, he was right; I wanted to be one of those people overcoming this amazing challenge. I took a deep breath and said, “I’ll TRY,” but expecting to fail. I never considered myself to be afraid of heights, but that became apparent as soon as I got half way up this first steep climb.

I stood there in fear once again unable to proceed. My anxiety was so strong I felt a bit panicked as I thought about how the hell I was going to get down. Eric gave me another pep talk.

“Do you want to let your anxiety win again and miss out on this experience? Imagine how proud you will feel when you overcome it.”

He was right.

I was sick and tired of letting my anxiety win. If I turned back, I was accepting defeat to my fears like I have done so many times in the past. I knew physically I was in good enough shape to climb the mountain, but it was my mind that I had to train. In the end, I decided to give my anxiety a big f-you, imagining myself sticking my middle finger up at the anxiety. As silly as it sounds, it was just the visualization I needed to set myself back on track and proceed forward.


If you would’ve told me I’d be hiking in a desert mountain and not worrying about rattlesnakes, I would have said you are crazy, but that was the last thing on my mind yesterday!

As we climbed and climbed, I felt more and more fear about how I was going to get down. I pictured myself getting stuck at the top and having to be rescued out. I told Eric this and we talked about how my anxiety leads me to think too much in the future, constantly worrying about things that probably will never happen.

“How about we take this climb one step at a time?” He asked.

Not only did I think that was a great idea, but I realized that this climb was a metaphor for life. I always worry about the future and I dream up bad outcomes that are “likely” to happen, so instead, I don’t bother doing them many times. This was exactly what I was doing on this mountain: self-defeating by thinking too far into the future.


“That’s a great idea.” I finally admitted. And that’s exactly what I tried to do for the rest of the hike. One step at a time. I wouldn’t think about the heights, falling, getting stuck, or slipping on a big rock and hitting my head. I would just think about which step I had to take next.

We climbed higher and higher and an hour passed. My confidence was growing, but the fear about getting down still lingered in my mind.


We finally reached the top after about an hour and 15 minutes (I’m not really sure as my Garmin lost reception!), and we were blown away by the 360 views.


“You wanted to quit”, Eric reminded me.


I was so glad that I didn’t.


We grabbed our bag and took out the energy balls that I made before leaving. I suspected we’d need some energy on this hike, but I never knew how much!


While standing at the summit and feeling proud, I decided to call them “Reach Your Peak” energy balls. It just seemed so fitting.


We bit into these crispy and chewy balls and suddenly everything seemed right in the world. Our energy lifted and I felt ready to tackle the long, steep descent.

“We better get going. Sundown isn’t far off.”, I worried looking at Eric’s watch reading 4:15pm.


The descent turned out to be fine and we just took it slow. The hardest part I had was not slipping on the rocks with my runners (proper hiking sneakers are highly encouraged!!), but we just took it easy. I was jealous of Eric’s long legs, able to reach the ground without having to stretch and slink downward on a big rock.


We finally reached the bottom of the mountain after about 2.5 hours, with legs like Jell-O and a pride for overcoming such an amazing challenge. This climb taught me so much and I felt myself feeling emotional by the end. I walked away feeling more proud than I felt after my half-marathon races.

I also realized after this hike just how much Eric enjoyed this type of activity. I’d never seen him so eager and excited about any type of “exercise” like this! And I use the term exercise loosely here, because while it’s a KILLER workout, that doesn’t seem to be the main point. It’s much more than that.

Eric kept saying how much he loved it, and I’ll admit, his confidence and enthusiasm was infectious.


I think we are hooked.

Here’s a short video I put together about our experience. Please excuse how tired I am in the video!!! Also, there is a really shaky part in the video that Eric taped, so if you get nauseous easily I would take caution when watching.


Now that I’ve overcome such a strong fear, I find myself asking: What else can I do?

Have you ever overcome a strong fear?

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{ 197 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 25, 2012

YAYYYYY! I am so glad you loved Camelback. It was a lot tougher than I expected too but so so so enjoyable. I can’t wait to go again :)


2 Nikki@ActiveVegetarian January 25, 2012

Wow, this looks incredible. I am so Jealous :)


3 The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh January 25, 2012

I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes I am so proud of you!! At my highest weight, this is how I lived my life, scared I could do anything and not even bothering to try. How wonderful you have such a supportive hubby to believe in you and help you through that just like I do.

Last year we went on a hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley. It is one of those “someday” things most people put on their lists (or the hell no list! ;-) ) but I was so proud we did it. Honestly, I was more petrified of getting in and out of the thing since there was no step stool but what I noticed was EVERYONE sucked at getting in and out. No one did it gracefully and from then on I knew I could do anything I wanted or dreamed of. Keep on conquering that fear Angela, it will lead you to amazing places!


4 angela January 25, 2012

Wow that’s so great to hear! Isn’t it so freeing?


5 Moni'sMeals January 25, 2012

I am so proud and Happy for you! You are awesome, way to work through the challenge…the challenge of the MIND!

You are such an inspirtion…you did it for you and Sketchy too, right!? Eric is the best to help…good job Eric!!



6 Adrienne J January 25, 2012

What a great post Angela! And awesome job making up and down that mountain!! I often think too far in the future too. Worrying doesn’t do us any good.


7 Mike Lieberman January 25, 2012

Great job. It’s an amazing feeling to be out in nature and have that feeling, then overcoming it.

A few years back, I hiked the Grand Canyon. The hike up was amazing. When I got to the top, I had so many feelings rushing through me – happiness, sadness, nausea, etc.

I’m working on acknowledging these feelings and understanding that they will pass and are just there to protect me. I thank them for that and continue.


8 angela January 25, 2012

Mike, congrats on hiking the GC! How amazing. I would love to some day. It’s such a great point to recognize that it’s ok to feel those mixed feelings…like you said many of them are there for a reason!


9 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 25, 2012

Hiking is such a fun workout – way to overcome and reach the peak! I need to get out there one day – so much outdoor beauty to take in!


10 Jessi January 25, 2012

Congratulations on your trimuph! Overcoming a fear is truly a HUGE victory in life, no matter what it is. I have had 2 similar experinces, one recently and one about 3.5 years ago. Recently, I tried to go skiing – on a bunny slope. I am 27 and haven’t been skiing since I was 8. I remembered the basics – make a “pizza” with your skis to stop – but when I wne todwn the bunny slope fo rthe first time, I couldn’t stop. My husband helped grab me to stop and I panicked – for an hour. They ski resort offered free lessons, but I was letting my fear get in the way of even that. I told him “I’m taking my skis off, please go have fun, meet me when yuo are finished.” I almost let my fear take over completely. I was afraid of falling or running into something and breaking a bone or worse. I am a yoga teacher and I knwo that sometimes falling is part of the process, but I couldn’t get passed it. Eventually I took a few breathes and le tmy nagging conscience lead me to the ski instructors. I had an hour lesson, learned techniques, skiied down the bunny hill, made it to the smaller chair lift, and never even fell! And to think I would have missed out on that great opportunity!
A few years ago, we were on our honeymoon in California in the desert. We, also, decided to go hiking. The mountains weren;t veruy big, so we decided to go off the beaten path. We didn;t realize that the mountains were mostly loose dirt and pebbles, with a few more substantial rocks here and there. It was scary to climb due to this, even though it wasn;t very high. I too worried about how to get down, but just kept saying “We’ll get to it when we get to it. We can take it slow.” When we reached the top, it was nearly dusk and we could see the city below – it was beautiful. Then in the distance an ambulance drove by with the siren on, and on the peaks behind us coyotes came out and started to howl. They wee so close and no one else was on the trails! I panicked and knew we had to get down fast, but I was terrified, again, of falling. My other option was being eaten, so after my husband convinced me, we started down. I scooted on my bottom a lot, crab walking, because it felt safer for me. Its a funny story to retell now, but at the time, I felt panic. To think I wanted to stay on teh top of a mountain with coyotes than make my way down. Both of those experiences were just learning processes. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to work on my anxiety and fear as much. I’m glad you were abel to overcome it and share it with everyone. I think hearing of others experiences and fears can help us all overcome ours.


11 angela January 25, 2012

Hey Jessi, Thank you for sharing! Your stories are so inspiring. I too have faced some fears on the ski hill (while snowboarding) so I can relate to that so much.


12 Cindy Robinson January 26, 2012

As I was reading your story Ange, I was thinking of the same fears I had on the ski slopes in CO, skiing for my first time a few years ago. My husband is a great skiier, and took my on a blue my first time, after I learned the basics. His confidence in me was greater than mine. After I took a few spills I was terrfied. I let my anxiety get the best of me too, but eventually learned to take it one stroke at a time. I’m so glad you both were able to overcome your fears with the help of your husband’s encouragement!!


