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A Peek at my Peak!

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PC: BA HIKER.

"So what level is this"? I wanted to know what to expect. "Oh it’s average to medium", she said. "It's totally doable” she said. I looked up. I wasn't convinced.
 
I took my last puff, tossed my cigarette butt and we started off. Straight up! All uphill! Just on and on. 5 minutes later I wanted a break. I stopped, caught my breath with a quick smoke and started off again. Straight up! 10 minutes later – ‘Please! I need to stop. You go ahead. I'll wait in the car’. I sat on the bench, cursing the idiots who called this a ‘medium hike’ as I smoked and then headed back down to the car. I sat there for two and half hours till my hiking partner got back. 

This was at Mission Peak in Fremont, CA. This was 5 years and 60 odd pounds ago. I Hated that place! It wasn't fair. How could they not make it more ‘doable’ – for everybody? Less steep? Couldn't they make it a little less challenging so it could actually be fun - for everybody? Why this hard?

Last year around 10 months into my weight loss journey - around 43 pounds ago, I woke up and decided to try again. ‘I've been walking all year’ I thought. ‘I quit smoking 9 months ago! Hard or not, I'm doing this today’. This time, instead of my pack of cigarettes and lighter, I strapped on a hydration pack, some snacks, grabbed a hiking pole and set off.

I wasn't kidding before. That climb is STRAIGHT the hell up! My friends here on MFP from the Bay Area can attest to how steep this climb is - especially for a newbie. For most of the way you don’t even know how far along you are, how much more you are to endure. What you encounter is back breaking switchback after heartbreaking switchback. You hope, pray, that after the next one you at least get a hint of how much more there is - so you can steel yourself, know what to prepare for, will yourself towards something! Nope. All you see is a path leading somewhere – and that somewhere is usually up! And I just had to keep on. You go through a variety of emotions along the way. There are moments where you look back, enjoy the view and feel proud of coming so far. But those moments are brief and ever so fleeting! For the most part, you're fighting! Fighting the path that wants to push you downhill! Fighting your mind and body! For breath! Fighting to answer the why - Why am I doing this? Anger! The frustration of having to stop just seconds after having started off again! The discouragement you feel at every corner - at seeing that all there is around the corner is just - More! 

You stop for a drink. Ask a passerby how much more - They say, you're half way, another says - a third to go. They're cheery and smiling! Why’m I listening to a dumbass who’s actually happy to be doing this? What they're saying is meaningless to me anyway. I have no idea what halfway or a third is any more. 

I finally reached a point where I could see the peak. I could see where I needed to be. But in doing so my heart broke because I could also see how high up I had to go to get up there. This was the steepest, most rugged section yet. I was out of breath, out of energy, out of will, everything! 

That was the hardest part for me. Standing there leaning on my pole weighing my options of either heading back or heading up. I looked down as I was panting and I felt my throat swell up! One option seemed Physically Impossible and the other Emotionally Soul Crushing! I dug around in my backpack and found a bag of peanuts. I pretended I was being rejuvenated with the nuts and the water I kept sipping. Maybe I really was. I stopped deliberating, turned to face the peak and put my feet forward one at a time. I was walking up at the rate of a step every 2-3 seconds – and stopping for a break every 20 or so. The last stretch was up a few jagged rocks, a narrow slippery path, weaving through people on their inconsiderate descent, but all the while you at least see where you're headed – you guessed it – UP!

And then, finally, you see it! Nothing! You're there - The Mission Peaker Pole! That's the famous pole that is your reward once you get to the top. That's the coveted picture everyone wants for a keepsake. I sure as hell wanted mine! 
I asked a lady up there to take my picture. I couldn't stop smiling - Nay! Beaming! I had done it! 

I! Had Done it!! 

I’m not ashamed to say, I was a Dumbass myself as I walked down that hill smiling as wide as I could!

Since then, I've done that hike once more - Last month - 6 lbs ago. This time, I saw a young couple who started around the same time I did and I made sure I made it up to the top before them. I wasn’t just struggling to get up, I was competing! It wasn't easy but I loved it! This time It was more of a challenge than a struggle and I was able to enjoy it more. I was able to enjoy the wild turkeys, The sweeping views, being above ‘Karl the fog’, the grazing cows – I even named one of them ...Kobe Bryant! :)

Do you know someone in your life that you once disliked? A foe perhaps? Maybe a player in the opposing team? Do you know the feeling of that dislike turning to a Reverent obeisance? 

I live close to Mission Peak and can see it often when I'm driving. Every now and then I take A Peek at My Peak and have that feeling of Veneration and Pride. I see a former adversary that had me Beat! One that I had succumbed to - and one that I overcame! One that I love!

 

 

 

 

 

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Note the far fewer breaks in the second trip:)

35 voti + -

10 commenta:

GettingFit5551 ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Jaimy! That is awesome! It looks beautiful and you made it! :) <3
DaveJ_43 ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Looks like a great hike. Congrats on owning it!
aliciaaw ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
What a great challenge and you did it! I love the view.
Aplant77 ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Just think, someday you'll do the climb and it will be easy! Great job conquering the mountain :)
norcalichick395 ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Wow! This is amazing! No joke - I have dubbed Mission Peak the ass kicker - its beyond intense! Love your persistence and dedication!

You've earned that sense of pride! Amazing!
pizzafruit ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
So impressive and I'm sure beyond rewarding. Good for you!!
alteredsteve175 ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Well done, sir. Went and checked the stats - a 2000 foot climb. The toughest one I do regularly is only 800 foot. Color me impressed.
yannethfr ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Wow! Great job. If you ever want to gather a group of local MFPers to tackle this with you again I'm in! It'll be a great challenge and one I clearly need to put on my bucket list.
nuffer ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
Way to go! I've not done that climb but it's very familiar, both from my life before and after. Well done!
KANGOOJUMPS ha scritto 6 mesi fa:
lovely!

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