It was my goal to hike Lumpy Ridge Trail, in Estes Park, for my birthday this year. It’s one of our favorite trails but we haven’t hiked it since I became sick last fall and my muscles turned to mush.
The trail is a little strenuous but oh-so-worth-the-effort. We have hiked this trail in every season and I can tell you it is magnificent in spring, summer, fall and winter!! I will warn you, though, to wear proper footwear and clothing while hiking it in winter. We have seen people have to get rescued due to falling on ice!
Anyway, my birthday is May 11 and I was determined I would build myself up again and hike this trail for my birthday. Not only hike it but do so without becoming exhausted or severely out of breath. It was my birthday gift to myself!
In the weeks leading up to my birthday I pushed myself with workouts and hikes. These other hikes were not for leisure, they were building my strength and stamina. After a few weeks I was actually able to begin running little uphill sections of each hike which meant tremendous success! A victory was in having little pain from the nerve damage caused by my illness. Only a couple of times did I end a hike with a limp from the pain. The limp and pain did not last long, though, and it did not sideline me for a couple of days like it would have a few months earlier. THAT is huge progress.
My birthday landed on Friday this year so we headed up to Estes Park on Saturday. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and 70 degrees! We stopped in Lyons, like we always do, for our favorite sandwiches to put in our backpacks. Hiking works up an appetite, ya know?
I was actually a little anxious about this hike so I used the time during the drive up to refocus my thoughts. It’s pretty easy when I have Raine and Jason with me. They easily keep me entertained which is a blessing to say the least! ((Well, honestly, Jason and the kids are easily my BIGGEST blessings!))
Anyway, I was concerned that I would be disappointed in myself on this hike. That I would struggle a little too much or be out of breath too early in the hike. But I wasn’t! I had great stamina and strength. I went further, and with better time, than ever before! And I still made sure to enjoy the views and the company.
It was super special to me that Raine and Jason made sure to make this hike happen for me! Raine even rearranged her day specifically to head up into Estes and hike with me! She is a such a fun person to hike with. She can hang right in there with Jason and the boys, climb to any height and loves to explore the nooks and crannies while she chatters and laughs alot. BUT, she can also walk slower with me, listen to the silence and have deep conversation while taking in her surroundings and capturing God’s creation with her camera.
One of my favorite moments of the hike was when Jason took my hand. We were at the start of a section that was continuing up. This long section had a couple of curves in it and was steep enough that there were stairs that had been carved out of the earth to make it easier on hikers.
I sensed what Jason was doing and I was up to the challenge! We looked at each other, said, “GO!”, and ran. Straight up…hand in hand…and I matched his steps and he did not have to slow for me. Our feet landed on each earthen step at the same time with the same rhythm and I did not hesitate for a moment. Yay, me!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…Philippians 4:13