Friday, May 18, 2012

my relationship with hikes

so, i'm not much of an outdoors(wo)man (um, how awesome is it to put parentheses in the middle of words? pretty awesome). i like being outside, particularly in a hammock or in a swimsuit, with a good book, but i'm not what you would really call "athletic", per se.

when i was younger, i dreaded hiking. i hated going to girls' camp for this reason. and several times, i couldn't finish a hike because i felt terrible. basically, hikes are kind of traumatic for me.

a couple weeks ago, a group of us planned to hike up to the y on a monday evening. i was pretty excited. i haven't hiked in a while, and i thought it would be fun to go up there with a group of my friends. and i've hiked the y, so while i knew it wouldn't be easy for me, i knew i had accomplished it twice before. i told everyone that i probably needed to take it easy and take lots of breaks, though i felt bad because some of my fellow hikers are outdoorsmen and could probably run up to the y without stopping. people seemed supportive anyway. but maybe 15 minutes in, i couldn't go any further. i felt nauseous, i was hyperventilating, my legs were shaky. i had to go back down the mountain.

i was really embarrassed. i hate feeling like i can't do something, and i hated that i was failing in front of my friends. and i hated that i had somehow gone backwards, that i had once been able to climb that dumb mountain and now i couldn't.

this past monday and tuesday i was down in moab for the aforementioned skydiving excursion. the boys wanted to spend the rest of our time at arches national park. the last time i was in moab, for a ysa trip, was right after i graduated from high school, and i had attempted to hike to delicate arch that time. but the same thing happened to me then that happened at the y--less than halfway through, i felt totally sick and couldn't go on, even with the promise of getting to spend more time with the boy i liked if i stuck it out. i was pretty nervous for this attempt at delicate arch. i didn't want to make a fool out of myself again, and i wanted to see the sights, dang it! i tried to take all the necessary precaution: drinking enough water, wearing sunscreen, wearing good shoes.

and i did it. i made it to delicate arch, and i made it through all the rest of our hikes, too. it felt so good to finally make it to the famous arch after an abysmal finish six years ago. and i realized that i'm not a bad hiker or something--i just need to take some extra precautions. because maybe i'm just more prone to dehydration than some people? i don't know. but i did it and i felt really good. and i think maybe my intense dislike of hiking came from this feeling that i couldn't do it--but i can do it and, maybe more importantly, i can actually enjoy it. so here's to me being maybe more of an outdoorsman, a hiker, in the future. as long as i have enough water.

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