I don’t post on weekends so I’m dedicating this week’s throwback Thursday to my mom. What does that have to do with training…or running, for that matter? Well, it really has nothing to do with either. But it is a tale of physical awesomeness, and should serve as major inspiration for anyone out there who feels like you can’t be in kick ass shape as you get older. This is a tale of epic hiking and why my mom should be your new personal hero.
My mother is 68 years old. Not only does she not look it, but she doesn’t act it either. I’m sure everyone thinks his or her mother is the most adorable, but I’m sorry to tell you your mom is not as adorable as my mom. And not only is she cute, she is a fierce ninja of endurance and lower body strength. I credit hearty farming family stock.
Last year, my mom visited for a girls’ weekend that may or may not have included an Air Supply concert. Now, for those of you who think my mom had to drag me to witness this dynamic duo of the 80s, think again. I not only knew about the concert first, but also bought the tickets and begged my mom to come with me. Don’t judge. They wrote some great songs.
Alas, I have side-tracked myself. Back to the point, which is that my mom is an all-star. You see, on this weekend we hiked up a storm. We did 22km to Elfin Lakes our first day, but that was really just a warm up. What followed was an ambitious day hike: Panorama Ridge. If you’re not familiar with the Panorama Ridge trail, it is a stunning route that climbs the ridge behind Garibaldi Lake for epic views of the lake and its surrounding peaks, as well as Black Tusk and the Cheakamus Valley. It is also 32km return.
I have friends my own age who aren’t willing to do a 32km day hike with me, and this is no easy stroll. There’s 1500m of elevation gain, too. And my mom not only did it, but did it with gusto. I think we finished in just shy of 8 hours and that included a lengthy break at the top and numerous stops for me to take roughly 500 photos en route. And she wasn’t even tired! We rounded out the day with beer and burgers at a local pub, and then watched World War Z before calling it a day. Although she had to leave the next day, I have no doubt that if she hadn’t we would’ve been out exploring another trail. She’s ambitious like that.
So if you have moments when you question whether it’s really possible to get fit, or whether you can maintain your fitness as you get older, I implore you to generate a mental picture of my mother on Panoroma Ridge to remind yourself that age is just a state of mind and anyone can knock out a 54 km hiking weekend. And in case you can’t generate a mental picture of this awesomeness, let me present to you exactly what it looks like.
Happy early mother’s day, mom!