For months, I’ve been doing no other physical workouts except for rowing. The memory of working out up right such as running, biking or hiking has been remote. I am feeling a bit burned out from 6 days a week of rowing. Last weekend, I went on a hiking trip with a bunch of friends (half of which from rowing of course) to the White Oak trail in Shenandoah National Park. Famous trade mark of the trail is the numerous waterfalls.
This was the first hike that I had done since I started rowing back in May. When there is waterfalls, there is lots of hills. We spent the first half of the day hiking up steep hills, passed 3 small falls. Each scenic and inviting me to jump in. But we knew the reward was towards the end. Did I mention the weather was beautifully hot at 80 degrees with high humidity?! We were drenched from sweating. The thought of soaking in that mountain cool water was the only motivation that kept us going.
We broke for lunch just before we switched from climbing uphill to a downhill roll. I was much better going up, however strenuous, than doing down. But the progress was so much faster and getting to that promised water hole was becoming more and more urgent. Finally, the sound of waterfalls got louder mixed in with people’s cheering and laughter. We were at our final destination: a huge opening of pool at the base of a couple of falls. We quickly stripped our sweat soaked clothes, and joined other hikers in the pool. The water was crisp and cool. Little fish would peck on the girls legs making them squirm and scream. We had a blast shooting videos of us doing “synchronized swimming.”
On a hot day like today, I can’t help to recall the tranquility of floating on top of the cool water, listening to the waterfalls splashing, watching clouds glide by behind the giant oak trees. To make the picture perfect, can someone float me a frozen margarita please?
Meta-note: It was a perfect Sunday, physical, fun, friends, beautiful outdoors. But I burned for a whole week after that with sore legs and sleep deprivation. Play hard and work hard (in that order) is what I live for. I know I can always have a quiet weekend like today contemplating about life, cleaning the house, make a bread from scratch, work out, indulge in 10 hour long sleep and naps, catching up readings while fixing the ungodly sight of overly pale midriff by the swimming pool, … put orders to my life and make space for creativity and fun. Life is good to me.