Physical Challenge 2014--Part 1

This summer my friend April#1 encouraged my to read a book titled "A Weekend To Change Your Life" by Joan Anderson.  My sister had given me some of her other books to read that I read before, titled "A Year By The Sea" and "A Walk On The Beach".  I also have her book "An Unfinished Marriage" that I need to read as well.

As I read "A Weekend To Change Your Life", I was inspired by the retreats Anderson held at her home that helped women connect with who they were.  One of the things she would challenge women to do was an "Endurance Challenge", or, as I have ended up calling it, a "Physical Challenge".

In the notes I wrote in my journal while reading this book, this is what I wrote:

I really want to plan and do an endurance challenge.  Through this "Weekend To Change Your Life" book, and Cheryl Strayed's book "Wild", and the book "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce, and reading about Joan Anderson walking the Inca Trail---I want to plan an edurance activity.

--Kayaking the river from the Cataldo Mission to Harrison
--Find hiking trail and hike it--camp overnight and hike back
--Cross Country Ski
--Do a walking trail a day
--Do a 5K run once again
--Do a bike ride

I want to do SOMETHING!!  My half-marathons were pretty good endurance challenges, but it has been over 10 years.  I need to do an endurance!

So I told my friend April#1 that I wanted us to do a physical challenge together.  I suggested to kayaking, but she didn't quite go for that suggestion.  Then her husband suggested hiking to Stevens Lakes.  He had hiked up there with one of their sons, and said we could do it.  So we put our Physical Challenge on the calendar....August 30, 2014.  Today was the day....and we did it!!  And it was actually really fun.

Accompanying us on the challenge were April #1, her husband Eric and son Nicholas, my husband Paul, and our daughter Molly and her boyfriend Kai.

Here we are in the parking lot as we head out on the trail.  Well, everyone except Nicholas, because he took the photograph.

April #1, Me, Paul, Molly, Kai, Eric

Here is a description of our hike:

Stevens Lakes is a 5 mile out and back trail located near Mullan, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for fly fishing & hiking and is accessible from June until October.

5 Miles**4 hours

Type:Out and back
Elev. Gain:1780 feet
Season:June to October
Features:Forest, Lake, Views, Waterfall, Wildlife

The trail began at 3,960 feet, and ends at 5,740 feet.

We began the hike around 12:15 p.m., and April #1 and I arrived at lower Stevens Lake at about 3:15 p.m.  We got back down to the parking lot around 6:45 p.m.

Another things I learned from Joan Anderson's book:

"Climbing mountains or backpacking in the wilderness inevitably changes you.  The person you were at the onset is not who you become when the journey is finished.  That is why I am always looking for the next adventure."

This challenge was to show myself I can do more than I think I can.  I can hike for 2 1/2 miles up fairly steep terrain and back down again.  I can fall on the trail, and pick myself back up and keep going.  I can teeter on a big rock and regain my balance, and make it down on solid ground.

Here we are at the Lower Stevens Lake.  This time Nicholas got in the photo.


There were so many parts of this hike I loved.

*  I love seeing the wild flowers and berries and trees and bushes along the way. 
*  I loved being along the shores of a beautiful alpine lake.  It was calm and peaceful sitting on the shore.
*  I loved the rock formations we encountered along the way, and speculating how they were formed, perhaps by some long ago earthquake in the region.
*  I loved being with my family members and friends, and sharing this experience with them.
*  The waterfall was beautiful, and the sound of the running water as you walked along was very calming.
*  If you were observant, you see that April and I are holding Barbie Dolls.  The two Barbies played a very significant part of the Physical Challenge 2014.  So much so, that I am going to devote an entire blog post tomorrow to our adventures with our Barbies.

Here is April and I at the end, in the parking lot:

Some of this challenge was about realizing what our bodies can do.  I love what Anderson says in this passage:

"So many of us women fall prey to this dangerous syndrome, viewing our bodies as something to be used to please others, to help us fit in, and, perhaps, worst of all, as something to hide our authentic selves behind.  Angst about her body robs a woman of her creative styles and attention to other things.  Even though the body protects, supports, and fires the Spirit, even though it is a repository for memory and desire, most of us see it as the root of our undoing."

A physical challenge let us catch a glimpse of what our body is capable of doing.  Unless we push ourselves, and go beyond our comfort zone, we won't know what we are able to do.  That is why I wanted to do this challenge.  To go beyond what I am capable of doing.  To stretch myself.  To realize I can do this......going beyond my limits.  Physical activity helps us get in touch with ourselves. 

"We can only become something new by ceasing to be something old.  The goal is for your mid-life crisis to become a mid-life discovery."

Frederick Buechner said...."listen to your life for its fathomless mystery."

Adventure is fun.  Adventure helps us go beyond ourselves.  Adventure helps us discover things about ourselves we didn't know existed.

What are you waiting for....time to start planning your next adventure!!!

I know I am!!

1 comment:

april said...

what a fabulous day! thanks for the fun. (and i cannot WAIT to see the barbie blog!)