Curiosity takes me to the trail of the bighorn sheep
First off, thank you for reading my post! I am having so much fun writing and taking pictures and I really appreciate you taking the time.
Who knew that following hoof prints and sheep poop could cause me to face the fact that I have been pretty good at avoiding the really hard work of getting in shape. Sure, I’ve been hiking, skiing and walking, but that just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. I have always been active, but not always fit and years of neglect interspersed with periods where I really did try (I ran two 10km races for corporate challenge – the only two times I ran 10km sadly) have started to show, kind of like my grey hair.
We were in Kelowna in the middle of February and I decided to take the dogs up the hill behind our place. The “hill” is about 1,000 metres high and there is a dirt road that winds its way up for a little way. My partner decided to come and that should have been my cue to grab water and a backpack, but silly me just called the dogs and off we went. I was still under the delusion that we were just going on the road and maybe for an hour or so; “the dogs are older you know and the little one isn’t so good at climbing hills”, I told myself.
Well, we got to the topmost point of the road and my partner headed up into the woods. Perhaps he heard the sheep urging him to go higher, and so up we went. I could have turned around, the bears are still hibernating, but I am stubborn and just kept going.
I’m not sure about you, but it feels like it takes longer to get that exercise high. I used to be able to get into a rhythm of breathing and feeling good after about 20 minutes; now it takes much longer and sometimes doesn’t happen until I start downhill. This was one of those days. The climb got steeper and there was very loose rock and debris from the forest fire that happened last summer, still somewhat snow covered so it was a bit tough going. I sometimes use the excuse of a picture to stop and catch my breath and I did find this beautiful little mushroom terrarium in the stump of a tree. Then I noticed the pathways crisscrossing the hill like little highways.
“Let’s just go to this next somewhat flat point and see what’s there” said my partner. It was at that point that Chester, my bichon shitzu, decided he’d had enough and couldn’t climb anymore and of course I hadn’t brought the back pack (And I bet you thought that was just for snacks and the water bottle!). Luckily I had on an old baggy sweater so I wrapped all 15 pounds of him in the front of the sweater, kind of like a sling, and we kept climbing. This time, I followed the hoof prints going diagonally up the hill and we eventually made it to a flatter area and the main “highway”. These sheep sure know the best way to navigate the rocks and slippery parts! We were almost halfway up the hill and I suggested that it might be a good time to head back and thankfully he agreed. I have to admit the views were amazing. No more free ride for Chester as he can do the flat and downhill fine. We followed the trail for a bit along the crest of the hill and then zigzagged carefully down. A one hour walk turned into a 3 hour hike, but we all enjoyed it.
I’m realizing that, although I think I sometimes have to be easier on myself, this might be one area where I have to be boot camp tough so that I can continue to do all of the things I enjoy. Back to my favourite free website, Fitness Blender. Maybe I can get work up to doing their 1000 calorie workout! In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday! 😀