Climb Every Mountain

This weekend started my training for the National Trail Trek! And I gotta say…I’m feeling pretty darn good about it!

Yesterday I went with a group of four other people. We started our hike where the NTT will start to get a feel for what the initial incline is like. When we made it to the top we all agreed: that was far better than we’d anticipated! Yes, I sounded like I may die but I made it up there! And not too far behind everyone else.

During the hike I just felt super good about my confidence levels and I was hiking along feeling good and then? We find ourselves at these very smooth boulders that we have to scramble over. I do not like the smooth boulders. They are slickery. I do not enjoy scrambling but I’ll do it if I have to. This boulder, however, was very steep and there were no good foot holds anywhere or hand holds and I hated it. One of the girls stood on it and showed me how steady she was and said “Grab my hand!” and then added “Trust me!” and I promptly said “I don’t.” and then had to add “That is not personal. That is the boulder talking!” She totally understood. I stood back and assessed the area and found a way that I could go up and around. So I did. Whew.

We were only planning to do five miles but we got a bit sidetracked and did more like 7. Here are the stats:

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And here’s a picture that makes me want to never ever eat again:

This is me going through Fat Man's Pass. Could I BE any more literal?!?!?

This is me going through Fat Man’s Pass. Could I BE any more literal?!?!?

However, I love how happy I look and that’s far more important that my huge torso. So there.

By the end of the hike my knees and hips were screaming at me, however. I suspect that had more to do with the fact that I’d not actually hiked for real in two weeks and I didn’t stretch even though I promised Tyler I would. I forgot, though. I wasn’t simply being insubordinate!

Then today I woke up and felt good and had no reason to cancel on today’s training hike. Which is good since it was FANTASTIC! It was me and two other people and they were great.

When I first arrived to the trailhead the sun was just rising and you could hear coyotes carrying on. That was really cool. I enjoyed that a lot.

Then we head up and up and up and up and then up some more. Good lord. But I wasn’t as winded as yesterday and I recover so fast now. I love it!

Most of today was on all new trails but we did wind up in Fat Man’s Pass and Hidden Valley again, which is fine because it is lovely there. But that’s where all of the smooth boulders are. And I did really, very good. Until we got to one that I had to walk across and was high and I could have fallen off and then suddenly I freaked out big time. And John had to come back and take my poles and then stand there as I worked my way across on my butt while holding on to this other ledge for dear life.

After that incident I said “I’m sorry, you guys.” And Jodie said “Bah. You’re doing great.” And John was still right beside me to make sure I was ok and he said “Hey, look. Nobody cares, ok?” So they were great and I feel sappy over that. I just really enjoy it when people are encouraging in ways that I naturally respond to.

The way down was hard on my knees. Mostly lefty. My hips did fine. And I did need a nap afterwards. But it was a really great hike and it was a nice peek into what the NTT will be like, even though we weren’t on the National Trail for long.

Here’s today’s stats:

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That elevation gain is the most I’ve ever had! And check out how many calories I burned!! Wow!

Also, if you don’t look at the shape of our hike and giggle, I’m not sure we can be friends.

And then here is a photo of rocks that also make me giggle.

Who made these rocks? Disgruntled Disney artists?!?

Who made these rocks? Disgruntled Disney artists?!?

One thing about yesterday’s hike I saved for last. Because I’m gonna end on the sap. This was a trail I had kinda did before. Way back earlier this year when I decided I wanted to do the Grand Canyon hike and would need to start hiking around here, locally, I contacted my friend, Liatt. He immediately set up a hike at South Mountain. We parked the car and hiked the first part of the trail that is really just a dirt road that I now know leads to the trails. It’s 1.2 miles long. And at that time, walking to the car and up to the bench at the end of the dirt road, the base of the trail, I was winded and tired.

That was where I started the hike yesterday. And as I passed that bench and put my feet on the actual trail I remembered that Liatt told me it was steep and rocky and this and that. And there I was on it. Not even a year later. And I started the hike feeling just fucking good. I’m really very impressed with myself. Maybe I shouldn’t be. But I am. I’m just so much healthier and happier than I have been in so long and it feels good. It feels good to feel good.

(thanks, Randi, for the title!)

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