I was pondering that feeling of achievement when you reach a goal, hmmmm. This crossed my mind while hiking up a mountain. You know that feeling; that special buzz you get when you set a goal and reach it. Ahhh yes, nothing can be finer! You can’t find it in a store. It can’t be bottled and bestowed. It’s something you and only you earn and ultimately reap the benefits from.
I have a few favourite trails to hike in Kelowna, BC. A more challenging one for me is an elusive slog up Knox Mountain. This walk isn’t really that much out of the ordinary as I sit here writing, all relaxed and comfy with my feet up. The mountain is situated a mile away from my hideaway – up the street, around the corner, by the park beside the lake to its base. It looks more like a hill, from the bottom. Then begins a gradual incline for a steady 40 minutes or so. It always seems so easy standing at the bottom when I spy the apex, “ a piece of cake” I scoff, until the climb begins…
The road up twists, turns and teases at points where you can almost catch your breath as you amble. I try to stay in the moment, diverting my mind from muscle pain, trying to sense any breeze Mother Nature blows my way, listening for birds sounds while soldiering on. This day I hear a wood pecker make that electric drill sound that resonates through the forest. How I love that sound. My tummy grumbles and I think of potatoes. I am merely walking this trek after all, but as the top beckons I feel my body heat rise, my legs ache, sweating, panting, my mouth parched, wondering what on earth possessed me to do this. Then I reach it. Ahhhh, I’m there, at the top, heart pounding out of my chest, gasping for air, thinking how I’d very much enjoy a ride down the other side…. as if. The ascent was 266 meters. It’s difficulty is a far cry from towering Mount Cook or the Swiss Alps, after all. I catch my breath….
I make haste to begin the trek back. This time down a pebbly walking trail. It always seems like a faster route. “Who am I kidding?” pops in my head half way down, every time I make this decision. This steep, dry, rocky, dusty, walking trail snakes and curves, sometimes gradual and other times steep where at various points I get that “off the edge of the earth feel” where one slip will send me tumbling down the side, AHHH! Not a good feeling when you’re quietly afraid of heights. “What on earth were you thinking?” crosses my mind, again as I try to get my footing on solid ground, my arms flailing, looking like a surfer of sorts, more awkward like a penguin. May I remind you, that although I do exercise regularly and am a self proclaimed “move maven” I am not the least bit athletic. Like a holistic health care person saying they’re a nutritionist because they eat…. So while others around me seem to own the trail and look the part, I slip and slide and cuss until I descend the eventual 266 meters back to the base. Those muscles I used on the way up got a break while I tax another set on the way down.
Ahhh, I’m on flat ground, catch my breath, feel that pinging in my legs reminding me that they have not been used like this since my last mountain trek. They give me a scolding. The lake breeze cools me down as I fill up with that feeling of satisfaction of achieving yet another goal – a mountain walk – YES! I head back by the lake, past the park, down the street, then around the bend, to my hideaway. I press the “stop” button on my Apple Watch, recording the trek’s metrics. Then a “bing” sounds; an award pops up – a gold star: “You earned this award for the most calories burned on a walk, 427″. I smile, an extra bonus, double good! I think about my hike as I rehydrate before hitting the shower.
I scroll through the metrics:
Walk Time: 2:05:42
Distance: 10.09 km
Ascent: 266 meters
Walking Workout Record – “You earned this award for the most calories burned on a walk, 427”
I’ll be returning to my hideaway in a few months. Hmmm, I think confidently, “surely I’ll walk this twice the next visit”. Why wouldn’t I? Until then……