Montana, the Big Sky State, is home to some of the most beautiful photography spots in the world. Many of these underrated views are within an hour drive from Montana’s second largest city, Missoula. Here are a few of my favorite Missoula spots:
Mount Sentinel “M” Trail
This is probably the most iconic of Missoula views. The trailhead for the widely popular “M” Trail is right on campus, and a 30-minute hike will give you some of the best views possible of the valley.
2. Mount Jumbo
The Mount Jumbo hike is a bit longer than the “M” Trail, but certainly worth it for a lesser known lookout of the city.
3. Blue Mountain Recreation Area
Blue Mountain is a great area for a morning dog walk or a round of frisbee golf. This beautiful area is just a 10-minute drive from the city and has some amazing views of the South Hills.
4. Pattee Canyon
The Pattee Canyon road goes from the southeast corner of Missoula all the way to Bonner, Montana. Just be careful on the roads in winter.
5. “Top of the World”
“Top of the World” is the easiest of these spots to access. Simply drive all the way up Whitaker Drive and loop back down on Spanish Peaks Drive. Make sure to check out this view before the area is completely covered in real estate developments.
If you’ve played football at any level, you understand the expectations and pressure put on athletes to be able to gain or drop weight quickly. While these pressures can be felt at every position, there’s no position groups that feel these demands more intensely than the offensive and defensive line, where size matters almost as much as talent. I’ve spent the last few years of my life as an NCAA Division I student-athlete, but it wasn’t until football was over that I was finally able to achieve my fitness goals.
First Things First
So I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of football players (especially the dudes in the trenches) are just wired a little differently than your Average Joe. You’ve gotta be a little bit insane to voluntarily sign up to commit 40 to 50 hours a week (not including school or work) to a jam packed schedule of workouts, 4:45AM wake-up calls, film sessions, training room work, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, all for the reward of bashing your head into another 300 lb grown-ass man over and over again… but for whatever crazy reason, we did that… And that madness instilled a mindset in us that is different than most. A mindset that allows you to face any challenge and attack it without hesitation. The mindset that allowed you to achieve your goals in football is the same mindset that its going to take to achieve your goals after football. Commitment, self-disciple, and a whole lotta that WORK. Easy as that. And just like in football, you’ve gotta have a game plan.
Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been fortunate enough to drop 70+ lbs (in under 7 months) twice in the last 4 years and the things I can point to that contributed the most to my journey were:
Working out with purpose
Keeping your eyes on the prize
You’re a former lineman. You love to eat. I get it. But believe me when I tell you that even though it sounds pretty intimidating, intermittent fasting is going to be your best friend in this whole process. In fact, if you do it right, you can still eat a lot of your favorite not-so-healthy foods somewhat regularly.
Contrary to popular belief, the entire idea behind intermittent fasting is NOT to starve yourself. With intermittent fasting, you’re still supposed to take in the same amount of calories you would normally, but instead of taking in those calories through the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, you instead give yourself a 4-8 hour window (depending on what you can handle) each day where you scarf down an entire day’s worth of calories. After a few weeks, your body will eventually get used to your new eating pattern and you’ll start to not even get hungry outside of the window that you’ve set for yourself. Not only does intermittent fasting offer weight-loss benefits, but there are also cognitive and cell restoration benefits that come along with fasting regimens as your body enters into a state of ketosis.
As great as the benefits of intermittent fasting can be, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t jump into without doing your research first and making sure it’s the right weight loss method for you. Below are a few links to videos and podcasts to help you begin your research and better understand exactly how intermittent fasting works.
So obviously, throughout this process, your workout regimen is going to need to be pretty gnarly if you want to see real results fast. It’s crucial that you’re able to hold yourself accountable to not only get in the gym everyday, but also to work your ass off while you’re there! You don’t have your coaches to yell at you anymore, no more teammates to hype you up when you’re not feeling it, no real consequences for skipping a workout. IT’S 100% ON YOU NOW!
So now that you’re in the gym, you’ve gotta figure out how to transition from the year-round swoll-sesh that is lineman workouts into a workout that’ll get you slim and trim. I get asked all the time what my workout routine is and the answer varies but the one thing that is always a constant is CARDIO! I know… as a big guy, cardio is your worst nightmare and rightfully so! Even when you drop the weight, cardio still sucks but like I said before, you’ve gotta embrace the challenge! If it was easy to drop 85 lbs, everybody would do it!
