Imagine a hangover as a person; I am that. My body is the miserable morning after a lifetime of unhealthy decisions. To that end, a few days ago I hiked up a mountain.
If you lived under the same rock I did, then you might have had a few similar misconceptions about hiking. I thought it’d be kind of like walking except, y’know, there’d be plants around. The initiated members of the audience might be giggling at how wrong I was. As it happens, hiking does actually involve a lot of walking, but a lot of that walking is in a direction I’d totally forgotten about: up. Did you know if you want to hike up a mountain–even a really puny mountain like the one I chose–your body actually has to bring you up the mountain. I am a very horizontal person. I prefer pancakes to biscuits, I prefer Frisbee over ball-dependent sports, I love a good meadow. In short, I really dig flat things.
So my body isn’t really accustomed to having to haul itself skyward which was a source of discomfort on my journey. Most of my hike was spent gasping while there were no people around then trying to appear in control whenever some archetype of fitness would breeze by me. I got into a good rhythm of taking a few steps, cursing any gods who cared to listen, flooding the microbial landscape with showers of sweat, and begging for death.
Around the halfway point up, I started to see them: the fit people. I couldn’t really hide how pathetic my body was, but they knew as they strolled by that I didn’t belong. Imagine a candle, a sad sagging green birthday candle crooked on an old cake; that’s me. Now imagine a bonfire of vitality roaring up the mountainside on shoes the approximate color of every bird in the Amazon rainforest; that’s the guy who power walked passed me, glided up a 90 degree cliff-face, and made hot, consensual love to a parade of other attractive people at the top of the mountain. I can’t verify this last bit because I was vomiting by a tree, but I’m certain it happened.
It took a little over 2 hours for me to hike to the top of a mountain which may sound impressive, but keep in mind that I’m being generous in calling it a mountain at all. I did learn a valuable lesson from my journey though: bring enough water to get back home because if you don’t, then your shitty idea to go out for some fitness becomes a long encounter with your own mortality.
A few hours later I got home with heatstroke. The real lesson here: fuck mountains, eat oranges, drink water.