13 Brittany @Little b's healthy habits January 25, 2012

That’s great! Congrats on your accomplishment! I’ve lived in PHX for about 7 years now and have only hiked it once, and we didn’t make it all the way up! It’s only about 10 minutes from me, so I need to get to the top one day soon!!


14 Kathryn January 25, 2012

What a great accomplishment. One of my teachers (yoga, of course) said that anxiety is about living in the future and depression is about living in the past. Makes sense huh. It is tough to live in the present, but sure it is worth it!


15 angela January 25, 2012

Wow I love that quote…so cool!


16 Shanda January 25, 2012

I did this exact hike in just a couple months ago in October! I’m afraid of heights and I was terrified for the entire climb. Me and my friend accidentally took a wrong turn on our way down and had to do a big detour around the side of the mountain to get back to the trail…probably one of my top 5 scariest moments ever. I felt so amazing when we finished the hike though, such a great feeling…congrats on finishing pushing through your fears too!


17 angela January 25, 2012

So glad you got down safely. I was amazed at how easy it was to take a wrong turn!


18 ali janine @ This Ninja Eats Broccoli January 25, 2012

Wow this post really struck a chord with me. A few years ago I took a course that involved going to Arizona for 3 weeks of studying and the profs included a hike down the Grand Canyon. There was an option not to do it if you felt you weren’t capable of it and my anxiety got the best of me and I decided not to do the hike. That being said, it is a strenuous hike and I did have asthma. But looking back I’m pretty sure I could have done it. So it’s always been one of my regrets and hopefully one day I’ll have the opportunity to do it. If Eric likes crazy hiking maybe you guys should put that on your list for your next trip to AZ :)

Also – I LOVE your earrings, and I love the fact that your wore them hiking:)


19 Eve January 25, 2012

That is funny!!! I had to go back and look at her earrings, but you’re right…they are fabulous and I too love the fact that she wore those hiking!!! :D


20 angela January 25, 2012

haha!! We were out and about for lunch earlier in the day and completely forgot to take them off, but now im glad I didnt maybe? ;)


21 Eve January 25, 2012

Ironically, though I’ve always been a prudent person, when I was younger, I truly had no fear. I remember being 15 and committing to myself that I would never live my life with regrets. I grew up surfing and sailing, and at about 19 I boarded a plane to a foreign country (France), not speaking a word of French, landed, found myself an apartment, and started school. I don’t ever remember being afraid, and if I was, I refused to acknowledge it.

Now, however, at 44, and with a few scary knocks along the way, I have fallen into this same trap you describe, and I HATE IT. I was shaking my head as you described missing out on so many of life’s adventures because of fear, and of watching others do these same things with apparent ease, while I struggle to find the courage to get there. Small things, that are nothing compared with some of the amazing experiences I accomplished without hesitation, stop me in my tracks. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out when this happened, why, and how in the heck to get over it and move on.

Your writing this morning was exactly the thing I needed today. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey.


22 angela January 25, 2012

Eve, Thank you for your comment. I wish you all the best with overcoming those fears. I too feel that they can quickly creep up on me and spiral out of control if I don’t do something about it. I find sometimes even just the “smallest” achievement can set me back on the right track.


23 Christina January 25, 2012

I feel like you took the thoughts out of my head and put them into words!! I have similar issues with anxiety. I OFTEN project into the future and ALWAYS think the worst is going to happen. The train of thought you wrote above is exactly how I’d be thinking (won’t be able to get down, I’ll slip and fall, etc).

I’m SO SO proud of you Angela!!!! I work on my anxiety issues and it is not an easy task. A regular yoga practice has helped me immensely.


24 angela January 25, 2012

Thanks Christina!


25 Erica January 25, 2012

Wow! I totally teared up reading that. At the risk of sounding trite, I am so proud of you. I understand how that fear can feel and how defeating it can be, but you kicked that fears a$$ girl and should be damn proud of yourself!! On a side note, I love that your hubby was totally supportive and helped to push you out of your comfort zone just enough to make you realize you could totally conquer Camelback! You have inspired me to work on my own fears and get out of my own comfort zone a little more frequently. Thank you :)


26 Marion January 25, 2012

That’s awesome. Congrats! Will you be posting the Reach Your Peak energy balls recipe. They look yummy!


27 Emily (Edible Psychology) January 25, 2012

What a beautiful post! Congratulations on conquering your fear and going for it! That takes balls – and I don’t just mean the Reach Your Peak kind! ;-)



28 Tracy January 25, 2012

Congrats on overcoming your fear and climbing the mountain! Fear is such a tricky thing, luckily Eric was there to help encourage you to overcome it.

I love that you wore earrings and makeup on your hike and that after 2.5 hours you still looked great!


29 Tanya @ Vegan Faith January 25, 2012

Love the video! YOur smile is infectious! I just heard Mina Samuels (author of Run Like A Girl) speak at a conference last week and she talked about the transformative power that sports and fitness can have on your life. It acts as a metaphor for life. Participating in sports (such as hiking in your case today) allows you to achieve new heights (pun intended) and realize you can do that in every aspect of your life. A great quote from her speech “Sports are a practice field for life.” Great job! And I wasn’t going to tell you yesterday, but when I was in Phoenix last year we hiked Camelback and a friend fell and broke her collar bone. I know that info would not have helped yesterday! And so it is with any situation in life, someone will always have a story about “a friend who that happened to” but we must take charge of our own lives and make decisions for ourselves!


30 angela January 25, 2012

I couldn’t agree more Tanya!


31 Fiona January 25, 2012

That was a really inspiring story that I’m sure many (myself included) can relate to. thank you for writing so honestly! I have a husband named Eric too and he is from Toronto and we sound a lot like you guys! He sounds like a great husband, just like mine. :)


32 Nikki T January 25, 2012

Awesome!! I’m so glad you didn’t give up!
This past September I hiked the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu in Peru…I highly recommend it!!


33 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe January 25, 2012

Awesome post. I’m so proud of you for taking it one step at a time and getting the reward of an amazing view and an amazing accomplishment at the end! :)


34 Jasper @ crunchylittlebites January 25, 2012

Dear Angela, I just want you to know that I have been having SUCH a difficult past four months. Most of my personal struggle and unhappiness, I find, comes from WRONG or DISTORTED expectations that I have for myself and that I have for my body. If Jasper doesn’t like her body (which she never does) then Jasper will not be happy. Truth is, “my body” is just one way of channeling all of my unhappiness so that I may focus on one thing like my outward appearance, etc. I see a dietitian and a psychotherapist so I am working on life, slowly. Really, I just wanted you, Angela, that it is not just posts like this one (this post is AweSome – anxiety, etc.) but any and every post that you have poured your heart and self into, Angela means something to me. You really do glow Angela.

much love – Jasper


35 angela January 25, 2012

Thank you Jasper! Wishing you all the best with overcoming your own struggles.


36 Betty January 25, 2012

I grew up in Phoenix, and I always wanted to climb Camelback Mountain, but was always too anxious or afraid. Every time I thought about climbing it, I would make up some excuse about why today wasn’t the right day. Your post was inspiring–I think I am going to try it next time I’m back in Arizona. Thanks for the inspiration, and I love your blog!

— Getting Better Betty


37 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

I’m happy to hear that Betty! Let me know how it goes :)


38 Lisa January 25, 2012

Congratulations! So sorry to hear you were so frightened of our “little” mountain that we take for granted, but so happy that you overcame your fears and enjoyed yourself! Well, you’ve hit the northern and central Phoenix..maybe South Mountain (which is not as strenuous and has a TON of trails that are suitable for trail running), or much further east, Superstitious mountains. Both pretty places! Our weather is gorgeous this week, so enjoy!!


39 Lauren (Maillard's MIstress) January 25, 2012

I so strongly sympathized with your first paragraph. I feel that way on and off sometimes, and it’s really difficult for others without anxiety to understand that. It can be so paralyzing.

I took my first steps last year in training for a half marathon and am now training for my fourth. Seeing that I can run that distance, I have developed an interest in doing lots more outdoorsy and adventurous things. I’d love to go caving and run a marathon.


40 Mellissa January 25, 2012

I climbed Camelback last year for the first time and also really really hate heights. But I did it and the views were so worth it!


