Looking across at Mount Tecumseh

It’s easy to get caught up chasing numbers in our outdoor pursuits.  Whether you’re chasing personal records on benchmark runs, trying to get a certain amount of days on skis, or chasing the next grade while climbing, it’s pretty easy to forget that these activities are supposed to be fun.  If you run (pun intended) with a competitive group like I do, you’ll find that the ante is continually being upped; that last week’s hard run pales in comparison with this week’s hard run.  Many nights before heading to the mountains, I struggle to sleep with anxiety over the impending activity.  In a perfect world, the only sleep I would lose would be due to excitement for tomorrow’s activity.

An icy section on the acsent

I spent a good portion of this summer training for a half marathon, then the majority of my fall capitalizing on my fitness by running a handful of popular hikes in the New Hampshire’s White Mountains.  It was a great fall, but I believe I began to lose some of the enjoyment that I had previously found in the mountains.  In an effort to complete runs under certain times, we would hurry past scenic views and mountain summits in order to keep on schedule.  I think I was missing some of what I really enjoyed about being in the mountains.

Looking back at North Osceola 
The other day, Doug, his wife Genevieve, and I headed out to hike the Osceolas.  It had been a few years since we had all hiked together.  Doug and Genevieve had baby a few years ago, making hiking with both of them together somewhat difficult.  We went out with no expectations other than to enjoy a great day in the mountains and tag a couple four-thousand-footers.  

Doug and Genevieve relaxing on top of Osceola
Doug, Genevieve, and I were provided with great weather and had a great time.  Along the ascent we talked and joked.  It was a pleasant change of pace trying to catch my breath from laughing too hard as opposed to trying to catch my breath keeping up with Doug.  It was a different feel from the full-blown assaults we had made on the trails in the months prior, and helped me regain a little psych for being in the mountains.  I am not saying that I am not going to work on running in the mountains, but I am going to make sure that I stop from time to time and remember that being in the mountains is supposed to be fun.        

View on the ascent