A Hike Of Sweat and Tears

Sorry I have been so MIA!  This past week has been crazy.  The love of my life came to visit me from Florida last week, which means everything gets put on hold.  The same week my best friend got married, so there were a lot of wedding activities.  I love weddings and had such an amazing time with my friends!  I laughed and I most definitely cried.  To top it all off I had an intensive Yoga Sculpt training.  So unfortunately sitting down to write has gotten pushed to the wayside. 1150873_10102306314509138_817591230_n

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While Spencer (who I earlier referred to as the love of my life) was visiting one thing he wanted to do was go on a hike.  We've been hiking together while in New Zealand , but for some odd reason hadn't made the time yet to hike in our own beautiful Washington woods.  So we set aside a day to take a trek, and a trek it surely was.

He suggested a hike called "Mailbox Peak," so we did a little research and read that it wasn't for the faint of heart.  We are both fairly fit so we scoffed at this and basically said, "Challenge accepted!".  It started out moderately difficult and since this was my workout for the day I wanted to make it count.  So we jogged up the steep trail for awhile...until it got too steep to safely jog and we could barely breathe anymore.  We then realized we probably should have saved our energy.

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Then things got tough, and the steep climb seemed to never end.  By the end I was having an intense inner dialogue.  Telling my legs to keep moving, that I could finish this, it's always when you want to quit most that you make the most progress.  I was using any positive reinforcement I could muster to continue upward because I was getting close to collapsing into tears.

Being naively confident I didn't anticipate this hike taking so long, and so we did not bring enough water or food for the amount of exertion we were outputting.  Needless to say not only were our bodies tired, but they were dehydrated.  Not a winning combination.  When we finally reached the top and got the pen and paper from the mailbox my hand could barely write and all I could think to say was "That was emotional." Not the wisest of words or deepest of thoughts, but honest.

We made it!  Now we have to go back down...

Going down was just as tough, and we were both over it.  It was a relationship building experience, that's for sure.  I wouldn't have wanted to do it with any other person.  Starving and thirsty we forced our legs to trot the majority of the way down.  About 5 hours later we had finished. It felt so nice to be on level ground once we reached the bottom, and to fill our bellies with lunch that was waiting in the car!

One thing I have been struggling with is viewing 'play' or recreational activities as my workouts.  If I do something active that isn't a 'workout' I still feel like I have to go do a traditional scheduled workout.  Exercise has been so black and white in my mind.  This proved that it does not have to be that way and it is probably a good thing to mix it up.  Although we both are fit and healthy, hiking 4,100ft in 3 miles is not something our bodies are conditioned for and so we were using different muscles.  Leg day had a whole new meaning for me and we both felt it for a couple days afterward!  So remember, exercise can happen anywhere!  It doesn't have to be in a gym,  a set number of reps, a class, a routine or anything organized at all.  As long as you are pushing your body in a new physical way, it counts!

We stopped for quite a few stretch breaks

Spencer loves photography and so he snapped some photos of me on our hike.  After several years I'm still trying to get used to being the subject of his photos, so there aren't a whole lots of me actually looking at the camera.

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After the hike we talked to several other people who had done it and none of them acted like it was quite as tough as we thought it was.  Or maybe they just knew exactly what they were getting themselves into.  Either way I think Spencer and I need to go on more hikes!  Have you ever hiked Mailbox?  What did you think?

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