There you have it. I said I have ten reasons not to get out and go hiking. Ten reasons not to be healthy and live a fit lifestyle you might ask? I’m a machine when it comes to health and fitness. I exercise every day; stretching, strength and cardio. My cardio is a mix of high intensity and a daily ninety minute hike in the mountains.
Sounds great right? Not necessarily. I am driven, stubborn and suffer from obsessive compulsion when it comes to healthy living. This past week I woke up on Tuesday morning with my throat on fire. I could barely swallow it was so sore. I dutifully got up, got dressed and took my youngest to school, then headed to an 8:30 am office meeting, after a quick stop at the natural health food store. After an hour my throat was no better. I had stopped at the store and bought a healing throat spray and special Manuka honey cough drops to ease the pain. During the meeting I had downed 3 cups of hot tea in an attempt to burn my throat into relief to no avail. The meeting ended and I headed home to Annie to get ready for her promised hike on the mountain.
This brings me to my list of top ten reasons not to go hiking.
1. If you are too sick to speak, your voice is non-existent, there is absolutely no reason to go outdoors in the freezing cold for a ninety minute hike in the snow.
2. If you also happen to have pulled your glute muscle exercising the day before while you were forcing your body slowly into a handstand from a pike position on a balance ball- there is absolutely no reason to go hiking.
3. When you step out of the car and the cold has somehow activated your sore butt muscle to contract and freeze, pulling your lower back into a near spasm- there is absolutely no reason to go hiking.
4. Then when you begin the hike and find that you really only have the full use of one leg- perhaps you should consider turning back and calling it a day.
5. Nope, that wasn’t enough- all right- now you need to bend down every few yards and pick up a pine cone to throw for Annie. She’s waiting and watching you. No she won’t take another step until you bend down, pick up that pine cone and throw it for her, so figure it out.
Or you could just call it a day.
6. Of course not, you bend down, stretching as far as you can, then stand up and throw the pine cone. Ugh, I can barely throw it, my arm is attached to my back, which is attached to my gluteus maximus. What the hell, can we call mercy yet? Of course not.
7. Stop, stretch, continue on. You’re barely half way around the pass; you could still decide to turn around, walk down hill, go home and get back into bed.
8. Nope, you decide to figure out a better way to squat with your back straight and upright, using your knees to perform the perfect gym style squat- ah no pain. You’re kidding right. Where’s fit and healthy in this scenario?
9. The next day, no voice, throat on fire, ass still sore- yep let’s do it again. Seriously, this is stupid. This is when you stop and acknowledge that you’re an addict and you need intervention. This is not normal and by no means healthy.
10. Finally, something clicks- there is absolutely no reason to go hiking, if I want to heal anytime soon. Annie I’m sorry we’re not going today. I love you, but no.
There’s a difference between living a healthy lifestyle and being in an obsessive compulsive relationship with exercise. I allowed myself three much needed days of rest, after my final tenth step of awareness. No exercise of any kind. I read books and sat down to begin work on my taxes. By Saturday morning, fresh snow and a fully healed butt let me get back out again. I have to admit, jogging in the snow probably wasn’t ideal, but I felt so good in my body I couldn’t help it. My sore throat was better and my voice is a new sexy tenor with a touch of gravel. My take home lesson; sometime the reasons not to go hiking need to outweigh any excuse to get out there- even for a stubborn, driven, exercise addict.
For more insight into my experience check out my book, Shattered into Being, Available on Amazon and direct from CreateSpace.