I silenced the alarm on my phone and then clicked on the weather app. 33° Fahrenheit.
No. That couldn’t be right.
I rubbed my eyes, convinced blurry vision was rendering that ridiculous number.
I cursed when I realized my eyes hadn’t failed me. Bloody hell.
It was hovering near the freezing mark, and I would have to go running up mountains with a bunch of Van 6 Speedy Gonzaleses.
I felt my stomach knotting up.
Strenuous exercise while breathing in cold dry air would be a sure-fire recipe to cook up some bronchoconstriction (exercise-induced asthma) for me. I didn’t have an inhaler, so that meant I would end up a coughing, wheezing mess for hours, if not days.
I looked to The Russian for guidance.
me: What should I do? I don’t want to miss another hike, but I don’t want to screw up my lungs so that I can’t work the rest of the program.
her: Come on the hike and just go as slow as you need to.
me: I don’t want to slow everyone else down.
her: You won’t be. I’m not going to go fast either.
me: GAH! I don’t know what to do. Should I stay back and do open gym like yesterday?
her: Do whatever feels right for you.
I felt angry and conflicted.
Hiking is my favorite physical exercise, bar none, and yet I was potentially going to miss 2 of 5 hikes that week by my own choice.
I wandered around the dining hall aimlessly, trying to decide what to do.
Already dressed in my hiking gear, feet duct taped and Camelbak full of water, I looked around.
Laurie, another guest, asked me which hike I was going on that day. I responded that I wasn’t sure I was going on the hike because I was worried that my group would be too fast-paced causing me to over-exert myself and wind up sick.
Join my van, she offered with a big smile, we don’t do fast.
After a bunch of back and forth, “really?“, “yes, REALLY” type banter, I made the decision to join van 2 for the day.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” ~Anthony Robbins
I told The Russian that I would be defecting from Van 6 to Van 2 and hugged her goodbye, heading over to meet my new peeps.
Van 2 would be hiking in the Santa Clara River Reserve, a scenic area known for plentiful petroglyphs and cool rock formations. As a bonus, I would get to spend time with a group of folks I hadn’t really gotten to know to that point in the week.
One of the benefits of joining a group with a slower pace was that it gave a couple of us the opportunity to go off-trail and take on some challenging scrambles and climbs, and then pick up the pace to catch back up with the others who had stayed on trail.
Here is a shot of Laurie coming down the other side of that same scramble after I had descended. She’s part mountain goat, too.
I didn’t so much as think an angry thought during this hike, let alone utter a curse word.
Nope, it was all smiles for this happy hiker.
Towards the end of the hike, I couldn’t help but reflect on what a great decision I had made.
Had I allowed ego to control my decision making, I would have stayed with Van 6 and probably wound up coughing up a lung the rest of the week.
Instead, I had a great hiking experience without sacrificing my lungs or putting the rest of my day or week at risk. And I got to hang out with some really cool people. Win-win-win.
After the hike, the schedule allowed us to choose from Mini Triathlon or Team Dynamics (a volleyball game).
Feeling like I had something to prove after my slightly less challenging hike (because ego is never fully silenced), I chose to do the mini triathlon. Triathlon class at Movara involved a run (on the treadmill), bike (spin bike) and elliptical (I could have chosen the pool but it was way too cold to swim).
Look, I’m not an idiot. I know I didn’t do a triathlon. At 45 minutes, this doesn’t even qualify as a mini triathlon, but it was a good little cardio blast and worked me harder than a non-competitive game of volleyball.
The after dinner lecture focused on Emotional Eating, which really hit home for most of the participants. Irina had posted a picture of our schedule on Facebook, commenting on what a grind every day was. Some ass-hat douche nozzle on her friends list made a snide remark about what hard work the emotional eating class must have been.
I love how some people can only build themselves up by tearing others down. I told her she needed to de-friend his sorry ass immediately.
Final stats for the day:
- 27,255 steps
- 11.7 miles
- 2,361 calories burned (vs. 1,200 consumed)
- Horrific toenail damage (I am debating if the pics of Irina’s feet are too graphic for y’all. Feel free to weigh in and vote yay or nay for gross pictures.)
Ass-hat douche nozzles aside, Day 4 turned out to be a pretty awesome day.If you’re ready to read how I lost my dignity on Day 5, click here.