In August of 2008, my Sunday night small group spontaneously decided to try to climb Mt. Bierstadt. A noble attempt, but we were sadly turned away from the summit - or even close to the summit - by rain and snow. In August.
A September climb of Mt. Elbert yielded similar results - hail stopping us only 100 feet higher than on Bierstadt. Mountain climbing was hard. I was painfully slow, struggled with the heart rate in my nerveless heart, and it seemed as though the weather was always against us. I decided then and there that mountain climbing was not for me. Long hikes, yes. Vertical feet? No.
Fast forward to September 2011. My boss calls me into his office. What's your work out regimen, he asked. You in good shape?
Not particularly phased by the question - we are a fit office and workout routines are a common conversation topic - I launch into a litany of my cardio and strength training regimen. Sometime over the spring I'd amped up my fitness schedule so I was excited to talk about it. Something just clicked into place with me and exercise over the past several months, but that is a topic for another post.
Great, he said. How about on Thursday we climb a fourteener?
My initial reaction was no. No. NO. I had a heart transplant a mere five years prior. Had this been forgotten? And what about all this business about my speed? I was slow...way slow... excruciatingly slow. Oh, and my heart rate is cray-zee. Like interval training - it would speed up to the top of my target range while climbing and then I would need to slow down until it hit the bottom before starting the process all over again. It took at least an hour for it to settle at a steady rate. I was a hot mess on a mountain plus, most importantly, I had never even been over 12,000 feet outside of a car.
So of course I said yes.
(to be continued...)