Something’s going on with my laptop and I’m getting really frustrated! It keeps losing my stuff on this site. I just finished writing and when I clicked on “Publish”, I got a message that Internet Explorer cannot display the page. Lost the entire thing. It’s happened a couple of times with comments, too. As soon as I click on submit, IE gets all upset and loses it. I guess I’m going to have to copy everything before I submit. Anyway, here’s a shorter version of my blog this morning:
184.5 seems to be my new best friend. He’s been hanging around for almost a week now and I have a goal of hooking up with 180 in just 11 days. much shorter version…
Let’s talk about endurance, stamina, whatever you want to call it. My family does a lot of traveling. When my boys were little, they would get bored and antsy and start whining “How much farther????” and I would always answer, “about three more miles”. That would usually calm them. Anyone can hang in there for three more miles. It’s not a big deal. It was just a tiny little piece in the context of the entire journey. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always tried to hang in there for a just a little bit longer. I can’t deal with the big picture. It’s overwhelming and I can’t imagine ever getting there.
As some of you know, my “short-term, long-term” goal is to hike Lower Calf Creek Falls next month with my husband, son, and grandsons. The first time we did it was about nine years ago. DH and I took my youngest son (27 years old at the time) and his long, lean, girlfriend out west with us in the RV. The temperature was 110 degrees in the desert and the hike was 5 miles. I was considerably younger, lighter, and my ankles hadn’t started giving me any problems yet. The halfway point of the hike is coming through the desert into a box canyon where a waterfall comes out of nowhere and cascades down the canyon walls into a crystal clear, icy cold, sand bottom pool.
We began the hike with lots of warnings about how difficult it would be in the heat, through the sand, and were advised to take lots of water. For me, that meant a quart bottle. We started on our way and soon discovered how difficult and demanding the hike was. DH and I were kind of struggling and David said, “This must be kind of tough for you, Mom. You’re so short you have to take two steps for every one of ours.” It wasn’t quite that bad but I did feel like I was slowing everyone down so I told David and Stacy to go ahead and DH and I would meet up with them at the pool. They left us behind pretty quickly and we plodded on. A quart of water got me about a mile into the hike and it was really rough. I was hot, tired, and parched. I knew I couldn’t complain too loudly because the hike had been my idea and DH had been outvoted when he suggested that we skip the thing entirely. We alternately trudged through the burning sand or wound through passageways between the blistering rocks. I couldn’t decide which was worse, walking through the sand or standing on firm footing between the canyon walls where the heat from the rocks surrounded us like an airless oven.
We trudged through a narrow passageway, being careful not to touch the blistering rocks and turned a corner and there it was. A breathtakingly beautiful box canyon surrounded us and water plummeted down the sides of the cliffs in an unbelievably magnificent oasis. I understood, then, why this was a national monument. DH and I finally made it to the pool and jumped in. Even though we were burning up, the water still felt icy and we couldn’t stay in very long. By the time we climbed out, DS and girlfriend were ready to head back. Hubby and I were still trying to recuperate so we told them to go ahead.
DH and I knew the trip back would be just as grueling as the hike in but we finally decided to get it done. Probably not wise, but I refilled my water bottle from the waterfall because we both knew we’d be in trouble if we headed back without water.
It was miserably hot and David had left his bandanna with me so I kept mopping my brow and moving ahead. The sand was deep and it seemed like every step was an effort. We came around some rocks and gazed out on a wide, seemingly endless stretch of sand and there, right in the middle of it, someone had stamped out, “just three more miles, Mom.”
It still brings a smile to my lips and, sometimes, a tear to my eyes. Anyone can hang in there for a little bit. That’s the way it went today with my workout. I’m really pleased with it. I decided to take it at 3.0 mph up to an incline of 7 and then drop the speed down. When I got to 7%, I decided to try to make it to 8 and then to 9, and I kept telling myself if I could hang in there for 5 minutes at 10%, I would drop it down and start cooling off. When I finished doing 5 minutes at 3.0 at 10%, I rationalized that when I reduced the incline on the way back down, that would be a relief and I might be able to keep the speed at 3mph until I got down to 8%. Needless to say, I managed to hang in there at 3.0 all the way up and all the way back down. Burned 634 calories and went 5 miles!
Lower Calf Creek Falls is looming. I know I can do it. I’m building my strength and endurance a little bit at a time. I’ll take lots of water this time. I just hope I can manage to get a little bit ahead of everyone else and leave a message in the sand:
3 more miles…
6:00 p.m. – DH is being a real Sh8t tonight! There are days when I love him because and there are days when I love him in spite of. This evening is definitely an “in spite of” case.