Saturday, I hit the trail for the first time in nearly 2 weeks. Unlike with prior hikes, I did not have my pack locked-and-loaded (read: packed) ahead of time. This was probably because I did not have a set time to go; my hiking buddies were otherwise occupied. You could say that I was procrastinating – probably because I was anticipating a little bit of muscular mutiny. Our bodies have muscle memory but with just the smallest of time off, what had previously come easy can be a little more challenging than usual. I was not looking forward to that. Nor was I looking forward to hiking in the rain… ALONE.
TheMAN was getting ready to teach his Saturday classes when I put on my yoga attire and announced that plans to take the Saturday Vinyasa II/III class. He flashed me a puzzling look and I explained that it had been a long time since I’d taken Jenn’s class and I was missing it. It was to be a busy weekend, with my planned hike as well as being scheduled to take a Sanskrit test for my yoga teacher training on Sunday morning. I don’t know what I was thinking but I came around to my senses soon after. By the time he left for class, I had changed into my hiking gear and was starting to pile items comprising my load of the day on my bed.
This relatively easy task soon blew up into packing for the trip that would not occur for 3 weeks. Everything from sleeping bag to toothpaste was piled onto the bed and a running list of items I needed to add was being formed. This delayed me getting on the trail by about an hour. Normally I’m done in a flash as I have been using two 5 pound bags of rice as the bulk of the weight in my pack. Needless to say, the rain started just as I was getting on the trail.
My back was the first to complain. It seemed to be saying, “Whoa! What’s this? I thought you’d given up this crazy habit of walking up and down hills with close to 30 pounds on your back!” Then my legs chimed in, “Ummm. Yeah! Can we just refuse to go along with this plan?” I pulled in my abdominals and sent a message back to all of my muscles, “We *ARE* doing this! So get with the program and work together. Glutes, that means you too!”
Soon my mind launched a different level of defiance. “Hello! Julie! Did you forget that Sanskrit test? When are you going to study?” With it came the onset of panic. My previously calm breath was becoming labored and I had a momentary urge to head back to my car. I took control of my breath, slowing it down to a 4 count inhale and 4 count exhale. This was a cool trick as I was in the process of going up a rather steep hill. I began going over the material in my head as I went: reviewing the 8 limbs of yoga, the poses in Sanskrit and English, the doshas, the kleshas – “Oh crap, I forgot the kleshas! AND the deities!” I began creating another list — this one of items I needed to revisit and know.
Then, the sky opened up. I had yet to make it up the 4 miles ascent and yet it was POURING RAIN. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one getting wet. There were a handful of other hikers and runners about and none of them were as covered up as I was. Many of them appeared to be quiet unhappy though. I was not having as much fun as I’ve had in the past but I certainly wasn’t unhappy. I was quite pleased with my ability to overcome each of the hurdles that tried to ruin my hike.
I was sopping wet and muddy by the time I returned to my car, but I was happy. Happy to have made the trek and happy to have it behind me as well.