Yesterday was a beautiful spring day here in Central Arkansas. High in the low 70s and low humidity. Going for a hike seemed like the perfect cure for the stuck-in-the-office-all-day Blues. What’s lovely about living in the Natural State is that there is a mountain with a hiking trail just 10 minutes outside of town. The last time I hiked Pinnacle, I was just getting over a respiratory infection, and I had a tough go of it. It was raining and foggy, and I got off trail and slid some of the way down. It was kind of scary. BUT! I wasn’t going to let that stop me from trying again. So yesterday, after work, I headed out to the mountain to give it another go. I even asked a boy who is in way better shape than I am to go with me. You know my fear of holding people back and not being able to keep up, so I was slightly relieved when he couldn’t go. It still counts as stepping out of my comfort zone though!
I take off up the side of the hill. I kept having to remind myself that it was okay if I needed to rest, I wasn’t in a race with anyone. But I was in a race with the sunset. I was terrified of having to billy goat my way down the side of that damn mountain in the dark. So I pushed myself hard. I still had to stop and take breathers, and of course talk to strangers. But I made it to the top, and it was beautiful.
I rested for just a short time at the top and soaked up a little nature (aka sucked gnats down my throat as I gasped for breath). I quickly started my way back down because the sun was sitting a little lower in the sky, and I knew it wouldn’t be long until sunset.
The way back down is so much more intimidating than the way up. I am not a graceful or balanced person. I stumble on the flattest of grounds, so peering down at the rocky trail before me is a wee bit scary. I ended up crab walking my way down most of they way (like I usually do).
I’m usually passed by sure-footed people who hop from rock to rock like a gazelle. I fell once on the way up and once on the way down (hey, maybe I am balanced). I can guarantee that I’ll fall once on the way down. Usually it is close to the base because I get a little sure of myself and start going faster and wham! I usually step on slippery rock and lose my footing. However, no real injuries and only a slight limp to the car. I’m not sore today at all. Guess all those squats are working. My heart rate monitor says I burned 1,203 calories. I believe it. My heart rate got pretty up there on the way up. I’m really glad I did it though. Oh, and for all those who are in suspense on whether I made it back down before sunset – I did! Personal goal achieved.