Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Facing Fibro: Hiking Multnomah Falls

Facing FibroExercise is always iffy for fibro warriors, but exercise is also vastly important for overall health, well-being, and quality of life. I've known this, but it's taken this summer's upcoming hike to motivate me to act on it.

Today, my men and I took our first real hike, in preparation for The Big Hike this summer. Partly for conditioning, but also as a fibro experiment. We wanted to see if my body could keep up. The result? Just call me Mr. Tortoise. "Slow and steady...wins the race..." Our 2.2 mile round-trip adventure took us just under six hours.

This adventure also motivated me to make my first ever Picasa slide show. I captioned it up the wazoo, so in order to read my oh-so-witty commentary, you'll have to push play, and then immediately push pause, and then advance to each slide manually by clicking the right arrow. Because I'm sure you don't want to miss the captions.

Note: you may need to visit my blog to view this slide show.


What I Learned From This Hike

1) Don't forget to pack layers of clothing!

2) Bring a bigger memory card for your camera. I plugged in our smallest memory card (128 MB) and had run out of memory before we'd even gone the 0.2 miles to the bridge. 57 photos. Mostly of moss. So I ruthlessly deleted over half of them, and rationed photo ops for the rest of the day. Not the ideal for Snap Happy Becky.

3) Boys will do anything for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Even unite. If only they were as aptly motivated by love for God. *sigh*

What I Loved From This Hike

1) Most of the way to the top, a kind soul on his way back down encouraged us by saying, "It's just a hop, skip and a jump, and then you're there." The boys, being unfamiliar with that colloquialism, took the hiker literally. James turned to Jonathan and said, "Let's see if that's really true." Then they both proceeded to hop, skip and jump up the trail for several feet. It didn't work. On the way back down, at about the same spot, James informed some hikers going up, "It's about 112 hops, 3 skips, and 4 jumps, and then you're there." Accuracy. Always accuracy.

2) Nature lessons. We learned about the developmental stages of salmon eggs at the visitor's center (one of the photos I ruthlessly deleted), we studied map-reading ("I think we're riiiiiiight... here"), we discovered a new word ("biodegradable"), we discussed the animal habitats of the rock formations on which we rested ("I bet a SNAKE would live in HERE!"), and we let Daddy tell us the names of flowers we have already forgotten. Like trillium. Oh, and we also got to watch Daddy whistle through grass.

3) Gift shop souvenirs. I got me a custom refrigerator magnet and a nifty bookmark so I'll always remember this day. Yesirree. But my memory card is full, so you'll just have to imagine what they look like. (I'll give you a hint: Multnomah Falls.)

Most of all, I want to give praise, honor and glory to the One who gave me the strength to face fibromyalgia today and joyfully hike 700 feet up the side of a cliff to the top of the second highest year-round waterfall in the nation, that plummets 620 feet from its origins on Larch Mou... what? Oh. How did you know I was quoting the back of my souvenir bookmark?

Thank You, Abba, for making today happen. You are my Strength and I love You.