41 Mandy Jo January 25, 2012

So happy you overcame your fear!!!! And Kudos to Eric for not pressuring you but encouraging you!
I too have lived with a similar anxiety. I continually dread the future and am known to be an “overthinker.” This has prevented me from doing SO much in my life but the thing that stands out the most is the dream of my career. I have ALWAYS wanted to work with animals in some aspect but I never pursued it. As a child I remember just dreaming of working in the ocean with whales, dolphins and fishies! Instead, I let the fear take over. I went to school and got a degree in Communication (perhaps I wanted to communicate with the dolphins? who knows.) Now, 12 years after graduating from college I am finally doing it. I am leaving my “comfort zone” (aka desk job) and moving across the country to go to Zoo School in Florida! I do find myself thinking “what if I get there and I hate it?” and “am I going to be the old maid in school?”
I will now take your advice and picture my middle finger flipping off my anxiety (love that!) b/c it is what I want and I need to do this!!! A good friend of mine always reminds me that “this is your life, you have to live it as you want b/c you only get this one shot at it.” She is right, it doesn’t matter that I’m dreading being the 30 year old “zoobie” I have 30+ years of working when I’m done. I can either work in an office for the rest of my life in my comfort zone (blah) or spend a few years in school and do what I want. Hmmmm. I think I’ll pass on the comfort zone. :)
Thank you for sharing your story. It was another reminder of how important it is to give anxiety a big eff you! :)


42 angela January 25, 2012

Mandy Jo, Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration to many. Goodluck with everything and keep me posted!


43 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! January 25, 2012

So glad you were able to complete the hike! Not only is a great accomplishment but I would have hated for you to miss out on the amazing view at the top! Its really breathtaking!


44 Katie January 25, 2012

You are awesome! Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment physically, but even more so emotionally. I too tend to think too far into the future, “borrowing trouble” as my mother often says. :) One step at a time is great advice!

PS. I make those energy balls all the time. Love them!


45 Nicole January 25, 2012

You are awesome!
Your story here reminds me of my husband and myself so much.


46 Kathy January 25, 2012

Such a beauiful view. Congratulations on making it the whole way. I too am scared of heights. I probably would have froze mid way and had to be helicoptered out of there. Great job!!!


47 Jenny January 25, 2012

Great photography! I love the way you use pictures to tell a story. Congrats on conquering your fear!


48 Hollie January 25, 2012

I am in tears reading this! Thank you for sharing, so honestly, your experience. I suffer from severe anxiety as well and I am always worrying about the “what-ifs”.


49 Tiff January 25, 2012

Wow – what a view! That looks like a fun (yet very very challenging) hike.


50 gia January 25, 2012

That is a really great post. I love that your husband was so encouraging too, that is just wonderful. Someone told me that I always talked about my fears, and that one way to get rid of them is to face them. So, I have applied to grad school and I may be moving (two BIG fears). I’m anxiously waiting to hear back, but I need to remember that even if I don’t get in, my path right now is to just keep facing my fears.


51 Cait's Plate January 25, 2012

INCREDIBLE. I can’t believe you’re in shorts and a tank top! SO SO jealous as I’m bundled up in my down coat!


52 Lindsey January 25, 2012

Good for you! I am going to AZ next month and only wish I could do that hike. I have anxiety about so much to, and like you wish I could do things without constant worry. I need to take cues from you for sure :)


53 Ellie@Fit for the Soul January 25, 2012

wowwww grrreat job Angela!! I’m so proud of you! And it’s so sweet how Eric encourages you so much! And you encourage him with your perseverance~ :D The scenery is gooorgeous and I hope to someday climb that beast. And I think the pic does it justice, alright! It looks uber steep.

I also can’t help but think just HOW MUCH mountains and hiking is like life in every sense of the word. I especially relate that to my walk with God, b/c He never promises that life will be easier and in fact, things MAY get harder! But I have Him holding me by the hand and taking me along this amazing journey. Have a wonderful day <3


54 Sarah January 25, 2012

I am a fairly new reader to you blog and really adore it. This post was very inspirational as someone who also suffers from anxiety. I keep trying to take things one day/moment/incident whatever it might be at a time. Thank you for sharing!!

Also – those energy balls look amazing – do you have a recipe for them you can share?


55 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

Hey Sarah, Glad you enjoyed it! I will either share the recipe in the cookbook or on the blog…I haven’t quite decided yet, but it will be coming eventually!


56 Sarah January 26, 2012

Thanks, Angela!
Also, when you use chia seeds in your smoothies, do you mix them with liquid first or just add them right in?


57 Brooke January 25, 2012

Those views take my breath away! I hope I get to hike that mountain sometime. Coming from someone who had severe anxiety, I definitely know what you are going through and how big of a challenge you overcame. You are so lucky to have such a great support in your life and at the same time he’s your husband. What a sweet guy!

On my ongoing journey to overcome anxiety, I have come across a couple things that were interesting. Essential oils can help (they help me by distracting my thoughts and calming me down) – rose (this is expensive though), lavender, patchouli, ylang ylang, grapefruit, and others. Another thing you might be interested in is Rescue Remedy. It’s a combination of 4 flower essences that help calm you down. Numerous celebrities endorse the product to overcome stage fright and nervousness. Other people use it for test-taking or on the first day of a new job, etc. I just ordered some last week and haven’t got them yet, but some people swear by them. They’re all natural. I hope they work!


58 Angela January 26, 2012

Thank you for the recomendation, I’ll have to look into it.


59 Susan January 25, 2012

What a gorgeous hike! Your story gives me much inspiration. I, too, am often crippled by overwhelming anxiety, and I’ve been trying so hard in the last few years to overcome it. One of my biggest accomplishments with this was when my husband and I hiked the Inca Trail last year. Before setting out, I was seriously having nightmares about it, but like you, what eventually helped me was repeating the mantra, “one step at a time” the whole way through. And I’ve tried to remember that lesson in my daily life as well; whenever fear strikes, no matter what it is, I repeat to myself, “one step at a time”.


60 AGS January 25, 2012

Fantastic! I remember when I was still running, I would sometimes go for a run and “visualize” a large project while I attempted difficult hills, etc., to amp myself up for success. It was very motivating, because I could see and feel myself physically making progress/overcomming challenges, and then remind myself of that while sitting at a computer/making phone calls to deadline. Wish I could do that with my work/presentation this evening — I could use the encouragement!!!


61 Misty January 25, 2012

Well done!Thanks for sharing your experience and tell Eric I said thanks too! I think “one step at a time” is something I need to remember as I am working on saving for a house. Sometimes I just look at mls and throw my hands in the air and think….I’m never gonna get there. But it’s my dream and I have already become debt free and have been saving my little heart out, I just gotta stay focused on the task at hand and stop worrying about the buying a house process, because i’m in the saving process.


62 Carolyn January 25, 2012

Way to go Ange!
Keep on pushing through those negative, nagging voices.
I am with you on facing the fear. My number one goal this year is stop being scared and just going for the things I want in life. You can do it!


63 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 25, 2012

Echo canyon is one of my all-time favorite hikes! Great job and thanks for sharing your experience.


64 Emmy January 25, 2012

I have a vacation coming up in March and my boyfriend and I were going to go skiing but we may have to go here instead!


65 Eleonora January 25, 2012

YAY! Well done Angela!

Just a suggestion from an Italian Alps local: next time wear a pair of hiking boots, a sprained ankle is no fun!


66 JessicaE January 25, 2012

There are definitely times when my anxiety is completely debilitating.. I don’t trust myself to drive anywhere, I can’t leave the house, etc…

But more often than not (and I have struggled since I was nine) I just have to power/struggle through it if I am going to live my life/be a good wife to my husband.

I HAVE to go to work when scheduled…bills must be paid. Grocery shopping and cooking and laundry and cleaning and eating all must get done. I MUST go out in public at times… gas, the bank, etc. The more times you fight through the anxiety, and do what you need to do, the more practice and experience you have at it… and you acquire more coping skills every time. Its rough. Good job overcoming it.


67 Anna @ The Guiltless Life January 25, 2012

I totally have anxiety about things like climbing mountains or hard physical feats. I think I just doubt myself and my abilities too much. It’s definitely one of my NY resolutions to let go of these insecurities so that I don’t miss out on amazing opportunities life throws my way. Good for you for completing it like such a champ!


68 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 25, 2012

OMG Ange I’m SO SO proud of you!! What an unbelievable experience, both physically and emotionally for you. Congrats on conquering your fear, and just think about how much you can do now that you’ve completed such a challenging climb. I get really scared on steep descents so I would have been coming down the peak just like you were in that one photo! Great video too by the way. :) Enjoy the rest of your trip!!


69 olivia june January 25, 2012

I admit, when I first read your inspirational posts, I always feel like they are cheesy… until I start really thinking about them and how I have had similar experiences. I think it odd that there is so much pressure to not discuss struggling to be happy and calm, because most people do.

