Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yet another example of my foolishness and folly

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday season with family, loved ones, friends, and fellow runners. It was a fantastic month or so around our home. Along with the fun activities leading up to Christmas, my wife and I were out of town in the mountains celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary.

We had a great time together and did some final shopping for Christmas gifts. Also, our oldest son, Joshua, had his 12th birthday the week before Christmas, so this time of year is always really, really busy (and alot of fun) for our family.

All self respect aside, I've GOT to share this jewel..

So, my wife and I are staying at a lodge in this state park in northern Georgia. There is a waterfall at the top of the ridgeline where the lodge is located. We decided that we'd go do some hiking one chilly morning, so we meandered over to where this waterfall and its trail are located. At the top of the trail there is a sign that states the trail down to the base of the falls is done via a very twisting/turning route of stairs that is, dig this, 600 steps long. This sounded pretty cool to us, so we thought we'd bomb down the 600 steps to the bottom, snap some photos and see how fast we could get back UP the 600.

My brilliant plans always sound so much better before I act on them...  

As we're zipping down the zig-zag stair sections, I start thinking about how tough the climb back up them might actually be. Then I shrug it off, recall the fact that I'm a well-trained, highly energized distance runner with great cardio capacity. "No problem" I say to myself. I'll rip up those 600 steps in less than 10 minutes, no doubt.

What a complete goof ball I am.

We reach the bottom of the falls in about 15 minutes, and it's beautiful, pretty chilly and incredibly peaceful. We snapped some pics and decided to turn around and bomb the ascent back up to the parking area.

Literally, I turn around, look at the first section of stairs and start to sprint up them 2 steps at a time. I'll be at the top of these babies in NO time, I tell myself.

I'm so completely stupid, it really is sad.

Within 30 steps, I realize I can't breathe. 

Still 10 more steps and I come to find that I've lost feeling in my right leg, left ear and my two front teeth hurt really badly.

Yet another 2-3 steps and I begin to think about who I want to raise our three boys since I am obviously about to die.

You really should feel pity on me for being so completely ignorant and stupid.

Suffice it to say, the hike up the remaining 550+ steps was a slog, and took probably 45 minutes to complete. It was a slow march of shame and embarrassment for me in front of my wife, who by now is well aware of the poor state of my intelligence. Over the past 16 years of marriage, I really have come to see that above all things she feels for me, the primary one truly must be pity. 

You know, like the pity you feel for that slow, stupid zebra you see on the Animal Planet show about lions. Amidst all the zebra herd, this poor stupid one is the last to leave the watering hole as the lion zeroes in on his prey. Oblivious to any real danger that is now present, our stupid little zebra friend stops to smell a flower or look at a shiny rock and the next thing you know....


That really is me. 

Stupid little zebra; waiting to be enjoyed as the main course.

Bon Appetit

1 comment:

  1. Oh that's a good story...and one I'm sure many of us have experienced at some point or another. Those are some pretty interesting side effects of climbing stairs though - yikes!