Last spring, I learned about the opportunity to raise funds for CureSearch for Children's Cancer by training for and participating in a 32 mile, one day hike. The Ultimate Hike. For some reason, this sounded to me like a great idea, and I committed to raising funds and getting ready to put my body to the test, in a major way. I even got Jim to agree to committing with me.
How hard can it be to walk 32 miles?
I am now less than 2 days away from this event, and starting to panic JUST A LITTLE.
I have learned a lot about this trail since I signed up to hike it. It is a single file footpath where one is continually navigating over and around roots and rocks. There are many ascents and descents with plenty of steepness. The scenery is beautiful, I have heard - the Superior Hiking Trail lies along the north shore of Lake Superior - but it may be difficult to enjoy the view when watching where each footstep will land. Oh, and last year's hikers did encounter a bear, and moose are also regularly seen on the trail. But I am TRYING not to focus on such little details.
I have been training, sort of, all summer long. Most of my training miles have been on our gravel roads near home. 10 miles, 14 miles, 18 miles here and there, along with regular shorter walks. It took a while to build the miles, but the hard part is my limited training on rough terrain. When participating on a mere 23 mile group hike a few weeks back, I realized how tough those hills can be. And how less prepared I am than most of the others who are doing this hike. As I struggled to take in a sufficient breath while climbing a steepish hill, my hiking comrades were practically running up the hill while telling jokes and laughing. I realized then that I will likely be the last to finish the 32 miles, but this isn't a race, and finishing it will be accomplishment enough.
I just hope I finish.
Some of the 35 registered hikers have chosen the 17 mile option. Jim and I are setting our sights on the 32 miles. I have to be prepared that something could happen and maybe we don't make 32 miles. But we plan to push on as much as our bodies will allow and hopefully achieve our goals.
The most important reason for this, though, comes because of the funds raised for CureSearch. All efforts and dollars contribute to research to find a cure. We are doing this in memory of Anna, and each step is a little easier to take knowing that we are doing this to honor her.
Donations are accepted through September - visit our fundraising page here.
I'll let you know how it went when my muscles are able to accomplish it.