Friday, December 4, 2009

I think that rounds out the list

Mister C and I have started hiking again on one of the local "mountains". According to Mister C, this particular mountain is only about four hundred feet high so this is more about distance than height. But in the past, we've hiked some of the other mountains around the valley. Some of them are known far and wide and people actually travel here specifically to hike one particular one. I have not made it to the top of that one. I will say that I have made it to the top of all of the other ones I have attempted. Slowly, but I've made it. But this isn't a post about my accomplishments. No, this is a post about humility.

I'll just come right out and admit that I'm not in the best shape of anyone I've ever met. I'm carrying a few (thirty) extra pounds and I absolutely abhor cardiovascular workouts. I avoid them whenever possible. I'd pretty much rather do anything than to go on a hike. I do it because it's something Mister C and I can do together several times a week. Also, it's something that once I'm done, I can feel good that I did. But I suck at it.

In my hiking career over the past eight years that we've lived around this area, I have managed to be passed by almost every person or group out there. I fully expect to be passed by the 18-50 set and the exercise maniacs (hi Dad!). But everyone? Think I'm joking? Not so much. In order of occurrence...

The first time I was passed on a mountain was by a group of cub scouts. What's the maximum age for a cub scout anyway? Eight? Maybe nine? Regardless, a group of kids effectively politely asked me to move my slow self aside so they could skip up the mountain. I believe I was about halfway up the mountain at that time. They passed me again on their way down. Impudent little whippersnappers. I thought they were supposed to help old ladies across streets and stuff. Apparently not when she's blocking the trail.

The second time I was passed was on the same mountain. The same day. But this was no group of half-pint holy terrors. No, this was even worse. The dreaded senior citizens hiking club. Oh yes, my friend, I said senior citizens. Don't let their wrinkled skin and soft demeanor fool you. They look harmless, but the golden agers have no sympathy for a plump and winded woman of less than middle age that's laying on a rock, gasping for air. They take great pleasure in walking past my inert form saying such seemingly kind things as "You'll be fine dear, just catch your breath and don't give up!" Screw you old lady, I know you're gleefully telling stories to all your luncheon biddies about how you breezed right past me. I would have tried to find you later to try and explain my situation, but I doubt I could identify you since I was seeing spots at the time we met.

Which leads me to the next group of people. The morbidly obese. I have nothing but good things to say about this group as a whole. The fact that they're out there, trying to do better is awesome. The fact that they stop to make sure I'm okay while I'm (once again) gasping for air on the side of the trail is a testament to the fact that they've "been there". They understand where I'm at. The fact that they aren't even breathing hard gives me hope for my future. The fact that they were hiking uphill while I was going down is just pathetic.

Now, one would think that covers pretty much every group out there that has passed me on a mountain. One would be sadly mistaken. Because yesterday I got passed once again. At least this time I was upright and moving forward, albeit slowly. I didn't think too much of it when I heard dogs panting behind me, I just stepped aside so they could pass. The owner was a younger woman walking three dogs. The first dog was a young beagle, a very energetic beagle. The second dog was about a ten year old lab mix. The third dog was some sort of terrier mix. No problem right? It's pretty normal to be passed by someone younger than me with dogs. I thought so too. Until I noticed that the terrier was missing a back leg. No lie. I have now officially hit bottom. I've been passed by everyone, including a three legged dog. Nice. I swear if I see someone coming up behind me in a wheelchair I'm going to roll a boulder across the trail.