I couldn't help but notice the Wikipedia Loves Monuments contest happening this month. I looked at it, and discovered that there was an unphotographed monument very close to my house. So I went for a walk recently and ...
now Wikimedia has a photo of the Bow Valley Ranch House, aka the William Roper Hull Ranche House.
My first fitness goal of 2014 was going to San Diego and walking a 5K Mermaid Marathon in February. Done.
My second fitness goal was the Colour Me Rad 5K. More challenging because part of it involved walking up Canada Olympic Park. The gain was 131m.
My third fitness goal was to hike to the Lake Agnes Teahouse, by Lake Lousie in Banff National Park. Now, a 3.5 km hike may seem easy, until you realize that it's uphill all the way.
I tried to hike it once, on a whim, in 2009. I wasn't prepared for how hard it was and I only made it halfway. Back then, I knew there was something wrong inside of my neck with a pinched nerve, so when the back of my neck throbbed hard, I knew it was time to turn around (in 2010 a MRI revealed that I had a herniated disc, that had ruptured against my spinal cord. All better now thanks to surgery).
It was one of those things that had been marked "incomplete" in my mind. And so, I decided that on August 24, 2014, I would do it. My first two fitness goals were part of the training, I started adding more hillwork and bought trekking poles.
I asked friends and family to join me, and we ended up a brave group of 4. My dream was fixed in my mind. We would get to the top and celebrate with a nice cup of tea in the famous teahouse.
My friend Susan, me, brother-in-law Tim, sister Mary-Anne. All optimistic that we could do it!
We laid down some expectations first. This was not going to be a race. The goal was to get to the top no matter how long it took. We could stop for as many breaks as needed to catch our breath.