I felt my age this weekend

First, let me say I'm sorry I've been all but absent. The weeks leading into a new school term are always busy, and now that I'm working full time outside of teaching, those weeks are even busier!

I love the outdoors, yet haven't done much outdoors the past 6 months or so. The time commitment of two jobs was catching up with me, although I remember working the same number of hours when I was younger and not being even half as tired as I am these days!

In the last month or so I decided to make time for myself, instead of sitting around complaining I never had time to take care of myself. When my day job moved to an office building along the bay trail, I took the opportunity to start jogging a few days a week, instead of just eating my lunch in my office like a recluse, so I've been doing 2-3 miles along the bay and estuary. I have to say I've felt a bit more energetic in general since I began doing that, and my mood has also mellowed out quite a bit.

Last week, when some members of my hiking group tossed around the idea of seeing the waterfalls at Cascade Canyon on Saturday, I made the commitment not to flake on them the way I had been for almost a year by offering to give someone a ride. We arrived at the trailhead at noon, and sauntered up the hill and through the trees. It was a beautiful day, clear and not too cold. We reached the falls with no problem, and had lunch as we watched the water racing down.

Of course, someone had to jump into the cold water, and this time it was the new guy, Loek (not sure of the spelling, but it's pronounced 'low eck. Loek stripped down, dipped a toe, and after deciding it wasn't THAT cold, jumped in! Being completely submerged was a little more of a shock to him than he'd anticipated, so he didn't stay in long. Adam snapped a photo, promising to post it on Facebook.

The excitement of someone submerging himself in winter water over, we headed off-trail to come down on the other side of the hill, our goal being the top of the ridge, where we could rejoin the trail. We walked through a stand of trees, traversed across some thick underbrush, then up the hill. Except the underbrush was still fairly thick, and seemed to be getting denser the higher we climbed. Soon, the brush was dense enough that we really didn't want to have to whack through it, so we headed back down to the rivulet and back up again on the other side of the bushes. We made it to the ridge, and walked along it. As we passed above where we had tried to make it up earlier, we noticed that we'd only been about 15 or 20 feet short of making it up to the path when we turned back!

It was all downhill from there. Literally. The downhill effort made my quadricep begin to cramp, but I was getting tired by then and I just kept walking, because I didn't want to stop until I got back to the car! I was definitely feeling the effects of not having hiked in awhile, much more so than everyone else, even though they hadn't been hiking, either. I'm also older than they are -- about 6 or 7 years older than the next person in age. We all spent some time stretching when we got back to the cars, then drove into Fairfax for ice cream before heading home.

I intended to sit in the hot tub after my shower when I got home, but I never made it! First, I was hungry, so I had a little to eat. I was pretty wiped out from the hike, plus the food made me a little sleepy, so I figured I'd take a little nap before tubbing. I slipped into bed, picked up my notebook to send a quick email to one of my friends, and fell asleep with the computer open on my lap! I vaguely remember waking up when my housemate got home later that night, and shutting everything off before curling back up under the covers again.

I take Piglet, my housemate's dog, for a little jog most weekend mornings. I was so sore this morning, I couldn't do it! I did muster up the strength to get out and walk downtown with her, though. We stopped at Three Bees, my Sunday coffee shop (I go to Peninsula Roaster on Saturdays) and I sat outside with her while I drank half my coffee and ate half a poppyseed cake slice. Then Piglet growled at a sweet little lady walking by, and kept barking at a man who sat at the table next to mine, so I picked up my cup, put the rest of the cake in my pocket, and took off down the street with her, apologizing profusely to the targets of her missives. They were just glad I was leaving!

As we passed a dietary supplement store, Piglet spied the shop dog there. She pulled me toward the door, and I tried to pull back, but still had my coffee cup in my hand, and combined with my soreness, it threw off my balance a little. Little by little, Piglet was dragging me into the store. I had to set my coffee cup on the ground so I could grab the leash with both hands to give a good yank on it! In the meantime, I was a source of great amusement to the shopkeeper and patrons in the store watching our antics. Both Piglet and I made it home without further incident, and I spent the rest of the day trying to be productive and failing miserably. So here I sit, trying to get the handouts for my weight control course together so I can send them to duplicating tonight, and all I really want to do now is sleep!