I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for most of my life (Much like yours, not so serious I was starving myself, but enough that I was obsessed with my weight and eating habits). Back in college we had an amazing personal training program in which all students could have free personal training if they wanted it. Even though I was a dancer growing up, and certainly had my fair share of PE classes (blech), I had no idea how to exercise in a gym or on my own! For two years I had a personal trainer and began appreciating my physical accomplishments and gaining muscle definition. It’s been four years since I started going to the gym, doing yoga, and pilates classes. Now, when I look in the mirror I admire myself instead of criticizing my body. Overcoming this fear has made me so much happier and stronger! Last weekend, I tried Bikram Yoga for the first time and made it through the entire 90 minutes. I was so proud of my body, I bought it a new, bright pink work out tank top : )


70 Kourtney January 25, 2012

I have never really overcome a fear like this. I always let the fear get the better of me and just don’t try. This is so inspirational! We are going to Mexico in 42 days! I have a great fear of water and heights (pretty much everything to be honest) but if you can do it so can I….. I am going to pick a couple activities that scare me and try them on our trip in March!!!! I’ll let you know how it goes (this will keep me accountable). Thanks!


71 Jen January 25, 2012

Wow, what an accomplishment! Your portrayal of challenge and accomplishment in this story makes me want to book a trip right now to Pheonix! There is nothing like that high from hiking. This type of hike reminds me of the challenges we faced while hiking in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps–and we also often wound up on trails which were much more challenging and dangerous than anticipated! Those Europeans consider our “medium” hike an easy one, and their medium hike was super hard! I remember my legs literally shaking at points, because the trail was so narrow at parts, leaving nothing but a steep mountain wall on one side, and a sheer cliff on the other! The views from the top were all worth it though!



72 Lauren January 25, 2012

Anxiety is a b%tch. Glad you put her in her place. There is no room for anxiety in our lives. She likes to fill in the blanks. Good for you for giving her a sharp kick in the pants. This life is too wonderful to allow her to have the control. :)


73 Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco January 25, 2012

I love this post. I really do. I am so happy for you that you accomplished that major climb, and it truly is a great metaphor for life. ;) You rock!


74 Nicole January 25, 2012

Congratulations!! You did it. I know how paralyzing fear and worry can be, and always wonder how other people can get through certain obstacles in life without even seeming to blink an eye. When we overcome these fears, it feels SO good, though, and I’m constantly working on the process of breaking down fear into more managable ideas and tasks.


75 Jenna January 25, 2012

WOW what an experience you should be so proud of yourself!
The pictures are beautiful, Arizona is a place I have always wanted to go..
Enjoy the rest of your time there :)


76 Sabine January 25, 2012

I loved reading your story – thanks for sharing!

And isn’t this feeling just overwhelming when you completed something you thought you couldn’t?
Congratulations, Angie!

Oh, and I desperately want to look like that when I’m tired, lol.
You really, really glow. :)


77 Karen January 25, 2012

You are so adorable, Ange….your beaming enthusiasm and self-pride are so evident in that video! You deserve to be proud for working through your anxiety… your “one step at a time” philosphy is so applicable to many challenges in life – starting massive projects, changing habits, health obstacles, etc. As always, I admire how generous you are in sharing with your readers your personal issues,alwasy with the goal of teaching and inspiring.


78 TeenyLittleSuperChef January 25, 2012

How is it that you’re able to go hiking all day and still look gorgeous in your video. I’d look like a sweaty mess. Oh well, I guess we all can’t be beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, those pictures you took are awesome. What a great view and what a great workout! I’m glad you had such a good time. Seems like a great trip so far!


79 Rachel F January 25, 2012

This was so touching. I am proud of you for making the climb! And you are so lucky to have Eric and his support and encouragement! I love those out-of-the-ordinary* moments that remind us why we love our partner!

*like on vacation, not as if real-life can’t have those sexy moments too :)


80 Misty January 25, 2012

Wow, Angela! Way to go! Having done this hike multiple times myself, I know what a beast it is!! That first ascent is pretty scary, even when you know it’s coming! Congrats on conquering your anxiety, that’s awesome! And the view is definitely worth it! :)


81 Lynne January 25, 2012

What a powerful post. I am so pleased for you. Anxiety can be absolutely crippling, and you did so well to overcome it. I can relate, as I often talk myself out of doing stuff just because I overthink it and imagine some awful outcome. Also, you look stunning in the video. Just sayin’. :)


82 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 25, 2012

This is amazzzzzing!! And you were actually able to capture how steep it is in a photograph- I can never do that! That hike is definitely something my husband and I would love to do.
We hiked the Grouse Grind in Vancouver during our honeymoon. Have you ever done it? I was very proud of us- we didn’t stop once and finished in under an hour. That was the most intense hike I’ve ever done in my life (it gains 2800 feet in 1.8 miles!!).


83 Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy January 25, 2012

Such a wonderful accomplishment, and you were rewarded with that beautiful view! Awesome pictures!


84 Ingunn January 25, 2012

Cool hike!! I have the same problem with anxiety and thinking too far ahead. I always envision what would be the worst possible outcome in any given situation, and once I have that vivid image stuck in my head, it’s pretty damn hard to follow through.

That said, challenging myself in the mountains gives me more confidence than anything else in the world!


85 Shira January 25, 2012

Hey Angela!
Great pictures! I was in Italy last summer and we hiked Cinque Terre which is 5 cities built into a cliff/mountain. The trail looked very similar to that steep up hill part you showed! Except straight up, then down over and over, things were crumbly and since it was Italy.. it was old school.. no railings, just about a foot wide path with a cliff dropping to the sea Right next to you. OMG. it was crazy but amazing and SOOOOO beautiful. Takes about 4/5 hours to do the whole thing.. and during scary times (lots of them!) my boyfriend just kept telling me “watch every step, one step at a time” and that’s just how I did it. I would Love to do more hiking now too it was so fun! Not so many mountain trails in Ontario though! Guess it means more travel :) Love your stories!


86 Shira January 25, 2012

PS we were wearing sandals… UMMM oooops! LOL


87 Katie January 25, 2012

I was in Phoenix a few months ago to visit a friend and we climbed Camelback too! I was really surprised by how steep it was, especially the first part with the super steep incline and rail. I was so out of breathe the whole time! I’m so glad you were able to finish the climb, congrats!! I never really thought about it, but you are right, hiking/climbing definitely provides a great metaphor for life :)


88 Rhona January 25, 2012

I totally and completely understand your fear. The first thing that popped into my mind when you said you climbed that hill was, “man, i would die if I had to climb down that thing!” I have had many, many, many issues with fear and something I try to combat daily. I know how crippling it can be. Just two days ago my sister said to me that I have a lot of fear in me. I wonder why that develops in the first place?! Well, I am super proud of you. You accomplished this amazing goal and the pictures and memories you have are all worth it.


89 Maria Carolina January 25, 2012

Since the first time I fainted when I was nine I’ve been very prone to panic attacks. Once at school it got really bad to the point I felt I was going to die and had to rush to the nurse’s office only to not be able to explain what I felt. I kind of dreaded going to school after that. I’ve overcome it somewhat but when I still go to swimming competitions I become extremely anxious to the point I start experiencig tunnel vision when I’m swimming. It feels like i’m watching myself swim and all I can think is don’t die, don’t die, just finish and then you’ll be fine. I’m glad that you overcame your anxiety today, its defintely a step in the right direction.
P.S. You must share your recipe for Reach Your Peak Energy balls soon!!!!!


90 Amber K January 25, 2012

I have social anxiety and it’s reallly hard for me to feel okay when I’m stuck in small talk with one or more people I don’t know well. I wish I had someone who could help me calm down, but I think it’d probably look really weird if my husband walked up and said “it’s okay, you’ll be fine.” lol

But I have been able to deal with my fear of heights by slow breathing and trying to think of whatever it is that I want to see. I can make it up somewhere if I know the view will be worth it, but it’s a little hard each time.


91 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 25, 2012

way to go!! i’m from AZ, so i’ve climbed camelback a few times and can definitely attest to it being a tough one. that feeling once you’re all finished and conquered something you didn’t know if you could feels SO GOOD!


92 Sonia the Mexigarian January 25, 2012

Congrats on completing such an amazing hike!! I can only imagine the anxiety you were going through about suriving it. I get nervous and anxious and think about all the possibile negativites of the futre that I work myself into a crying mess. Luckily, my hubby Eric also speaks as the voice of calm reason and helps me get through it.

