Last Wednesday I celebrated another year of life. 365 more days of sunrises and sunsets, 365 more days of coffee sips and cupcake eats, 365 more days of snuggles with my cats, and 365 more days dreaming of the mountains.
I’ve never been one to take off of work for my birthday, however I don’t work Wednesdays right now. I decided to spend “the day my mom blessed the earth with my presence” by combining three of my favorite things: coffee, cupcakes, and hiking.
My hiking partner, who also happens to be my work partner, but most definitely not my life partner, took the day off of work to spend the day with me exploring. We left at 07:00 and we were stuck in traffic far longer than either of us would have hoped.
As one of the many cars aggregated together on the road I found multiple reasons to smile, the most obvious being that I was not on my way to work like the majority of those around me. Another reason was the delirium that started to take over my brain from sitting too long. A pit stop at Starbucks nearby our destination was in order to fill up my tumbler.
Waiting until we were close to our location ensured the coffee was still warm upon our arrival at the summit.
The forecast called for rain, and despite the fact I never quite know if this is going to be true in Washington or not, it did indeed rain. In fact, it was somewhat of a downpour most of our hike. Thankfully it was warm enough outside that the rain wasn’t uncomfortable.
Dare I say it was fun?
My right hand man was kind enough to stow my cupcake in his pack because I carried the coffee in mine. In all my years hiking I’ve yet to drink coffee at the summit of a mountain. It was time for this to change, and a birthday seemed like the perfect day to change this.
Hiking alone is great, and I often prefer it, but when I’m alone I don’t have anyone around to capture my true beauty as these candid outtakes showcase. The rain was a nice touch giving me a true drowned rat look.
My name is Brittany, I am 28 years old, and I have zero shame.
I chose an easy hike, only 4 miles RT taking two hours of our time. This time of year I tend to stay away from the snow packed peaks, I’m still traumatized from this adventure.
I’m humbled when I embark on a hike that was once easy as slicing pie, and find that it winds me. Instead of letting this destroy my mental peace I use it as motivation to get back to a place of strength that I know I am capable of. This hike was doable, and I surely could have kept going, but there were moments I found myself out of breath.
A few days prior I embarked on a local 9.5 mile RT hike, one that took 4 hours. This hike was tiring, but in different ways. Just as running challenges different muscles than swimming, hiking trails of differing elevations and distances challenges different areas of my body. My birthday hike challenged my heart rate more, and the longer local hike challenged my hip flexors more. I love variety.
I bought myself a new pair of day hike shoes thanks to REI’s garage sale. They were worn maybe once, and returned because they were “too heavy.” Similar to my previous day hikers I snagged these hideous pink/red walkers for $100 less than what they would have been brand new. Sold. I tested them out on the 9.5 miler, because I like to test my pain threshold.
I love birthdays because they remind me that life continues to fly by, even when we feel like it’s stagnant. It’s never too late to take control of what we want to do with our time, who we want to spend it with, and how we plan to achieve happiness.
As each day passes for me I become more in tune with what I want my life to look like, but my favorite part is that I become more accepting of the inevitable changes life entails. The ups and downs are all necessary, the emotions and trials we experience are normal, and the gut feelings we have are usually right. They all work together to write the stories of our lives. Are you living yours in a way that others would want to read about?
Q: What’d you do for your last birthday? Post hike I ate my body weight in Thai food, and regret nothing. Autoimmune diseases take a back seat on birthdays. HA.