Or, in my case, walking on blisters. Lots of gnarly, hobbit-foot, not-sure-I'll-be-able-to-walk-tomorrow blisters. Its been awhile since I've talked about the fact that I'm participating in the Susan G Komen Walk for the Cure this September (shameless donation plea: see my badge over on the margin; I'm half-way to my goal! Feel free to help me get there! Just click on the link to donate!!!). I started training in January, walking ever so leisurely at the gym, 4-5 miles on the treadmill a few times a week. But once the weather got nice (which I realize is eye-roll-inducing for East Coaster & Midwesterners, given that it rarely gets below 40 degrees here even in the thick of winter and you have to go 5000 feet up to see so much as a flake of snow), the team I'm walking with started outdoor training walks.
I missed the first couple of them because I was graced with the creeping crud over & over again this winter and early spring--strep, sinus infection, sinus infection & yet another sinus infection (apparently when it never gets below freezing, the farking germs NEVER die. That's totally scientific, right?). But in the past few weeks, I have joined my teammates (Who, by the way? Rock.) for a couple of training walks and I will tell you, these girls do not mess around. I am SO happy to have the motivation of seeing other women trucking up a hill faster than me, while I huff and gasp behind them. Because if they weren't 20 paces ahead of me? I'd be sitting down.
Turns out 4-5 days at the gym, leisurely strolling on the treadmill while obsessively checking Instagram & Facebook does not prepare one to walk 20 miles a day, 3 days in a row. Who knew?!!! One of my teammates is a veteran runner of marathons, including the Boston marathon. She's running TWO marathons this summer before doing the 3-Day walk. Did I mention these ladies don't mess around? I have already warned them that I will be falling behind, an that I don't expect them to wait for me because I don't want to slow them down. I will be making all kinds of new friends September 9-11th; the stragglers. And that's okay, because at least I'm doing it.
I love when we're on a trail and we come to a fork and no one knows the "right" (read: least painful) way to go & we just pick one and see where it takes us. We're adventurers! Fearless adventurers! (hold me) Today that set us on a course straight up the side of a mountain, on a lean-forward-into-it steep, narrow, slippery, rocky trail that opened up to a lovely meadow which I figured was at least a serene & picturesque place to go if I were to drop dead from the climb. When we got a little higher up on the twisty trail, as I grasped my knees and gasped to get even the slightest bit of oxygen (lovely! mountain! air!!) into my lungs, one of my teammates asked a woman running down the hill (show off) if the trail led back to the parking lot. She said, "No, it just goes up & comes back down." My life flashed in front of my eyes.
Fortunately we decided not to see how far into the stratosphere "up" was before it started coming back down, and we retraced our steps back to town and found our original trail. Sweet Fancy Moses, thank you.
Aside from being in awesomely bad shape and having the lung capacity of a haddock on dry land, I find myself falling behind because of my addiction. To my iPhone camera. And Instagram. I've fallen into the trap of seeing pictures all around me wherever I am, so while my teammates are actually concentrating on the trail ahead, I'm stopping to take my 11000th picture of some moss on a tree. Because who doesn't need 11000 pictures of moss on a tree?!!! Or baby geese! You can't just walk by baby geese, people. (although their mothers would clearly prefer you did, given how they squawked at me for stopping to take pictures). You HAVE to stop and take a picture. Right? No? Just me? Oh.
You know that dog in "Up"? The one who says, "Squirrel!!!!"? Yeah, that's me. Perhaps my doctor will write me a temporary 'scrip for Ritalin for those three days I actually have a goal I have to meet before the sun goes down. Otherwise, I could be 10 miles behind the pack, taking pictures of a faded band-sticker on the back of a stop sign, or of the snapdragons in someone's fire escape garden, somewhere in the city. Seriously, it's a problem.
In all, we trekked 10 miles today. So, 1/2 of what we'll be doing in one day come September. And except for the blisters on my feet, which, if they had their own mouths would be incessantly screaming all kinds of obscenities at me (which would be horribly embarrassing since I'm sitting in Starbucks right now), I feel great! So I guess my biggest challenge (aside from the aforementioned photography-induced attention deficit) is toughening up my feet with a giant layer of callouses. So...that's sexy, right? Yay, me!!!!