Yesterday I took my first hike with OC hiking, accompanied by Judy from choir and Liz. It was rated an "advanced beginner" hike. Now I have absolutely no equipment to speak of as far as hiking goes, but am an avid walker, though I have not recently (before yesterday that is) undertaken that walking in any particularly organized way. Mostly I am a tireless shopper and walker of streets, used to walking the city for days at a time from an early age. Regular hiking? Not so much... though R and I have gone on some walks, and used to run together in years gone by.
I don't have proper hiking shoes, but figured a pair of suede Vans with traction would do the trick. I also bought a new water bottle for the occasion, one that was supposed to be absolutely leak proof. Ha. It ended up leaking all over me, which was a nice cool bath on a hot day, but didn't do much to hydrate me internally. I managed to conserve about a quarter of the water because Liz had a plastic bag I put the thing in, but if it hadn't been for another hiker with frozen water bottles to spare, I would have been in big trouble.
Apparently, I wasn't very realistic about my abilities. This hike truly was much more challenging than I expected, and I ended up in the rear for the whole way, just about. There were so many hills, and they were so challenging to me that I was dizzy and nauseated for much of the time. I also felt embarrassed that I had undertaken a hike that was so difficult for me. It just showed me how out of shape I was.
Luckily for me, the leader of the hike was very supportive and kind. She gave me her bandana, with ice cold water I could drip on my face, head, and body, and put an electrolyte tablet in my water bottle, so I could make it the rest of the way.
I left resolved to become inured to hills, if it kills me. I also decided to pay a trip to REI today to get more prepared for these hikes in the future, especially with a better way to assure I have water!
Despite the fact that I was rather shaky for much of the day, and spent it reading the paper and watching cooking shows, I went to Denise's Costa Mesa class in the afternoon, and toughed that out, feeling humbled and a bit ashamed that menopause has been able to make me this fat and weak.