July 31st, 2003

The gentleman is always properly dressed

The Straw

Driving through Scottsdale to my folks place, we passed Camelback Mountain and I felt odd. This was the first time that I had been to AZ without making an attempt at the climb. Really, it’s a pretty easy climb, complete with railings that have been placed along some of the sketchiest areas. Previously, I had done it to give myself an idea of how prepared I was for longer hikes in the desert. After my first ascent of Camelback, I walked near twenty miles in the Superstition Mountains the next day. On my most recent attempt, I had to turn back from the summit because I was starting to show signs of heat exhaustion, and didn’t do any other hiking on that trip.

Leaving aside the fact that we really didn’t have time for this kind of side trip (Sunnyvale, CA was a twelve hour drive from Scottsdale), I knew that I probably couldn’t have done it successfully. I know the hill well enough to have a rough idea of how I will perform given the conditions and my own condition (Camelback may be the hill I’ve hiked most aside from Old Speck Mountain in Western Maine.) I couldn’t have done it.

I can make excuses about how at mid-day in high summer, the temps in Gtr. Phoenix climbed to about 114, but really what it comes down to is that I am simply out of shape. I mean c’mon… my abs hurt after a few hours at a potters wheel. That’s just weak.

So, gentle reader, I invite you to speculate. Since I know that I enjoy myself more when I am in shape, and that being out of shape keeps me from doing things that I truly love, why is it that I am still being a sedentary lump?
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