My amazing husband is training to climb, hike, traverse, ice pick his way through Mount Rainier. He has become pretty boss at hiking and been doing a ton of training for this. Now, this means that I can spend my weekends at our home while he goes up to NH and we can constantly be a part, or I can make my way up to the White Mountains and hike with this stud.
Here’s what I would like to say. Hiking is amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful and the fresh air is wonderful and the achievement factor is off the charts. See this face? This is the face that thinks these things.
Look at her. She is naive and full of motivation to be awesome. Let’s talk to her in 5 miles, shall we? Where we see her at the top of the first of three peaks nourishing her very sore body with some almond butter (look at that, she’s even staying paleo on this hike!).
That face is filled with optimism, because she reached the top. She will reach the top of two more peaks in this hike, all over 4000 feet, two over 5000. This is pretty awesome, she thinks. I can do this! And of course, she can. Because she has this stud with her to cheer her on.
Here’s the thing though. While hiking really is awesome and it is pretty amazing, I must confess – I have a terrible mindset once I begin my hike down. This is because my knees have become the knees of an 80-year old and the pain is off the charts. Suddenly the beauty and fun get wiped away by the fact that I have 4 miles of jarring steps down on hard rocks before me. Oy.
It is really hard, I mean really hard, to motivate your mind to push through when you are in pain, isn’t it? All of a sudden, my sarcasm comes out and the idea of having a great time gets wiped away as you realize that a 65-year old woman is pacing with you down the mountainside. Yep, that’s me, shooting the breeze as we discuss her retirement. Aarrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!
Here’s what I know though – just because my body is different now and different than others who have no knee problems doesn’t take away from what I am achieving. We can constantly compare ourselves to whoever else is out there on the mountain or at the gym or even *gasp* in the mirror, or we can work as hard as we know how and then give it an extra 10% for good measure. Forget about what everyone else is achieving and enjoy what you are doing, because let’s face it, you are doing it! I hiked an 11-mile hike with 3-peaks with my wonderful husband. Yes, it was a LONG day, but I did it! And now, I have some knee braces and will attempt to do even more.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Life is too short to wish you had done something as well as someone else. Do it as best as you can and enjoy the amazing views along the way!