Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Let's face it, I'm a flatlander

A strange thing happened to me a couple years ago. Having just moved to Arizona, we decided to adventure out to Sedona. Speeding along, Hubs driving, me riding, kids crying.. you know, the norm. Let's take the scenic route.

Winding, rising, narrowing... along route 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff we went. Hair pin turns, RVs coming the opposite direction, Eddy feeling like she was going to fall off the road...

Hello Panic Attack.

It was unlike any feeling I've ever had before. I knew, in my rational brain, that we were fine. So why couldn't I breathe!?! I couldn't even look out across the mountains. I was having a full on meltdown and just wanted it to be over. Hubs realized I was losing it and told me to look down and breathe, don't freak out the girls. So I did. I also resigned myself to something that has plagued women in my family in their post childbearing years - fear of heights. I've never had a problem before, but over the past 5 years or so, there has been a new nagging fear there and I've avoided heights when possible. Motherhood, YAY!

I'm reconciled with it now. I've lived in the Midwest too long. Now I live pretty much at sea level. Honey, let's face it, I'm a flatlander.

That's why, when considering with new fitness activities to try climbing anything is pretty much at the bottom of the list. So, when a friend said, let's climb Squaw Peak, I was like, ummm, okay. Consider it a challenge. Consider it a bucket list thing that wasn't on my bucket list. Consider it another post weight loss to do... whatever... it didn't really occur to me that heights might be an issue. I texted my friend - "I don't like heights, am I going to be okay?"

So, we went. We climbed. The path is pretty much stone stairs, wide enough for traffic to go up and traffic to come down. The range of people doing this climb on President's Day was pretty astounding. All sorts of folks - fully outfitted - or just with a baby strapped to their chests, up and up they all went! All ages, all colors, all fitness levels.

About 2/3rds of the way up, I started to realize that getting down the mountain might be more of a challenge than getting up. We reached a good stopping place after a challenging section. It wasn't the heights so much - here, on my own two feet, I was in control. But as I saw the climb get steeper I knew that I didn't need to prove I could do it - that stopping here was good enough. I settled into some nice reflection and prayer and waited for my climbing friends to return from their trek to the summit. I actually enjoyed the view! 

I'm not going to become a mountain climbing warrior. That's just not my style. But I trust my fitness enough now to know I am capable and that's something. From the perspective of my cardiovascular fitness, I kept pace with my 20-something guides! I didn't feel in over my head, but maybe just a tad bit out of my element.

So I returned to my neighborhood jog - happy to be a flatlander. Feeling better for having challenged myself and happy to chase that shadow of a girl -  getting stronger every day. 

79 lbs lost. 12 to go by the end of April.
Switching it up! Running while it is still cool enough, gym, and pool when it's warm enough.


Erin Ronstadt said...

I'm starting new directions with Dr. Amy, and your blog is so inspirational! I am on day 1 and was thinking- maybe this is too hard?? I'm so motivated by your journey!! Thank you for sharing your story. And I have no doubt you will reach your goal!!

agirlcallededdy said...

Good luck! I usually attend Friday meetings, maybe I'll run into you!! It gets easier!!