The other morning I ran up Tumamoc hill. First time I’ve ever been able to run up the whole thing: It’s short, 1.5 miles to the top for a quick 3 mile round trip; but brutal steep: you climb up 730 ft in that 1.5 miles. I’ve jogged parts of it before but always had to stop and walk those last few switchbacks. This was an invigorating first for me and Tumamoc.
I like my hills all in one gulp, straight up, the condensed version. There are plenty of trails and roads where I can get nice rolling, gentle-up-gentle-down routes depending on my hiking, running and biking needs. But I really find myself attracted to the intense all or nothing versions: Tumamoc, Blacketts Ridge, Saguaro National Monument, Mt Lemmon highway, Josephine Saddle (or, when I have the whole day, continuing on from Josephine Saddle up to the peak of Mt Wrightson). Etc.
I love hills and mountains. I broke my belief system wide open on these hills and mountains. It’s no wonder to me that many religions hold journeys up mountains for spiritual enlightenment as part of their mythos. I’ve queried and cursed and argued with God on these hills and mountains. Halfway up Mt Wrightson, muscles shaking and drenched in sweat, I broke with God and offered some of my first prayers to the Goddess (a terrifying step for one raised on stories of women excommunicated for such blasphemy). Eventually, I broke with divinities all together and these hills and mountains became the place for just processing whatever needs processing in my life.
It is amazing the ideas and possibilities that open up to a heart pumping faster and a mind flooded with endorphins. (I have to be careful, I have shot off dangerous emails while still high on a good hill.)
It is something I believe in: blood and body fluids. In heart and mind. In always looking for new ideas, new paths, new heights to reach.
And hills and mountains,
I believe in hills and mountains.