Friday, July 5, 2013

FitBloggin Day 1- Multnomah Falls

I could share the blow by blow of FitBloggin.
I could start with describing my drive to Boise Wednesday night and the heartache I felt as I drove away leaving my family behind. 
I could share details of the Boise airport.
My travels wouldn't be complete without
standard airport bathroom selfie
 I could share how paranoid I was that I would sleep through my 3:30 AM alarm and miss my flight.

I could share how strange it feels to actually walk out to the door of your plane and find real propellers.

I could share picture after picture of clouds and skyline from my window seat.
Hello Portland
 I could share a description of my first FitBloggin celebrity sighting after breakfast.
Meet Samantha, Matt and Sue
But I won't.  This highlight of Thursday was hiking to the top of Multnomah Falls with Tiffany, a Portland native that was ever so kind to pick me up from the airport.

After a stop for breakfast, she suggested we visit the falls.  Back in my high school days I had been to the falls during band tour.....there is a blast from the past.  I remember some of the band members climbed to the top.  Not me.  I settled for looking cute, hanging out on the bottom bridge and cheering the others on.

 Tiffany and I went to the first observation area.  Then we even agreed to walk up to the bridge.  I don't think either one of us truly arrived at the falls thinking we would hike to the top, nor did I really think I wanted to.
 However, once on the bridge, I wanted it.  As I looked up to the point where the falls began, I wanted to be there. I wanted to know that experience.  I thought of what I am always telling my children when we go for hikes and they are grumbling.  I tell them the feeling from the bottom looking up is nothing like making it to the top and looking down at where we have just been and what we have just accomplished, let alone the stunning view.  I thought of how 20 years earlier I was in that same spot and SETTLED to stay on the bridge as others achieved a goal.  Not this time.  I wanted it for myself.
We started on the trail heading up saying that we would just go for a little while and take in the view of the river and head back down.  Tiffany didn't know my desire. Speaking for her, I think she would allow me to say that she was not all that thrilled with the idea of hiking all the way to the top, at first.

The thing about trips like this is that something happens just a ways in.  Something clicks.  What was just a little stroll becomes a goal, a challenge.  You become committed.  For me it was at this switchback.  We got to this point after a pretty steep climb and thought there is no way I am putting all this effort into this and not making it to the top.  We were almost half way.  I was in.  No turning back now.  Luckily, Tiffany went along with me. 

 That said, I wasn't exactly all smiles and high energy heading up.  It was tough.  The humidity was high.  The temperature was climbing. There were switchbacks that we could not look ahead.  We put our heads down and repeated one step at a time.  I kept telling myself to keep moving forward.  Doesn't matter how fast.  Doesn't matter that people are passing. Let them.  I am here and I will do this.
I did it for this.

To see this.

To feel this!!!!!

To see her at the top.  To share a memory, a moment when we can achieve a goal no matter how many pounds we have to lose, how slow we went or how many times along the way we thought this is crazy.

And then we got to head back down, which meant having to go back up for a bit.  That was tough.  See, once you get to the top of the switchbacks, then you have to go down a trail to get to the top of the falls.  When going back, you have to go up that trail to get to the top of the switchbacks.  And don't think it is all "downhill" from there.  Those trails are steep.  Heading back down was a slower process than I would have thought. Easier, for sure.  

One great thing about the coming down is being able to encourage those on their way up.  We had just been there.  I connected with the angst on their faces as they looked ahead.  We cheered and encouraged their steady steps.  Getting back to the bottom, finding myself on that bridge again, felt so different than being there the first time. 
As we left, I glanced behind one more time to the top of the falls.  No one can take that feeling away from me.  I was there.  I was there at the top.  Many can say that but not all.  For me day one of FitBloggin was not about the ice breakers or name tag decorating.  It was about doing more than I thought I could do.  Being stronger than I thought I was.  Achieving a goal I didn't know I had.
In case you are wondering, 
remembered to start tracking our walk with MapMyWalk.  Not to shabby.  All total we went 3.38 miles that morning. 
Thanks Tiffany and FitBloggin.  My day one is certainly one to remember.