Folks, I have been jumping out of my seat for several days. Seriously...it has been just freakin' GLORIOUS.
You wanna know why?
Because on vacation, Hubs and I hiked the Tuckerman Ravine trail (one of the trails that leads to the summit of Mount Washington) up to the Hermit's Shelter for fun. Yes...for fun. We did a 2.4-mile rocky hike - 2.4 miles completely uphill, I should add - for shits and giggles. We gained 1800 feet of elevation over 2.4 miles, which is pretty intense. We did it for 3 reasons: 1) We're hiking to the summit of Mount Washington (4.2 miles - the remaining 1.8 miles after the Hermit's Shelter on the trail is straight up boulder-climbing) this August with Hubs' brother and a few of his friends. 2) It was a REALLY beautiful day and we knew the view from the top would be worth every step - plus, we had done a 2.5-mile hike with a 2100-foot elevation gain two days prior and were proud that we accomplished it. We wanted more! And 3) we wanted to see if we could beat our old time. We hiked Tuckerman 2 years ago in a Mount Washington summit attempt. I was 75 pounds heavier and hadn't exercised since college. It took us 3.5 hours to get to the shelter, and took another hour or two to get one mile up the boulder climb. A mile into that climb we had to turn back because it was getting too late - we weren't making good time.
We weren't making good time because I had to keep stopping. I had to keep stopping because my body physically couldn't take the exertion. I was wheezing, my muscles were aching, I was nauseous, I was dizzy. Looking back, I have to say that it was a wonder I did as much as I did. I told Hubs as we were hiking this time that the only thing that probably allowed me to even be able to hike for 6 or 8 hours straight was that I was really active and strong throughout high school and college. My fat was hiding a pretty good amount of muscle. This may be all that helped me, but I guess I'll never know. Because God knows I wasn't working out or training or anything up until that point. And that wasn't the only hike we'd done...I'd been able to complete some pretty tough ones when I was a chubbly gal. But the Tuckerman Ravine hike was the one that broke me. LOL
2 hours, 10 minutes. An entire hour and 20 minutes shaved off our time from 2 years ago. Holy shit...I can't express to you how thrilled I was. Really!!! At the beginning of the hike I said to Hubs, "I'm going to say this will take us 3 hours," and that was my mindset. I stuck to that. As we were hiking, Hubs was checking his altimeter, saying, "We're getting closer..." At one point he said, "The shelter should be right around this corner." I said, only half-joking, "Mike, don't lie, please. We have an hour to go." And he said, "No we don't."
I turned the corner and saw the most amazing sight in the world for that moment. The shelter. In all of its pine tree-surrounded, blue skied, snowy peaks everywhere glory. I laughed. It was pure joy for me right then. My mouth hung open for about a full minute, and I was just giddy. I turned to Hubs and said (and pardon my French please...take it in the spirit in which is was intended), "I am f*cking tickled pink right now."
And I was. And I was proud as hell. We did a really intense hike...one that I had associated with no good memories...simply for the fun, for the effort, for the view. No other reason. And it was SO FUN. We laughed on our way up, we joked around, we enjoyed the scenery. Hubs said, "When we go home, look at the pictures and watch the videos from this hike two years ago so you can see how miserable you were then. This is a great victory for you, beautiful."
He was so right.
Stay tuned...next Friday is my post-vacation weigh-in! I ate a lot on vacation, but we hiked HARD for about 4-5 hours a day. I'm not worried.
Happy holiday weekend!