TNAB began in early March, but I hadn't had a chance to join until now. Instead, I've been adventuring with the kids or taking my good sweet time to get up the mountain. That hasn't exactly whipped me into Afterburning shape.
Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed my slack time. The hikes I've done with the kids have been great. The Naches Peak loop will be an annual event and introducing the kids' friends to Franklin Falls was really rewarding. The hikes pulled from the TNAB schedule like Snoqualmie Mountain, Rampart Ridge, and Granite Mountain that I have done have been wonderful, too. Rampart and Granite let me say a proper goodbye to Winter, but none of those hikes did anything to get me ready for TNAB.
(Forget what TNAB is? It's the Thursday Night AfterBurners. You know, fools that hike too dang fast.)
It didn't help that I chose to jump back into Thursday night hiking on Putrid Pete's Peak. Or that I started 15 minutes late and decided I'd try to catch up.
Needless to say, I didn't catch up. Even Treen was looking a little peaked when we got to the peak. The others heckled me as I crawled the last few feet up the rocks.
It's good though, to be humbled. To be reminded that we climb at the pleasure of the mountain. She invites us up or turns us away. There's no "conquering" the mountain. It's as Sir Edmund Hillary said, "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." All we can do is look up and decide whether or not to continue each and every time we take a step.
And then we can throw up a little and carry on.
(No, I didn't really throw up. I just felt like I was going to throw up.)