Okay, I’ve gone and done a crazy thing. I joined a local hiking group. This might not be a nutty idea for some people, but it hasn’t been that long ago that I was a serious couch sitter, and a hobbling physical mess.
But joining a hiking group isn’t painful. Not at all. Especially if you never actually go on a hike. Which I haven’t yet. So, the act of joining was actually very easy. I did it online.
That was two weeks ago. Yesterday, I finally decided to sign up for a hike. This Sunday. Like, in two days. So I made the phone call to reserve my spot on the hike, and it went something like this.
Me: I’d like to sign up for the hike on Sunday.
Man on phone: Okay, have you ever been on one of our hikes?
Me: No, I’m new.
Man on phone: It’s six to seven miles.
Man on phone: We’ll be crossing a stream. Your feet will get wet.
Man on phone: It’s hilly terrain. Six to seven miles
Man on phone: That’s a two or three hour hike. Six to seven miles
(It was beginning to sound like he was trying to talk me out of it.)
Me: I’ve been walking almost five miles every day.
Man on Phone: Okay.
So, now that I know, without a doubt, that the hike will be six to seven miles long, on hilly terrain, crossing water, I have to ask myself, “What have I done!?!”
I must confess, I am a little nervous. I’m wondering, do I need special hiking shoes? What if I can’t finish? Will they leave me in the bushes to die, muttering, “I told her it was six to seven miles.”
All of this is compounded by the fact that I just looked at the website again, and the listing for this hike actually says “seven to eight miles”. Why didn’t I see that before? What possessed me to think that I can walk seven to eight miles, or six to seven, or any combination thereof?
What am I going to need on this grueling physical challenge? A water bottle? Band-aids? A backpack? Real hiking boots? An emergency contact for when I drop dead half way through?
I need to get a grip. I’ve walked eight miles in a day before. Just not all at once. So, cue the Mary Poppins-esque chipper cliches that I always resort to in times of stress.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do” Eleanor Roosevelt, have you ever walked eight miles uphill in a stream?
“No guts, no glory” Thank you, David Farragut for my battle cry.
“You never know until you try” Anonymous was on to something.
“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward” Oh, Victor Kiam, whoever you are… that is the one I’m going to put a on a T-shirt.
So, I’ve got two days to get it together and prepare for the first hike of my life. I love to go a’wandering… but will I make it out alive?
Photo by DLM