Day 2 in the White Mountains, I woke up to drink a whole lot of coffee and try to get my brother and brother-in-law moving. After all, running up Attitash Mountain was their idea. Whether they were serious or kidding to see if they could actually rile me up to do something stupid while they hung out, I don’t know. My brother-in-law replied to my text, “I have 20 kids,” so he was out and I suspected the latter was the case.
So that left poor Eric with me. I had been itching to run the mountain since the day before, once the guys put the idea into my head. I got all crazy excited with ideas of mountain madness.
“Can we ride our bikes on it?” “Let’s try to run the whole thing.”
Eric, the voice of reason to my crazy ideas, pointed out some facts:
- Your bike won’t make it.
- You’re not wearing any of the right things.
- You probably won’t make it.
- Think how hard it is to run the hills at home. This is way steeper and way longer. It’s a mountain, not a hill.
“Fine,” I replied. “But I’m still running part of it.”
We crossed over to the mountain and were off!
Holy shit! This was not what I was expecting. There were no trails so we ran through overgrown grass, into ditches, mud, and all kinds of added deterents. Not only that, it was so friggin’ steep! My heart raced at a pace I’d never thought possible. After stumbling in some form of run/jog/crawl up the base, we stopped to catch our breath.
When we could speak words, Eric pointed out, “You realize we’re only about an eighth of the way. And we’re going hiking after this.”
“Let’s keep going a little more,” I said, through my labored breath.
We ran some more up this incline, which I can only describe as a fitness hell on earth.
Eric clearly was not into this cockamamie plan, even though he’d been a good sport about it and came with me. He knew which button to press to end the madness. “The higher you go, the more likely you are to run into a bear or moose. This is bear country, you know.”
That slowed me down. I’m a city girl and know jack squat about bears. I ran some more, but now had the fear of mountain wildlife in me. What do you do if you run into a bear? We’d debated it last night. Answers ranged from play dead, run, climb a tree, it depends on the kind of bear, and so on. Basically leaving me still clueless about what to do if that happened.
The more I ran, the more I thought about bears jumping out of the trees. Eventually, I scared myself about bear encounters so much that I turned back and hightailed it as fast as I could down the mountain. Going down was just as slow moving as coming up, even with the adrenaline racing through me. I turned back every few feet to see if a creature had bounded out of the woods to attack me. Racing thoughts of what to do if a bear attacked came to me and I came up with zilch. Perhaps if I threw my zippy new iPhone at him, it’d be just as mesmerized as my kids are and leave me alone. Haha.
But, wait, bears don’t just attack, they maul. Maul. What a bad word. It’s only used in a few situations, like when a bear attacks. A bear doesn’t just come up to you and smack you across the face and say get the hell out of here, you stupid human, they maul the crap out of you. So where you once had an arm, you’d have ribbons.
Safely down near the Saco fitness trails again without being mauled, we did some pull-ups and chin-ups at a fitness station. The kids were still wrestling instead of getting dressed. How long can kids wrestle for? Oh yeah, until someone gets hurt. Which happened, of course.
Then, we went on White Mountain adventure day, part 2, hiking.
Hiking up to the Waterfalls
We scooped up the kids to hike up to some waterfalls in the mountains. The markers indicated it was only 1.6 miles up the mountain, which meant only 3.2 miles total, but once again, I underestimated that a hike is NOT a walk. This trail included all sorts of obstacles to navigate. Gnarly roots, rocks to climb up, high log stairs, precarious balancing moves across wet jiggly rocks. Basically our legs were extended as if we were doing constant walking lunges uphill and the continuous fight to keep your balance kept our cores tight and ready. At least, this is my interpretation to translate the daily activity into a fitness one.
The kids LOVED it. My son even said, “This is so much fun. ” Words you don’t often hear from a middle schooler. And then, coming back down, he actually put an arm across my shoulders and we walked arm in arm. My daughter joined in on the other side. I was the happiest of moms! And will treasure that moment for a long time.
Hike done, we’re back near the pool. I’m getting my little reading / writing break in.
Ok, they’ve called, “Mommy, come in,” for the third time. I’ve got to go. Maybe I can squeeze in a few laps among the 800 kids in this pool. And I already have another foolish idea brewing about day 3 in the mountains – A teeny weeny triathlon!