Today felt like I started something new.
I went on my first female group hike where I met one of the leaders and I hiked with 24 other women who love and appreciate the art of hiking.
God is good to me. Although I do not fully understand this emotional rollar coaster of a trial I am in, He still manages to give me some relief in something else…like hiking.
We did the Icehouse Canyon Trail that is near Mt. Baldy, and I really truly had no idea what I was doing. No expectations, and no knowledge about the area, and really rather nervous about meeting all these women.
But of course, I was proven wrong in my doubts, as not only the hike was challenging, but I am proud to say I got along well with all the women I spoke to. It was even more encouraging to see how many of these women hike alone. First thing my mother asked when I told her about this hike was, “Are there any men going?” Cue the eye-roll. Then when I told her that one day I will be going on my own on a hike so she better prepare herself, she told me that she did not give me permission. Cue another eye-roll.
On the hike, interestingly enough, I thought about the PCT. I thought, “How the hell am I suppose to hike the PCT when I cannot even do these 3.6 miles without dying?”
I have asthma. I have anxiety. I have endured depression before. I have joint problems. What else? I don’t know, but the biggest thing in all of this is the asthma. At our first break, I felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. POUNDING. My buddy at work always told me that the hike to Mt. Baldy was difficult because of the elevation. I am not sure why I felt like I was excluded from this struggle (maybe because I hiked in Yosemite and was totally fine–albeit I did not do a drastic elevation change), but I was dead wrong. I HAVE ASTHMA, for crying out loud.
However, I am all about celebrating the little things, and this particular set back allowed me to chat with this lovely gal, Nicole, who by the way gave me hair goals. I WILL ONE DAY GET USE TO HIKING WITH MY HAIR DOWN…. I digress.
Anyways, I was telling her about how and when I started hiking, and what I kind of wanted to do the following year, and my asthma and anxiety, etc, etc. I was thoroughly surprised to hear her actually impressed with my wee bitty self. After the hike she said I did an absolutely great job keeping a great pace, especially with only just starting. She had expressed earlier about how I did Havasupai as my start up of hiking, and when I expressed interest in the TCT and after I had said I had also gone to yosemite, she called me ambitious.
Soak that in….she called me ambitious. SHE CALLED ME AMBITIOUS.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, interestingly enough, I have NEVER EVER been called ambitious or felt like I was ambitious about ANYTHING. Even medicine. I love medicine. I love traumas and the ER, and doing what I can to save lives. But I do not feel ambitious in the medical field, for one flimsy second. I have never felt ambitious about ANYTHING. Not even school. So it was strange that my ambition actually lies on my newfound culture in hiking.
I loved this hike. I was disappointed in how oxygen wasted I felt. But I realized that my calves were not as sore as they have been previously on hikes, which meant that my little regimen at the gym was working! I hit the elliptical and I do not touch the handles and just do cardio about 40 minutes. But it works not only my balance, but my calves. So it is nice to see an improvement on that. I also learned what else I need to work on and that is squats and lunges. Basically my glutes, my hips, and my hammys (hammies?). So that is great because I love working out my lower body 🙂
I learned so much. It was lovely hearing everyone’s stories and insight (for my PCT plans). But I also was glad to see just a bit of a break for me from this emotional rollarcoaster. It felt like therapy. It felt like a new beginning. It felt like God was telling me that He forever loves me, despite me being frustrated with Him for the last couple of days.
I just cannot wait to go back to the wilderness. ❤