Monday, September 27, 2010

The Accidental Workout

My husband pointed out to me how
this time-honored trail sign kinda looks
like two hikers giving us the finger.
Thanks, babe. Now that's all I see.
I love it when fitness sneaks up on me. 
This past weekend my delightful husband and I were lucky enough to get my mom and sister (and my beautiful nieces) to stay with our kiddo so we could get away for a couple of days.  We headed without delay to our favorite state park, where we could read, relax, and sleep in to our heart's content, all the way until 7:30, which is as long as I can sleep.

To be honest, as much as I was looking forward to the break and time with my hub, I was sad that I'd be missing my Saturday morning running group.  I had done a really great 10 mile run Friday morning and was craving a good bike-run-bike workout to go along with it.  But, I'm pretty sure that in the grand scheme of the world, marriage comes before workouts so I kept my grumblings to myself and left my running stuff at home.

Luckily, the exercise gods smiled on me anyway!  We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, took a little walk, and then settled in with our respective extra-curricular activities: some vampire fiction reading for me and some circuit-board-drawing for him.  It's his thing, whatever.

And then my beloved said to me, "why don't we take a little walk on the trail?"

This would be a good time for me to point out that my family is a little bit famous for our "walks."  Anyone who has vacationed with us can attest to hearing about a family "walk" that took them over the continental divide, through ravines, up the side of a mountain, and back again over the span of a day.  So I chuckled a bit to myself when he suggested a "walk."  Little did I know.

15 minutes later we were at the trailhead looking at little sign letting us know the walk was 6 miles. No sweat. We took off smiling, chatting, solving the world's problems as usual.  We saw an otter at the 2-mile mark.  Cool!  On we went, even as the trail became less-traveled-by and more rugged.  The 3-mile mark was at a bridge over a little creek that you could see straight to the bottom of.  How lucky we were to be enjoying all of this beautiful nature!  The shady, wooded trail gave way to tall grasses, and while this wasn't our favorite hiking locale, we happily stomped past the 4-mile mark, pausing briefly to debate which fork in the trail to take.  Around mile 5 we discovered our first tick, as well as some fallen trees that had to be climbed over and under.  My husband's inner outdoorsman began to fade, but I rallied him with cheers that we had just one mile left!  Think of the great cardio we were getting! 

We came to mile marker 6, only to see vast wilderness, not the end of the trail as we had expected.  Hm. Interesting.  My husband's inner outdoorsman began to use some language he picked up in the Navy.  I tried to stay upbeat, and pointed out that we had surely burned off our breakfast by now! He didn't care.

To be frank, we were kinda done with the hike at this point.  We were hot and thirsty.  We hadn't brought any water or food, or even a watch.  We weren't sure how much further we had to go, and now we had two big ticks.   But what were we gonna do?  We kept walking.

About a half mile later, we found ourselves back at the fork in the trail.  We had made a loop.  We knew exactly where we were: 3 1/2 miles from the trailhead.  All I could do was laugh.  I was grateful for the workout and happy that I had managed to get some exercise on a day when I didn't expect it.  9 1/2 miles hiked, we found ourselves back in the air-conditioned lobby of the lodge, pulling ticks out from our ankles with duct tape and laughing about our Murphy's Law brand of marriage. 

We made reservations for next year as we checked out, and now that the Truth of the Trail has been revealed I am sure we'll stay inside the lodge and read all day.  But I'm grateful for my accidental workout.  The fitness gods took care of me this weekend! 

Oh, and by the way, we examined the trailhead sign when we finally got back to see how we could have misunderstood the length of the trail.  And sure enough, clear as day, the words "one way" were carved right under "6 miles." 

I guess we see what the fitness gods want us to see. :)

1 comment:

'Drea said...

I have to remind myself that there are occasions when people come before workouts. ;)

It's very cool that you got in a nine mile hike and that you were able to get in restorative time.