Big Butt on Big Butt
I had heard the “talk” about this hike. Big Butt is the hardest hike on our training hikes. Not the distance but the climbing. First a bit downhill, then Point Misery has stairs….. lots of stairs. Although coming down is somewhat easier, at age 45, you now do a side step and then alternate so you can get a good workout. then some climbing. This is truly a gorgeous hike, looking out at Mt. Mitchell and hiking on a ridge with views on both sides. Switch backs into a medow walk, and then the final decent to the turn around point.
I’m slow. Right now seasonal asthma is kicking my lungs. I know I have got to do some other cardio during the week to help me, but dang, finding time after a day of walking down the halls supporting 3 classrooms has got me exhausted. This week’s goal is to get my bike tires pumped up and I think a good yoga class to stretch out would be aweome. I’m getting braver as I get stronger and thinner.
I learned lots yesterday. I had also visited my dietician friend at the Weight center to help me brainstorm ways to keep me fueled since I have this tiny stomach. I can carb up on my hike days. I find myself falling into the protein hype but wtih excercise I need carbs.
I’m hiked with 2 women, one I’ve hiked with before and the other I just met. You get really close really fast hking. First due to allergies, we all have runny noses. I prefer the farmers blow when hiking. Second, when you have to pee, then I just go. 3rd you discuss ailments…. from sore knees, to bathroom issues, to snot, to blisters in strange places. Then after you discuss all this, I found myself, hiking to trail marker to trail marker and they both saying, oh my gosh Ashley you are doing so well. You are killling this. You got this.
Ok- Time out, this is what we all need. but damn, how many years have I been grieving and it’s finally now, that I hear the things that I’ve needed to hear. You got this.
I have this. Even though, I mess up as a mom, my first dating love bombed and it broke my heart. I am finally living my new life. Just me. This is just Ashley. This is not my beautiful children, this is not a boyfriend, this is not John, this is not for work. This is totally for me but doing it because unfortuntely I don’t want people to lose other people too soon and especially without having some life bucket lists met.
At mile 10 of the hike, going up point misery, I randomly openly shared my dream that I had the night before. I dreamed John was back, he just showed up. in my dream, I immedietly sensed relief, my relief was that someone was helping me. It was not just myself doing all the things or saying, hey we got to do this .. but he was taking care of us. I think he was outside doing outside work but in my dream, I remember feeling, that sense of ease. I dreamed I saw his former boss and friend, and I yelled, Hey Alvin, look, it’s John! He is back! Then I woke up and I sat with coffee wondering why I dreamed that because it messes with me.
so on the hike, I shared this dream. I talk about john easily and I’m an open book about loss and grief. but I guess with the exhaustion, i felt grief rise up, up from my gut, into my lungs, filling me with emotion that I know that I cant let out. and so I did. I said, uhh ohhhhh here it comes. and I cried. I did the ugly cry sound. I don’t get to when I’m with the kids, because they hear me and then they come running and I try to stop it. It hurts me to see them hurt when they see me hurt. So I lock it down. Well not on Point Misery mountain, just over the valley from Mt. Mitchell where about this time 7 years ago, we explored that area and I have a picture of John staring down at the valley. He loved the high altitude, he loved the starkness. He had plans for us to camp up there. It was a nice family outing.
Now here I am leaving my children for these crazy hikes that keep me going.
I’m excited about the upcoming hikes that continue to grow in length but are not quite as strenuous. I’m excited to see how much money I can raise. I listened to one of the trail blaze coaches who is now a wish granter. She is trying to get donations for a dinner for the family where she will present them with their dream trip, she is looking for tiny suitcases for the children. Just tiny little things for this family, and all they want with their struggles is just a vacation. That’s why I am hiking and pushing myself. It is for me but if I can raise money for families that don’t get a break from a disease that is messing up childhoods.
Anyway I’m going to be heavy fund raising to meet my goal of 2500.00. I”m a long ways off. If you think of ways I could raise money, give me a shout. I think I’m getting a restaurant to help, I’ll post that. Then I’m going to do a yard sale soon and use the profit for this. If you feel like you can donate, then please do so, I promise I would not be this crazy if Make a Wish did not mean so much to me and to others.