While I 100% encourage you to attack the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re smart about your cardio and that you don’t try to do too much too fast! You can definitely put yourself in some sketchy situations if you’re going all out too early in the process. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes out at the gym because he was hitting the elliptical too hard so make sure you know your limitations, but cardio definitely needs to be the focal point of your workouts. Everything else is supplementary. You’ve been big as hell your whole damn life, you don’t need to lift anymore! Go ahead and hop on that treadmill big fella!
As many big guys do, I’ve always had some pretty serious knee issues and I know jogging isn’t too easy on the ol’ joints, especially when you’re pushing 300 pounds. I’ve found that the stationary bike is a great alternative to the treadmill and a much more comfortable place to knock-out a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I bike at least one hour (22-25 miles) on the stationary bike 5 to 6 times a week, alternating between 30-second and 90-second working sets with 30-second resting sets in between. It’s the worst thing in the world for the first few weeks but it’s a freakin’ game changer once you start getting comfortable with higher-intensity cardio! Find some good thermogenic pre-workout, search for a good playlist, and get crackin’ on that thing!
The first month or so of daily cardio is gonna be killer on your lungs and your legs. Your heart is going to be beating through your chest. You’ll probably be the sweatiest guy in the gym and I promise it won’t be a pretty sight. But as you gradually start to shred more and more, you’re gonna realize how worth it it was and be stoked that you did it!
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Just like chasing any other goal in life, its super important to be able to see the big picture and remember what you’re working towards. The biggest challenge you’ll face in this whole process will be the mental battle you’re going to be fighting with yourself to keep pushing your limits. It’s key that you don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose sight of your goals if you aren’t seeing the results that you want right away! Keeping the right mentality can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
You’re not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week and you might not even lose 5 lbs in a week, but you’ve always got to remember to keep a level head, put your head down, and keep on grinding! You’ll only get out what you put into your workouts and dieting, so if you give a shitty effort, you’re bound to get shitty results. At the end of the day, nobody else can want it for you. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen! No excuses.
I hope this helps you in your journey! Good luck, be smart, and get after it!
Have you ever been to a point in life where you wanted nothing to do with the opposite sex? This is exactly where I was ever since I moved to Missoula, MT in the Spring of 2017 to attend the University. After a year had gone by this is when my love story began. The pictures provided will be important events that happened in order.
On Thursday January 25th, 2018 I was reading The Duck Commander Devotional book (Image above) and the topic was on motivation. I’m not usually the person to post things to my instagram story but it motivated me and I wanted others to be motivated by it as well. With that said, it was uploaded to my story within seconds. Shortly after, a girl replied to my story and said, “Sooooo good”. What did I do next? You guessed it! I went to her instagram profile and scrolled through some of her photos. Of course she was attractive so I messaged her back and made conversation. After a week of messaging back and forth, an unplanned appearance occurred.
Downtown at a local coffee shop called, Zootown Brew, there was a church service being held. I decided to go with some of my roommates that evening and of course the most beautiful woman in the world was there that night. During the church service, I had the worst butterflies anyone could ever imagine. After the church service was over, I saw her and a friend heading across the street. I had to make up my mind and I had to do it quick. Do I try to run into her and make conversation or do I let this opportunity slide and maybe get another shot some other time? I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night if I didn’t go talk to her so I went and made conversation. From the very first time I made eye contact with her, I knew there was something special about her.
Over the course of a month we became really good friends and I decided I wanted to start pursuing a relationship with her. After discussing our feelings with one another, I decided to ask her dad if he wanted to get coffee at City Brew.
We had a great conversation and I asked him for his permission to pursue his daughter. He gave me permission as long as I would Respect her with a capital R. I would recommend this to any guy that wants to get on good terms with the father from day 1. Believe me, it will help.
After the conversation with her father, that night I wrote her a letter in a journal. The letter consisted of my intentions with her and I gave it to her when we were out to dinner at Jakers. After she read it I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes and when I dropped her off we shared out first kiss together.
Over the course of a few months we shared several memories and wrote back in forth in the journal to each other. Each and everyday I began to fall more and more in love with her. I had a plan in my mind to complete school before I would ever get married. God had different plans… I shared this with my girlfriend at the time and she felt God was leading her down the same path. After some time had passed, I went to one of the most nerve racking conversations I would ever experience in my life. THE CONVERSATION OF WHERE I WOULD ASK MY POTENTIAL FATHER IN LAW FOR HIS DAUGHTERS HAND IN MARRIAGE.
