This Goal is Impossible

The Thing I’m Doing This Year #2

Hiking faster in 2014 at the age of 51 than I did in 2006 will be harder to do than running a marathon or the century. For both of those events I had the attitude, “I can and I will do this.”

I don’t have that attitude right now.

In 2006, I thought nothing of getting up at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning to go for a hike. I thought nothing of hopping into an ice bath after each hike; in fact, it was part of my mental preparation. I’d picture Jimmy Malone – Sean Connery’s character from The Untouchables – saying, “What are you prepared to do?” and in the ice I’d go.

I don’t know if “older, wiser” Charlie is prepared to do that again. We’ll see.

Right now, here’s what I’m thinking … this goal is impossible.

Here’s the deal. I got old. I’ve got issues I didn’t have in 2006. Let’s take a quick inventory … I’ve suffered from plantar fasciitis in both heels. The right heel is still fresh. My hip clicks now still from my bike accident two years ago; I can’t sleep on my left side for too long before it starts to hurt. I’ve hurt both rotator cuffs; got the left one fixed, couldn’t afford treatment for the right one. I tore my left hamstring five months ago and, although I did an admirable job rehabbing the tear on my own, it still hurts.

While I was dealing with the hammy, I started doing push-ups. After two months, I noticed a pain in my left elbow that only proceeded to get worse and worse. That one might be related to my bike accident too.

My skin hurts. My teeth hurt. I have asthma now. I haven’t hiked regularly for four years.

Is there a way to gauge where I am physically compared to 2006 statistically? Yes, there is … the Gauntlet.

In January of 2006, I climbed on the stair machine at the Y. In 30 minutes, I covered 168 floors, doing 90 steps per minute. Last Monday, I did the stair machine and climbed 160 floors, which is good, but I did it in 45 minutes, not 30 and my steps per minute were 56, not 90.

I got a ways to go.

The next installment … ‘A Bunch of Margaritas’

I’m doing the Tour de Cure this fall.
For more information, to join or donate, go here.

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