10 years in, and 132 days to go for this year’s hike …

by Jean on January 19, 2013

This year will be my 10th year in a row hiking Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon.  The hike is not only my annual reminder to get in shape, it is also a reminder that time is quietly passing.   The daily countdown App on my phone silently but surely slips down from 365 days down to 132 days which is today.

Living in the Sonoran desert means my days are now thankfully spent in perpetual sun and summer.  A lifetime of living in the mid-west with the drastic changes of seasons is a fading memory now.  I remember (with a chuckle) an old boss who used to make support staff use 15 minutes of vacation leave if they went outside to chip ice and scrap snow from their cars before the clock struck 5 pm.   Ah, the intoxicating illusion of control.

I have no such sense of control with the Grand Canyon, and because of that my push to prepare for everything is now underway.   I no longer innocently think that just because I hiked it before, that I can hike it again.  Yesterday I went to my first Bikram Yoga class of 2013 to begin my heat tolerance training.  It is official, I have lost my heat acclimation in the midst of these beautiful 76 degree winter days.  Once again I found the heat was suffocating, the blasting of the furnace was awful, and my rapid heartbeat returned as a great reminder that stressing your body with exercise in high heat is a whole different ball game that no one should experience in the Canyon for the first time.

I hope my hikers read my new Training Tips page as a starting point, do their own research, and then go outside their comfort zones to prepare for the Canyon in ways that are new to them.  (Yes, dudes can go to Hot Yoga too)  As I popped an Advil this morning to soften the aching/neglected muscles in my back, I thought about a conversation I had with my sister this week.  I told her about the commitment we all make when we decide to hike, not just for our own lives but for the lives of our friends and fellow hikers.

Cheers to the next 132 days



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