If you ever make it back out to CA, come see Yosemite and hike there. The Upper Yosemite Falls trail is intense, but after looking at what you accomplished, you’d breeze right through it. I did a small recap on my own experience on the trail:

My sisters and I are planning more trail hikes in the park for later this year :)

And I want those balls.


93 Amber January 25, 2012

Way 2 Go!!!! That was awesome and I would have felt exactly the way you did. What a great coach and partner you have.


94 Heather January 25, 2012

I too suffer from anxiety and I was SO PROUD of you after reading this! A lot of people don’t understand just how debilitating it is and for you to conquer the hike, you must have felt amazing. It’s weird but after I push past my anxiety I get a sort of adrenaline rush…just me? Congrats!


95 Meagan January 25, 2012

I absolutely LOVED this post!! I suffer from terrible anxiety myself (to the point of requiring medication to stop the panic attacks) and I completely understood when you said about it being debilitating as I, too, have missed out on many things in my life because of the fear. Thank you soo much for always putting youself out there for us to see… It allows me to know that I am not the only one suffering from this crippling disorder. I have been following your blog now (everyday!) for over a year and you have helped me make many lifestyle changes! Thanks!


96 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes January 25, 2012

I’m so proud of you! That hike looks incredible. I would love to try that although I’m sure it would be some sort of battle, either physically or mentally. The harder things are the greater the reward…hopefully! :)


97 Docia January 25, 2012

Hey Angela,
You did an awesome job overcoming your anxiety to reach a worthwhile goal! While hiking, I often get scared easily and I also envy people who seemingly have no fear. But I’m always glad after I push through it and I could tell in your video how happy you were too!

To answer your question, I used to want to learn to rock climb – I thought about it for years and years but I was scared that I’d have an accident and fall and end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life or something. I did finally overcome that fear and got into rockclimbing, only to find that it’s actually a reasonably safe sport. I had a lot of great times rock climbing, went to some beautiful places and met amazing people.

I hope you continue to hike because it’s a lot of fun! And when you do you’ll have to visit BC, because we have the best hikes around :)



98 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

Thats so great to know, thank you!


99 regardszero January 25, 2012

Great post! I watched the video on YouTube and was surprised… I always thought you would have a British accent for some reason?! Congrats on conquering your fears!


100 Anji January 25, 2012

I hiked Camelback with my fiance (now husband) right after we got engaged in 2008, and I was blown away by how hard it was. Rounding the corner and seeing that ascent with the handrail was when I knew it was going to be a completely different experience than I had imagined. We made it to the top though! We were also really humbled by all the people trail-running to the top and passing us. We felt like it was hard enough to just hike! Congratulations on making it to the top yourself. What an inspirational post.


101 Cassie @ Back to Her Roots January 25, 2012

This post and experience are simply fantastic.

It is AMAZING what kind of stuff bubbles up to the surface when out in nature. I was hiking the Flatirons (in Boulder, Colorado) last winter and had this crazy career epiphany that really had nothing to do with the act of hiking, but hiking up steep mountainsides in the snow was what caused it.

My husband and I are planning on hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim this Fall and I hope I get to have half the experience you had on this hike. :)


102 Jessica January 25, 2012

So awesome! I didn’t even make it to the top my first few times hiking Camelback, but once you get your mind right, it’s seriously the best hike. & you’re SO right about it being a metaphor for life. Fantastic!


103 Carol January 25, 2012

Camelback Mountain brings up many memories for me – not physical like you faced – but emotional. . . I am proud of you for taking on step at a time – after all isn’t that what we need to do physically, mentally, emotionally to get through the tough times? Thanks for the post!


104 Rachael @ FreshlyMinted January 25, 2012

I climbed Camelback a few years ago!

It was actually a huge feat for me too:
I have suffered from Agoraphobia & Panic Disorder since age 12. Panic attacks struck usually when leaving home or my parents – at times I had to literally have them in sight in order to stay calm. In college, I was invited on a leadership retreat in AZ (I went to school in Ohio). Though my symptoms has lessened over the years, flying alone was still a huge trigger. But, I persevered and went anyway… and even made new friends (that took me on that gorgeous hike!). It was a huge victory for me. I totally understand where you’re coming from ( I realize that I still mold my life around a schedule that reduces stress and anxiety), and am so happy to hear about your success.

Thank you for the encouragement and advice!


105 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 25, 2012

This post gave me goosebumps and I am so happy for you!

I have hiked Camelback Mountain and it’s no joke…great job for hiking it and for overcoming your anxiety, fears, and for just DOING IT. For not letting those things stand in the way of you living your life to the fullest (and highest!)

Glad you two are having an awesome time. The weather’s a little better in AZ than in Canada this time of year, eh? :)


106 Allysia January 25, 2012

Ahh, anxiety. I’ve struggled with it too and you hit the nail on the head when you said a part of it is worrying about possible (and unlikely) future scenarios. “What if this happens, and that happens, and that, and then I die?” Or something. But it’s all complete and utter fiction, isn’t it? Congrats on tackling Camelback, and showing your fear what’s what. :)


107 Modie January 25, 2012

Hi Angela,

Good for you for overcoming your anxiety/panic attacks and telling them to take a backseat while you enjoy and live your life!! I am so glad you had an amazing hike and I hope you have many many more adventures like that!

Hiking and camping are a big part of my and my boyfriend’s lives and two years ago, out of nowhere, on a new years night camping trip I had my first panic attack which lasted all night and into the next day. From there the anxiety and panic attacks become an almost every day thing, preventing me from doing the things I loved. What terrified me the most was the feeling that I was losing my mind. Where was this irrational fear coming from and why was I suddenly terrified of doing the things that only months before I had loved so much? At it’s worst it was so bad that I spent both an entire baseball game and an entire concert vomiting in the bathroom. I tried seeking help through the typical route of medications but that only made the panic attacks worse and wreaked havoc on both my mind and body. I decided to go the natural route and over the past two years (with lots of yoga, chamomile tea, lavender, and breathing exercises) I have been able to quell the anxiety and panic and am finally almost back to normal!
The turning moment was when I realized one evening that what I was actually afraid of was the fear itself. I was afraid of being afraid and that struck me as being both ridiculous and wonderfully instinctual at the same time. It actually made me feel sorry for my mind that was so confused and, instead of being the enemy, poised to fill me with fear at any moment, my anxious mind became a separate part of me, one that needed to be understood and treated with care.
I still get worried that a stressful situation will send me running for the nearest toilet but with some breathing and reminding myself I’m not in danger the anxiety quiets and I am able to enjoy myself again, although in a more quiet and thoughtful manner than before. The irony is that after the fear, what I am left with is a mind that is more open to my own needs, more compassionate to others, and I am left with a desire to help the people around me overcome the things that prevent them from being happy.

…and I also love cooking your amazing recipes!! (The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were a favorite this last fall). Thank you!!!

Keep hiking and loving life!!! <3 Modie


108 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

Hey Modie, Thanks for your comment! I’m so happy to hear that you have been successful with the natural route. I too tried anxiety meds in university and I felt horrible on them. I loved what you said about being afraid of the fear itself…I can so relate to that. The feeling is so uncomfortable, it’s easy to want to try to do anything to not be scared. We can’t wait to hike more…thanks for your enthusiasm!


109 hannah alehandra January 25, 2012

Oh my god, Angela! That mountain is huge! So proud of you for overcoming your anxiety with climbing it, and what an inspiration. I really enjoyed your writing style for this post, I felt so involved I think it’s because you wrote it in such a personal manner. I feel happy for you as if I were one of your friends in real life (God hope that doesn’t sound creepy haha). You and Eric look so happy at the end, HIKE MORE! Seriously, you guys look glowing. Going to watch your video now.

Much love, from England.


110 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

Thanks Hannah!


111 hannah alehandra January 25, 2012

Oops sorry, didn’t mean for my link to appear on the last post!

Oh my god, Angela! That mountain is huge! So proud of you for overcoming your anxiety with climbing it, and what an inspiration. I really enjoyed your writing style for this post, I felt so involved I think it’s because you wrote it in such a personal manner. I feel happy for you as if I were one of your friends in real life (God hope that doesn’t sound creepy haha). You and Eric look so happy at the end, HIKE MORE! Seriously, you guys look glowing. Going to watch your video now.

Much love, from England.


112 hannah alehandra January 25, 2012

Aw Ange just watched the video and felt compelled to write again! Don’t know how often you are reminded of this but my my you are BEAUTIFUL. You really really do glow. Go girl :)


113 Stacy January 25, 2012

Great story and the views are amazing. Also…I think it’s so fabulous that you were wearing big, pretty earrings while hiking!!! You rock! ;)


114 Raven January 25, 2012

I’m from Az and I have hiked on Camelback and Pinnacle Peak and all these pictures are making me so homesick!

