Although I ran Cross Country in both middle and high school, I hated it. I played lacrosse in high school too and used cross country as a way to not be a complete slob in the fall. I had zero hand-eye coordination but I could run realllll fast down the field and chuck the ball in the net. This was my one and only LAX skill and it served me very well.
This fear of endurance sports is a problem because I love to hike. I have lots of short, steep uphill hikes that I like, which a friend of mine calls “butt hills,” that have the reward of awesome views at the top. There are tons of these quickie hikes around Asheville, but they are also busy, popular hikes. Especially on the weekends, when we do most of our wilderness adventuring.
During my short stint in Tucson I went on some longer hikes and learned some valuable facts about myself:
I am very annoying and uncoordinated when I’m tired.
While hiking Seven Falls, having a bit of a fit/tantrum, I almost convinced my hiking partner to turn around before the falls. Thank goodness we didn’t. Seven Falls is probably the most rewarding Oasis-in-the-dessert moment of my hiking experience. On New Years Day 2012, also in Tucson, at the end of 5+ mile hike, I was so close to the end of the hike that the car was in view. On the path to the parking lot I fell with my right shin underneath me, square on a rock. That was extremely painful, not to mention awkward since I had my own leg pinned underneath me. This particular laziness-induced-clumsy moment left me with a massive cut/bruise combo that lasted for months. I still have a red splotch there. Memories.
When I am tired I don’t pay attention to where my feet go and I fall.
Right at the end of a hike.
All the time.
|The approach to Seven Falls in the background|
Last Sunday Heather convinced me to hike 7 miles. I was tired and not in the mood, but I knew that some nature would make me feel good. Of course we got a bit lost on the way there, neither myself or Heather has one directional bone between us. We are a hot mess. It’s a tiny miracle that we did the whole 7.4 miles, missed the impending rain storm AND didn’t get caught in the woods after dark. Boom shaka laka. My dogs were BARKING at the end of this hike. I do suffer from some plantar fasciitis (I am a grandma) so I have a tiny excuse, but really I am just a baby. A baby-gma. That makes sense.
This hike was so cool. It was basically an out-and-back the paralleled the French Broad River in Marshall, NC and dead-ended at some railroad tracks. It was so cool to see how the river bank and vegetation changed as we moved down the river. At some points there would be a sheer cliff down to the river, and at others there was a nice low mossy bank you could step right off of into the river. My camera battery sadly died, so I didn’t get a good photo but there were also some amazing swimming holes along the way. I want to go back prepared to swim! We considered jumping in but sitting in my wet underwear for the 30 minute drive home was very unappealing.
We had the pleasure of bringing our friends’ boston terrier, Luna, with us too. Hiking with one dog always adds another level of complicated. BUT Luna was such a dream to hike with, it makes me realize what a puppy Mozey still is.
Look at those tired dogs! I am grateful that I pushed through my personal struggles to finish this awesome hike. Seven miles is a huge accomplishment for me. Maybe it will even happen again sometime?!