Weaker Than I Thought - Stronger Than I Knew

I have been trying to write this blog post for nearly a week now - over a week - but something has been stopping me. Shame? Embarrassment? Laziness? 

Whatever it is, I have come around and I am here now to reflect. Looking back, my Sunday adventure I was expecting to be type 1 fun, but of course it turned out to be type 2. During the experience I remembered someone in an article I read somewhere talking about finding your zen & the quiet space inside your head. I focused on this as hard as I could but I never found my "zen!" 

Last weekend while hiking up my first mountain I was forced to reassess my goals, establish new realities, and ....my confidence? clumsiness? ego? Well all of the above were pretty crushed. I appreciate my body and everything it can do. It’s not perfect, but it has been a long time since I have thought of it as weak. Worse than that, last weekend I was almost disappointed with my body…

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We started our morning normal with a bowl of granola. Sadly we skipped on coffee for the morning so we could get going for an early start without the extra fuss. (I don't remember if that's actually what Daniel said or what the plan was but apparently we were losing our minds to skip the coffee!)

Out of the house and starting up the mountain, I felt pretty good. We had hiked the first part of Grandeur Peak the week prior when we went Hiking for a Sunset, now I wanted to go up the rest of the way. I was very calm at the beginning - but then it got steeper.

It was rough going and now I felt weak, but I kept on trudging on. I can handle sore muscles and pain, persevere through them. I have been suffering from and seemingly not recovering from a sinus infection lately, which left me that morning with a runny nose. The higher we got the worse the sniffling became - especially when we came up to the exposed areas where the wind would knock the snot from my nose. (EEEWWWWW)

Needless to say I felt miserable. To add to it my hands began to swell. I knew this was a problem people have but I had forgotten it, of course thinking it wouldn't happen to me. Well it happened big time! I was flailing my arms around like a dummy and trying to get in the "power walker" arm swing but nothing would help.

I'm not good at giving up and being defeated. I had to make it to the top. I kept drinking as much water as I could, hoping that hydration would help it, and still trudged on further. 

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Daniel skipped, hopped, played in the snow closer to the peak. He was apparently doing better than I was. But the peak was in sight. I focused on the snow and mud the path had become and blocked out everything else until we had done it, we reached the summit! How anticlimactic....mind blowing beauty, a sense of accomplishment, photo ops, snack time; and yet I just thought about what the way down would be like. 

The first part going down was fun. We skipped and hopped and jogged, we were jolly and laughing and enjoying it. Until my nose started dripping again. Let me tell you, when you are going down a hill using minimal effort and yet you can't breathe...because you are too stuffed up and also have a runny nose. Not cool, body. Not cool.

We took the rest of the way down pretty slow and easy. My feet were sore, my legs were burning, my knees aching. Who knows if my hands were still swollen because I was distracted by so many other things. I tried to focus on the beauty and my footing, paying attention to plants and nature, mostly distracted.

We made it. To the bottom. To the car, out of the parking lot, and over to the nearest coffee shop. I changed into my favorite hoodie and Chacos I had left stashed in the car and went to relax inside with a coffee. I skipped my run the next day, whining that skipping was making me weaker and there was no way I would be strong enough to do an "easy" mountain day. Daniel kept reassuring me what I already knew, the benefits of a rest day. I still moped, as I looked back fondly at the day past and started planning for my next mountain excursion! 

I may have been sore, tired, and miserable, but my body did it. I was so proud of what my body was capable of that day. For a midwestern girl, I'm pretty content to say I made it up my first mountain, & back down, in one piece! No matter how much I may have been whining.