In what might very well be the single greatest accomplishment of my life, today I hiked up Bald Mountain. I am absurdly proud. I am such a star.
Granted, it took me four hours to get to the top. To put this time in perspective: Amy hikes Baldy in three hours, Bjorn hikes it in two, and the insane Doug jogs up in just under an hour. But all of these people are physically fit and they all seem to enjoy exercising. Me on the other hand, I am not fit, nor do I enjoy getting winded. I figure I get extra points for my uncharacteristic moxie.
At about the half way point I was getting kind of scared that I wouldn’t be able to finish. It is a five mile climb and 3200 foot elevation gain to the top of Bald Mountain. Once you get your sorry butt up there, you can ride the ski lift down for free. At 2.5 miles I knew I had a choice: I could turn around and walk 2.5 miles down the mountain, or I could suck it up and walk 2.5 miles up the mountain. I was reeeeal tired already.
I was resting and pondering this decision when a woman jogged by me with a huge grin on her face. She was probably thirty-five, absurdly fit and she was jogging up the mountain that was currently kicking my ass. As she got closer I looked up from the ground pathetically and said,
"You are amazing."
To which she replied with a beatific smile,
"No. Just grateful."
That is a pretty good attitude.
Inspired, I picked my weary bones up off the ground and stumbled the remaining two and a half miles up Bald Mountain.
I’m not going to lie to you, it was not an easy day. I cried twice. Once because of how insanely beautiful it was, and once because of how insanely out of my league I was. I quickly learned that crying at high altitude while gasping from extreme exertion is a terrible idea. I practically died from the lack of air.
But, in spite of the difficulty getting all the way up, I made it! I don’t care that it took me four hours or that I cried, I am so glad that I made it up Bald Mountain.