Congratulations on overcoming your fear!


115 Alexandra January 25, 2012

I’m so glad you were able to enjoy Camelback! My dog and I hike Echo Canyon every weekend. Hope that you were able to enjoy some great vegan food at True Foods. As a vegan who follows your blog and cooks your recipes at least once or twice a week, I have a feeling that this is the type of clean great food you would love.


116 Gulcan January 25, 2012

Hi Angie,

thanks for the post! It is really lovely and encouraging, particularly the part of your overcoming your anxiety and fear which actually reminded me of a story that my therapist told me some years ago. In 2006-7, I suffered from depression for some time and talked it through with my therapist and with the help of some anti-depression pills. Once she told me a story which reminded her of my mind chattering and anxiety issues. Here it goes!

There was a woodcutter living in a nice forest with his beautiful wife. As part of his work routine, he went on a couple of days trips and often came back with some hunted animals for food. He also liked stuffed animals and exhibiting them on the wall of their living room. One day, he attended his usual business in the forest and came back home finding his lovely wifey crying out load with big sore red eyes in front of the wall and staring at the stuffed animals. He rushed to her, asking:
“Honey, are you all right? Have you been hurt? What is wrong?”
She sobbed:
“I was..I was sitting here after finishing up my daily house work and waiting for you.”
“Then I thought what if a bear, one of those stuffed bear’s wife or husband, found the traces of your footsteps all the way in the forest and ended up here. What if the bear entered the house while I was ironing your shirts, attacked and killed me? What if you came back and found me laying dead on the floor? What if..?”

My therapist cut the story here and told me exactly how I acted like the woodcutter’s wife and worried about things even before they started to happen. She advised me to live “now” not in the future although it may take a lot of practice to stop acting like that, which I was pretty much used for many years. I cannot say that I am all over it yet, however this story comes to my mind whenever I feel like in the shoes of the woodcutter’s wife, and right that moment I tell myself to take a deep breath and leave the negative thoughts aside, especially those which will probably never happen in the future. Trying to be realistic and focusing on potential results of my actions often help me a lot. At the end of the day, life is short; why to shorten it with negative feelings and people instead of enrichening it by going out and trying something new, no?

Hope this helps! Keep your chin up :)


117 Allie January 25, 2012

You can see my house in your pics :). I’m glad you enjoyed Phoenix! Camelback is one of my favorite hikes–you should try Squaw Peak if you get some more free time.


118 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

really? So cool!!!


119 Andrea January 25, 2012

So, one of my fears is commenting on blogs of people I don’t personally know! I just love your blog- and you should know that I’m a total fan of you and your recipes! I’m actually from Phoenix (I now live in Oregon), and it’s been so fun seeing all the places you have been visiting that I grew up around. Piestewa Peak is also a great and fast hike, and close by to Camelback. You are such an inspiration, and perhaps the next time I visit, I’ll finally conquer Camelback too!


120 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2012

Thanks for your comment Andrea! I also have a fear of commenting on blogs, haha. Thought I was the only one! Thanks for the tip about Piestewa Peak. :)


121 Cara January 25, 2012

I’m going to go completely off-topic here and back to FOOD :-) I just made your graham crackers, after wanting to and not feeling like I had time for a month, and then I toasted my first Dandies marshmallows in front of my woodstove :-D and had the best s’more OF MY LIFE! AWESOME! I knew I needed to make a double batch, but I was almost out of molasses. After the next trip to the store I’m baking a better (longer-lasting) supply …

And then after spoiling my dinner :-)P, I reheated some pasta with your avocado sauce. You might be interested to know that I had to keep some leftovers, although you advised against it, and it actually reheated just fine. (I tossed the sauce with the pasta when it was fresh as advised, and just reheated it all together for 40 seconds in the microwave.) I thought it might dry out or the avocado would turn disgustingly brown while in the fridge, but no! Not the same pretty green, but not bad, and just as creamy as the first time!


122 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 25, 2012

Wow good for you getting to the top!! What an incredible physical and mental accomplishment!
Thank you so much for being so open sharing so much of your mentality throughout the hike! Mental health is one of those shied away from topics but I think that it’s so important to talk about! So, I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate this post as well as others in which you’ve discussed your anxiety.
Also, I just want to comment on what an incredible husband you’ve got :) Sounds like he was so supportive!!


123 Sarah January 25, 2012

what a thoughtful posts with such gorgeous pictures. Proud of you!


124 Natalie January 25, 2012

I am so sorry you had issues with anxiety on the trek. However, you proved how much of a rock star you are! The pictures are amazing btw. Great job.


125 Sarah January 25, 2012

wow is all I can say. what a day!!!


126 Keri January 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing your post. In my younger years, growing up in Colorado, I used to rock climb. I remember only making it halfway up a climb before I started to shake sometimes because I would get a wicked case of the “What ifs”. It’s amazing how often I catch the “what ifs” in day to day life–what if I get sick, what if I lose a loved one, what if….And it’s true, climbing is a good metaphor for life. You just have to take a deep breath and make the next step, and breathe again and take another. And before you know it, you accomplish something brilliant.

Cheers to the first of many climbed mountains–both literal and metaphorical :)


127 sophie January 25, 2012

:) I don’t know you personally, Angela, but I think what you did was really great. It’s always the anticipation that’s the worst, isn’t it? Once you’re doing it and especially when you reach the top (or whatever the goal is) it is always worth it. I try to work at saying “yes” more often than “no – i can’t” or “no – i shouldn’t” It’s super tough though :(


128 Kathy January 25, 2012

I love how Eric is so supportive of you, and even got you to get over the fear and just go climb that mountain!
This post reminds me of a quote I found on “20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain


129 Luv What You Do January 25, 2012

Your pictures are beautiful!

What a fun hike!


130 Kim January 25, 2012

I have generalized anxiety disorder and can relate with this post so. much. I have trouble even going to the bank or the DMV… or doing a lot of other things. It’s always an uphill battle. I think it’s great that you did this hike. Congrats!


131 laura January 25, 2012

Eric is so sweet and supportive! True love is so inspiring, as well as this story.
Thankss for sharing. overcoming fears is one of the greatest achievements in life!
We must always say I CAN instead of I CAN’T, because WE CAN DO IT. :)


132 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 25, 2012

Wow that does look really tough, but yay for conquering it!!!

I can definitely relate to you about the anxiety – I’m always worry about the future and what’s to come instead of just living in the moment. But on the rare occasions where I do let go of my worry, I always enjoy myself so much more!


133 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 25, 2012

beautiful pics! And great post! LOved it :)


134 Ariel January 25, 2012

Wow I’m so jealous of your trip! I grew up in Tucson but haven’t been there in like 10 years, its so beautiful. I usually read your blog from a distance (and feel kind of creepy reading about your life like anonymously haha) but I just wanted to say how proud I am of you for doing that hike! I go hiking with my boyfriend and experience a similar thing. My boyfriend does parkour and is very athletic and just bounds up mountains fearlessly. I get so scared of slipping or falling or hitting my head or especially of getting stuck that they are not always enjoyable experiences. It sounds like Eric is really great at helping you through this and knowing what to say to remind you that you can do it. I’m going to try the one step at a time next time I go! I don’t know if you ever visit upstate new york but there is a really great hike we went on near syracuse that was like totally deserted and very challenging yet beautiful, with most of the hike literally in a riverbed. Anyway, great job overcoming your fears and your ‘reach your peak’ energy balls are too cute. Are you staying in Phoenix or going anywhere else? Enjoy your trip!

P.S. I can’t believe you wore earrings hiking haha- you do not look like you just worked out in your video post! Im always such a mess afterwards


135 Tiff January 25, 2012

You’re enjoying yourself in my hometown. I now live in D.C. but hope to return home someday soon. Treat her well and have a good time!


136 laurie January 25, 2012

Ange, It is so funny because hiking incredibly steep, dangerous mountains is what I live for but the things that YOU do (start your own company, have your own blog, etc) totally intimidate me and I think YOU are very brave! So, I think that you are a great role model for doing hard things and doing ANYTHING you really want to do!! You go girl!!!


137 Kait January 25, 2012

So super proud for you! And happy to see someone else crabwalking down rocks. ;)


138 Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) January 25, 2012

Yay Angela! To answer your question, YES, I have overcome fears in my life including ones steeped in anxiety and panic. The bottom line is that you can’t hide from these emotions, the key is to face them and realize that you can get past them (the fear is ALWAYS worse than the reality). I’m so proud of you!