Him and I met at the Cracker Barrel at 9am on a Friday morning. We had some small talk conversation at first and then I lead the conversations into my feelings for his daughter. The rest was a blur until I asked him if I could marry his daughter. He said yes and we both shared some tears as well as some laughs.
Fast forwarding to the proposal! This was one of the most exciting moments of my life. The 1 time in my life that I will get on 1 knee to ask the woman I love, “Will you marry me?” The evening consisted of a nice dinner in Bigfork, MT at When in Rome. After dinner I asked her if she wanted to go catch the sunset on Flathead Lake at a state park called, Wayfarers. She didn’t hesitate to say yes and the ring in my pocket began to itch. As the sun began to go down we arrived at the destination where my sister and her husband were undercover taking photo’s. Neither of us saw them as we walked into my plan to ask her to marry me. I got down on one knee as she began to cry. Then I began to cry. I could hardly get out the words, “Will you Marry me?” I wanted to say all these things that I loved about her before I asked her but the tears down both of our faces said it all. After she composed herself, she said yes. This was the beginning step towards one of the most important days of my life, the wedding!
We had 100 days to plan a wedding over the summertime. My job was to say yes to everything and help where ever I could. It went by so fast and sooner than I knew it, I married my best friend. The 1 thing I wanted to do at our wedding was choreograph a special dance between the two of us. If you’ve gotten this far, don’t hesitate to watch our first dance (click on the picture below). YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.
If someone had come from the future four years ago and told me that I would be living in Montana in my early twenties I wouldn’t have believed them.
As someone who grew up
in the heart of a major metropolitan area less than 20 minutes walking from the
beach I’m the last person that anyone would have expected to move to Missoula.
However, with the
incentive of a good scholarship, snowboarding and fly fishing I found myself
drawn to this little mountain town.
Although moving to Missoula hasn’t been without its challenges, through trial and error over the last 3 years, I’ve managed to learn a few things about the place that I now call home.
If you’re from any other state than Montana you will get poked fun at.
Especially if you’re a Californian.
It is completely possible experience all the seasons in a 24 hour period—learn how to dress accordingly or you will get sick.
Where I grew up the most
layers I ever needed were a winter and summer hoodie. Most of the time
they were the same hoodie.
Winter weather is not bad until it there’s wind or the temperature is in the single digits.
Learn and embrace that 40 degrees is t-shirt weather.
Ice is real and you will fall on it in the wintertime no matter how much you penguin walk.
It builds character.
Everyone knows each other. Get over it.
Despite it’s significant geographic size, it’s a small state. While there are a fair amount of out of state students there are a ton more locals and most of the time they already know each other. It’s a pretty small town and even smaller school. Tread carefully.
The food will take getting used to
Salt and pepper will be the most spice that you see. And although the number of places where you can get a bomb burger or pizza is uncountable the best Mexican food here is still Taco Bell.
The most you will ever dress up will be a nice t-shirt and cowboy boots
Top Hat Lounge is a great local venue. Through the upcoming months they offer many free shows including,
Friday, November 4th, 2016
Mon, Nov07, 2016
Wed, Nov09, 2016
Sharin’ in the Groove
Fri, Nov25, 2016
Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja
Missoula’s Best Drink Specials
Iron Horse Bar and Grill
Martini Mondays: 5pm-Close Any of Our Martinis$5
Shaken Tuesdays: 5pm-Close Everything on the shaken and stirred list$5
Wednesday: 7pm-Close Blue Moon$3.50and Skip & Go Naked $5
Thursday: 9pm-MidnightTwo for One Well Drinks$3.50
Thomas Meagher Bar
Missoula’s new downtown pizza shop that gives you a bang for your buck! For all you late night munchers, Pie Hole is throwin’ dough Er’day from 11AM-3AM!
The Roxy Theater
For any movie lover that doesn’t want to pay the astonishing 12 dollars, The Roxy is a theater like non other. As you walk in THE ROXY has the Missoula vibe painted on its walls. I highly suggest anyone looking for cheap theatrical entertainment hit up the Roxy…. By the way they serve booze there too!
Hub Family Entertainment Center
The Hub Family Entertainment Center has 50,000 square feet of fun and excitement for the whole family. The Hub is a perfect place to have birthday parties, team parties, corporate events including team building, graduation parties, day camp parties, and youth group events. GO KARTS, LAZER TAG, ARCADE, FOOD… Hell Yeah!