The Challenge

Finn and I did a two-mile hike in the woods today. It rained heavy this morning so the air was still thick with moisture. The ground was soft and wet from the morning rain. Every now and then, a sprinkle of leftover drops clinging to the overhead canopy of leaves fell and dropped with a chill on my arms. 13091943_10206381397355671_2672375750528954030_n

The trail Finn and I usually walk at the river, is an easy trail. It’s short, only about a mile in and out. Considering I “sit” a lot at the computer, a few weeks ago, even a mile walk took about 40 minutes. That did include stopping and smelling the flowers, watching the geese, and visiting with a squirrel we see at the same tree every walk. Sometimes, we venture out onto the rocks. Believe me, that works muscles that haven’t been worked in a while.

Now, if we’re walking with purpose and don’t climb the rocks, we can walk it in 15 minutes. So we’ve upped the game a little. Today, we took to the woods of a nearby park and two miles and thirty minutes later, we’re officially in training.

Our goal — Birkhead Mountain in Asheboro. It’s not a difficult trail but it’s 11 miles in and out.Capture

We can do it. Not next weekend. Or the weekend after that. But by summer end, we’ll do it. I know we can.

 

What is your challenge? Your goal?

 

 

Giving up the dream

It’s time. I’ve “played” at it too long. With all this “new year, new beginnings” crap, I figured it was the right time. I just don’t have it in me anymore.

I’m giving up the dream.

I vowed, pledged, resolved this week to let it go and be done with it. To stop obsessing about what others will think. So I failed. It wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

But I didn’t really fail…I just discovered something abut myself I had no idea existed. I don’t like to be cold. And how am I going to climb Mt. Everest if the mere thought of shivering makes me, well, shiver?

For as long I can remember I’ve been fascinated by all things cold. March of the Penguins is one of my favorite movies. And let’s not forget Fargo. I’m mesmerized at seeing someone’s breath float up around them like smoke from a chimney. 40 below…my blood’s pumping. 60 below…I’m giddy. The vast whiteness of ice and snow can, well, take my breath away. ENLARGE_01SS_Thermometer_Cold

Then I became interested in climbing…mountains. A good hike, on a level trail, is about all I can muster but I like to think I’m in training for the biggie. The grand dame herself…Everest.

When the interest first overtook me, I read everything I could get my hands on about that mountain. I watched the short-lived show on the Discovery channel, which led to more reading and the discovery some bad things happen on that mountain.  I read everything I could about Nepal and Tibet and base zones and base camps. I even have a book on training to climb the mega mountain. I’d have to lose three people worth of body fat and quit smoking (Which I did. The smoking, not the body fat) and learn to breath better through my nose. And there’s that whole altitude adjustment thing. And my sister offered no encouragement  by saying cruel things like “You’re scared to death of heights. How are you going to climb Mt. Everest being scared of heights?” She obviously didn’t understand the dream. Or my fear. It wasn’t that I was scared of the actual height, or even scared of possibly falling. It was the landing after the fall that scared me.

Didn’t matter. I was going to climb Everest. Or at least hang out at Base Camp #1 for a few days.  I even had a picture of the mountain pinned to my board at my desk with Franklin Coveyish words of encouragement about following your dream and reaching for the stars.4d622f39049bdEverest

Then this past week I suffered through the flu. Tuesday or maybe it was Wednesday, (I was delirious, lost track of the days and years) night, I was hit with that dreaded flu symptom…violent chills. The kind where all the socks and sweatshirts in the world aren’t going to cure. The kind where you know if you could just get out of bed and turn the heat up a notch and grab another blanket, you’ll be fine, but you can’t muster the courage to climb out from under the mound of blankets you’re already under because you’re soooooo coooooooold!

Yeah. I discovered I don’t really like being cold. Not that cold anyway. So I’m giving up the dream of climbing Everest. Or hanging out at Base Camp #1. I thought I’d be sad, giving up a dream and all. I’m not. I’m nice and warm.