139 Holly January 25, 2012

I had a very similar experience at the ruins in Mexico. I wanted to climb to the top but was overcome by fear and anxiety. I thought about it for about 15 minutes and came to the realization that I would probably never be back here and didn’t want to look back on the experience and feel upset that I didn’t do it. So I did it and felt very accomplished, till I got to the top and looked back down and realized that I had to climb back down! Yikes. But now I always have the memory and the feeling of accomplishment just like you do now!

Thank you for sharing, you are a great inspiration!


140 Andrea January 25, 2012

Good for you Angela for conquering your fears and doing something you will remember for the rest of your life! Loved the little video too! When I watched it I saw a link for Sketchie meeting the washing machine… TOO CUTE! We need to see more of Sketchie on the blog!! :)


141 julie January 26, 2012

I’m so thankful for this post, Angela! I struggle a lot with anxiety, and this was a great eye opener that so much of it is worrying about the future. Everything seems so much more manageable if you remind yourself to take things as they come, one step at a time. Just what I needed today!


142 Michelle Kuliszkiewicz January 26, 2012

OK, I need to say this: You look so pretty & fresh in that video, I almost don’t believe that you taped that video after such a hike! ;)
Congrats on facing your fears, I’m sure you feel wonderful about it and those are the beautiful moments in life :)


143 Dani January 26, 2012

While watching your video, my thoughts were, “I wish I looked that good after hiking Camelba–AHH, I recognize where they’re driving too!” /creep. It’s not every day one of my favorite bloggers is in the area. This was a really inspiring read, I’m glad you overcame your anxiety which made for a much better experience!


144 Varsha January 26, 2012

Good for you, Angela!!
I have been thinking about doing something for almost a year now, but haven’t for fear of failing.
Your post was such an inspiration. :)

P.S. – Oh and the carrot cake cookies turned out perfect this time; guess fourth time is the charm for me :)


145 helen @ change comes from within January 26, 2012

Good for you, Angela. What an inspiring post.

Anxiety is such a horrible condition, you sum it up perfectly when you described it as working behind the scenes – mine certainly does. I wouldn’t wish it’s symptoms on my worst enemy.

Congratulations on tackling the mountain both metophorically and literally.

Best wishes :)


146 Georgia January 26, 2012

Way to go Angela!


147 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 26, 2012

Wow, what a hike and it’s so gorgeous!!! Beautiful photos!!

My strong fear I got over was lacking in self confidence and telling people No. I was always the girl that said ok. I’m stronger now, I don’t have to make everyone happy, because ultimately I need to make myself more happy. So I am learning to be independent, strong and not let people walk all over me!!


148 Lea g January 26, 2012

My boyfriend and I climbed it in November! I loved it, can you imagine having it in your backyard like the neighborhood that’s around there does? Congratulations on making it to the top!


149 LizAshlee January 26, 2012

Go Angela!! Looks like an amazing hike…that’s great Eric was there to support you!!


150 jenna January 26, 2012

you are so gorgeous and inspiring! this sound exactly like a situation i would be in. It’s frustrating to know how much one has held back b/c of anxiety. Seeing all the things ‘you’ could have done is really sad. I love Eric was so excited and pushed you to finish the hike.

:) how stylish of you to wear dangly earings on a strenuous hike! so cute!


151 Jennifer January 26, 2012

What a great post, Angela!!! I’m so glad to hear you didn’t give up and met your fears head-on. Eric gave the perfect advice too. I’m the exact opposite, I tend to think nothing bad will ever happen and jump right into things. Most of the time it has served me well, but there have been times when reflecting back, some assessment might have changed the course.

Plus, those views were amazing! So excited to hear about your visit to Sedona too (I’m assuming you’ve not been there before??).


152 Catherine January 26, 2012

While I’m a long time reader, I’ve never posted before…until you and Eric made your way to my city. Just had to say that I was on Camelback yesterday, too…wish we would have crossed paths!! Couldn’t have been a nicer day for a hike.

Any chance of a group meet-up while you’re in town? I seems as though there are a number of Phoenicians out there that might want to get together. In any case, enjoy your stay!!


153 Drisana (SoulShineBlog) January 26, 2012

Such a nice view from the top! Congrats on making it up to the top and back down – sometimes making it down is way harder than making it up!


154 chris January 26, 2012

oh man…I could imagine exactly what you were feeling at the bottom of that climb, because I would have felt exactly the same way. I’ve backed down from things soo many times due to anxiety. One of the main benefits I’ve taken away from running is confidence to try things that I never thought I would be able to do.

Thanks for being so open about something that’s difficult to talk about. Your post is inspirational!


155 micaila January 26, 2012

Hi! Welcome to AZ! I love this post because while I don’t consider myself all that anxious of a person, I totally have anxiety over hiking Camelback. I have a friend who hikes it often and I’m always too chicken to go! It’s something I want to do, and I think I’m capable for sure, I just never do. You’ve inspired me to get out there and try it.


156 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 26, 2012

I hope you enjoy it!


157 Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) January 26, 2012

Awesome!! Good for you!! :)


158 Bethany M January 26, 2012

You go, girl! I watched the video on You Tube and that descent looks pretty scary! And to think you did it in running shoes. Yikes! I’m impressed! I like what you said about how your anxiety too often leads you to think of the future, and bad things that have not even happened and that probably will never happen. I often have the same struggle in a lot of areas in my life, especially when it comes to career choices. When I ‘think’ I am being realistic about my abilities (or lack thereof), a good friend of mine often reminds me that I am capable of much more, and always gives me that much needed push in the right direction (much like Eric does for you.) Thanks for posting this today!


159 Betty January 26, 2012


You are not alone. This type of anxiety plagues me too. I didn’t develop it
until after I had children. Suddenly, so many things seemed like unnecessary risks.

In some ways I think it is God given to help a Mother protect her children. In other
ways it can suck the joy out of life.

I am 50 today. My children are grown with children of their own. :)
I think I will make it a goal this year to do something that will get my
blood pumping and, remind me there is joy beyond keeping it safe.

I know I can do more than imagined. Before children………….at the age of 18
I joined the Army Reserves. The Army Basic Training is quite challenging.
I graduated with the hand written remarks of “Excellent Trainee” on my
permanent records. We started with 60 girls, only 40 graduated. Only 5
were given the honor of “Excellent Trainee” I was proud. I know that girl
still lives in this anxiety ridden “safety minded” body. I need to let her live a little. :)


160 Elizabeth January 26, 2012

I overcame my fear of heights, climbing Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park… now if that’s not a way to overcome a fear of heights, I don’t know what is. It’s the most beautiful way of overcoming a fear of heights that’s for sure. :)


161 Cyndi January 26, 2012

Wow, great accomplishment physically and mentally! Love how encouraging Eric was in helping you overcome your fear, and how you responded positively. Examples of a great partnership in marriage!


162 Cady January 26, 2012

Congrats – but how do you manage to look so good at the end of that hike?


163 Katie January 26, 2012

Congratulations!! I did this hike a few years ago- AMAZING!! Not knowing the intensity, my dad and I originally set out to run it! Not quite… Needless to say our run afterwards was very slow and very short :) Enjoy your time surrounded by such beauty!


164 Nicole @ PancakesandPilates January 26, 2012

Ang, I did Camelback last spring and oh my GOSH is that slippery asscent scary! Congrats on overcoming your anxiety and conquering the mountain. Isn’t Arizona amazing? If you guys have time you definitely need to drive out to Sedona. It will take your breath away!


165 Kelly J. R. January 26, 2012

Eric is such a great husband for being patient, understanding and encouraging with you on this hike. I love hiking and heights but there was one particular hike that really had my knees shaking and my stomach doing flips – Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Utah. One section of the trail is a knife edge with 1000 foot drops on each side of the so-called trail.
CRAZY stuff! We took it slow and I made it to the top and, just like you two, we were rewarded with amazing views of Zion Canyon.


166 John/Ronda January 26, 2012

we live in phoenix and are avid hikers of the many trails arizona has to offer. just wanted to let you know, camelback trail is no cake walk regardless if you are armed with “reach your peak” energy balls.
regardless of your fears, you accomplished something worth celebrating.
congrats to you & your hubby.
well done ! !

p.s. we love your web site and what you bring to the world


167 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 26, 2012

thank you!


168 Margaret January 26, 2012

Angela! Congratulations on your climbing Camelback. Many years ago Ken went to a seminar given by a guy who had climbed Mount Everest. He took up rock climbing because he was afraid of heights. What a way to overcome your fears. In 2010 when I went to Ireland, I climbed to the top of Big Sugar Loaf. Had never done that when in Ireland before. I managed to talk myself through some difficult parts, as I wasn’t going to let my younger brother know how scared I was. Like you, I felt amazing when I had finished that climb. It is an AWESOME feeling. Keep up the great work.


