It’s actually been 96 days since my last hike. For someone who was hiking twice or more a month, that’s a long time. I had many reasons, but one of them was that my last few hikes were STRUGGLES. I didn’t seem to be enjoying it so much as getting through it. So I took a break. In the meantime, I joined a cross-functional fitness gym, Black Pearl Fitness. I try to get to class 3-5 times per week. Those classes kick my ass. And BOY IS IT WORTH IT.
Today, I hiked Mt. Willard. A little over a year ago, I hiked Mt. Willard. Now sure, there are a lot of variables. One of which was that last year, I went with a few other people, and today I was solo. However, I guarantee *I* was whatever would have slowed us down last time. My weight is roughly the same. Before the previous Willard ascent, I had hiked roughly 75 miles. This year it was slightly more at 100, but last year I had done two other winter hikes right before. This year I also carried my snowshoes along just in case, when I didn’t last year. The only significant difference between last year’s hike and this year’s hike? Two and a half months of training in the gym.
The results? I almost can’t believe it.
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HOLY CRAP! Nearly half a mile per hour faster. THAT IS HUGE FOR ME. And if the stats weren’t enough, I felt great. Like really great. Like “holy shit is this how everyone else feels when they hike?!” great.
So that’s awesome and amazing, and I’ll keep showing up at the gym, happy to get my ass kicked. And now for some pictures!
Some of the stuff I pack for winter hiking as I tossed it over from my gear area. And my “flat hiker”.
Oh! And this was my first SOLO WINTER hike! I’ve solo’d non-winter lots of times, but was too nervous to do winter on my own. With a winter of experience, choosing a known-to-me hike, and having my new Garmin inReach GPS device, I felt confident (but not cocky!).
One of the benefits of winter hiking, chocolate doesn’t melt. And is it still a solo when you’ve got a little buddy on your pack? 🙂