169 Ashley January 26, 2012

What an awesome post about you overcoming your fear. :) I need to remind myself to take things one step at a time too as I often worry about what will happen in the future.


170 Lisa January 26, 2012

This is such an uplifting post. As someone who also thinks too far into the future (sacrificing the present), I really appreciated you sharing your struggles.

Also, what an incredible view!


171 Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) January 26, 2012

WOW, phenomenal achievement to face that fear head-on and go for it!! Now whenever you face a life challenge you can stare it down and say, “You know what? I can DO this… I conquered Camelback Mountain!” Awesome.

A fear that stopped me from doing things over the years is public speaking. I was so afraid of it that I actually avoided taking courses in university if I knew that presentations were part of the curriculum. Sad, eh? (And some people find it so easy and comfortable, including my husband). Then, when a friend asked me to be maid of honour in her wedding a couple years later, I was thrilled until I realized… uh oh, that means I have to give a speech at the reception! But I was determined to not let that stop me from participating in her special day. So I prepared my speech, and though I felt nauseous most of her wedding day and had a hard time focusing on its importance (I was mentally obsessing about the upcoming speech), in the end I did fine and felt great afterwards. I had built the speech up to be this huge scary experience when it didn’t need to be. And I don’t want fear to rob me of the enjoyment of moments like that anymore.

Another thing I was scared to do was to start a blog. I sat on the fence about it for months. And even though it was something I really wanted to do, nagging negative questions kept popping up in my head: “Do I have anything interesting to say? I don’t even know what to write about! Will anyone read it? What if people don’t like it?” But finally I decided to just go for it. What the heck?! I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t.

We’re all works in progress, right? As long as we keep striving to improve and face our fears when they pop up, what more can we ask of ourselves?


172 Morgan January 26, 2012

This is the exact trail I was talking about in my comment on the last post! SUCH a sense of accomplishment getting up those crazy parts. I took photos also because I couldn’t believe I was going to haul my butt up those parts, but the photos don’t really do it justice at all. Steep and crazy but so gorgeous up top! CONGRATS to you!!


173 Lisa Broadley January 26, 2012

I’m glad you conquered your fear!! I liked the video because it gave me a chance to hear your voice & see your expressions. Maybe you could a do a video blog once in awhile????


174 Margarita January 26, 2012

That hike looks super awesome! I love hiking and I think it is so rewarding to be outdoors, enjoying a beautiful scenery, breathing fresh air, and getting a good workout. Reading this post totally reminded me of how I am… Uphill hiking is not a problem for me! However, I am scared to death of going down. I hold on to everything I can hold on to when going down, it is pathetic. I have the same fears with biking… uphill, easy… downhill, SCARY! Hopefully, I can get over this downhill fear. Great pictures!


175 Geanna January 26, 2012

This was such an inspiring post to read. I, too, struggle with anxiety, and it was so great to read about someone combating their fears. Thanks for your honesty!


176 Jane January 26, 2012

Amazing job! Hang onto those good feelings and remember your accomplishment the next time fears enter your thoughts. It’s hard, I know, but you’ve proved you can do it and have inspired many by sharing your adventure. Way to go! Energy balls look delish too!


177 Jenny January 26, 2012

What a beautiful story. Thanks for being honest and sharing your journey with us. I too suffer from anxiety in my life. I agree it has kept me from so many things. Although it may never be easy to be carefree about defeating my fears I know I can do it one step at a time.


178 Rachel D. January 27, 2012

Congratulations to you on conquering your anxiety, climbing that mountain (eep!) and having such a supportive, encouraging partner at your side!


179 Megan Lorraine January 27, 2012

I loved this post. Anxiety is such a horrible thing to be plagued with – horrible, but possible to overcome! Thanks for the inspiration to keep pushing myself past the edge of anxiety.


180 Betty January 27, 2012

I am so glad you kept going. Reaching the top of Camelback is awesome. It’s one of my favorite hikes in Phoenix, I’m so glad you had fun and that you’re hooked :)


181 Jaye January 27, 2012

I’m absolutely thrilled for you – Camelback is without a doubt the most challenging and rewarding hiking experience I’ve ever had. I’ve lived in Phoenix now for about 10 years and have hiked that trail more times than I can count. I love it. I love that feeling of “Can I do this?” that you get when you see the rails on that steep point. But I love even more the feeling of “I JUST DID THAT!” when you descend those last few steps at the end of the hike. That feeling never goes away.

There is another great hike I did years ago, if you guys are still looking for more hiking you may want to check it out. It’s a long hike, but not particularly strenuous. It’s amazing though because it’s tucked behind the mountain, so the views are primarily the desert, not all of the city. Here is some information

PS I grew up in Ontario (Ottawa) before we moved to Phoenix. Although Phoenix has grown on me, Ontario will always be my home!


182 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2012

Thank you Jaye!


183 Kristin January 28, 2012

I’m so excited that you finished Camelback. I call it my nemesis. If you get a chance do the Siphon draw trail which takes you to the top of the Superstition mountains, which is unbelievable as well. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in AZ. I love living in Arizona, it’s hard for me to imagine leaving and not having a billion mountains to go climb.


184 Melissa January 28, 2012

I climbed Camelback Mountain with a hangover and a sinus infection. I thought I was going to die. My friend who took me there run up and down the trail five times every day, so I thought it would be manageable. As I dragged myself up those handrails, I realized I might have entrusted my life to lunatic. Still, I survived, and it was an amazing experience.

PS..If you are ever in the Pacific NW USA, there is a similarly beautiful and daunting hike at Smith Rock in Bend, OR.


185 Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA January 29, 2012

I hiked Cambelbak four years ago, and all I remember is how BEAUTIFUL it was! The funny thing is I do not remember at all how difficult it was. It’s amazing how you forget how tough it was and all you remember is being at the summit. :)


186 Kate @ FittingintotheWindyCity February 3, 2012

We just hiked Camelback today and had the same exact experience as you did. Our legs were shaking after some of those steep climbs, not from exertion but from nerves. Definitely worth the effort!


187 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2012

glad you enjoyed it!!


188 San Diego Camper February 17, 2012

Hiking is one of the most recommended activity when you want to release some tension and anxiety from your daily stressful routines. Its a great way of exploring nature too. I think Camelback Mountain is one of the beautiful place that needs to be explored and conquered because of its panoramic views of the developed and urban landscape of the valley. :)


189 Kate March 9, 2012

Wow – I have to admit that just looking at the picture where it looks like you are climbing an almost vertical portion of the path, I started feeling anxiety.

Good for you for conquering that mountain – the views from the top are amazing.


190 Angela (Oh She Glows) March 9, 2012

Thanks Kate! It was so scary to look up at (and down) but once I got going I just focused on the next step and it was much less scary.


191 Debby May 1, 2012

Thanks for the terrific post! I found this when Googling “fear of heights” and “Camelback.” I did my first hike of Camelback yesterday, and found your post incredibly helpful (and inspiring!). Like you, I’m fit and have run half-marathons. But, I have a dreadful fear of heights and snakes. The climb was a great adventure, and getting down was scarier than going up. But, I’m soo glad I did it, and am inspired to do more intense hikes as a result.Congrats to you, on your successful hike and your personal triumph over anxiety!


192 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 1, 2012

Hey Debby! Congrats!!!! :) I’m so glad my post was helpful for you. Have fun with all your hikes in the future.


193 Lindsay August 5, 2012

I found your website while looking for healthy muffin recipes. Your hiking pictures caught my eye and I had to read your whole story or confirm what I suspected, you hiked Camelback! I grew up with a view of the mountiain from my neighborhood and when you are in top of the mountain you can see the high school I attended. It is definitely a hard climb and congratulations on getting to the top!
I will be going through more of your recipes later :)


194 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 6, 2012

Awesome. I loved that hike! Not sure I would love it in the summer though, hah.


195 allison August 16, 2012

we did this exact hike last october and it was one of my favourite days EVER. We loved it there :-) so beautiful :-)


196 Tani May 16, 2013

Looking for info on vegan eating, found your site & love it! On it almost daily now. Always finding something new and fun. I was shocked to see your video about Camelback Mountain-great job by the way! I live right next to Pinnacle Peak & was so jazzed to see you out here. The video was fun to see you in “person” as well. You look amazing (glowing?) Id be (and have been) looking like something the cat dragged in after a hike like that. Must be the awesome vegan snacks… Hope you enjoyed Arizona, sooo excited for your cookbook to come out, sign me up!


197 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 17, 2013

Thanks Tani, you are so sweet!


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