Happy Birthday (to me)!

What every girl wants for her birthday...My friend Chris and I debating on where to walk.

Let's crash the hiking club.  They even bring their dogs. Sounds like fun. What? They are hiking Zugerberg? They say it will take 1-2 hours. (Please, I know better. I’ve done this once already. The day I was lapped by the nun). Let's go anyway.

We invited another friend. But the morning was rainy and dreary and cold. I texted Donna and Chris- "I'm out". Chris suggests a walk in the sunshine on her side of the lake and maybe cake. Donna says, "I've been up since 6:30. I'm eating me porridge. I've had me vitamins. It's looking like someone needs a butt kick." It's been decided.

Met about 9 or 10 other women. All looking pretty snazzy. Hiking pants. Gaitors. Water bottles. Dogs. Okay...We start. Uh oh. It's a different trail than I've been on previously. Start tripping over small dogs. Half an hour later, Harry (a lab-like looking dog) goes missing. Group stops. Much debate. Rather unlike Harry. Harry! HARRY! No Harry. A third of the group turns around to find Harry. The rest of us march on.

The marching turns to slogging. So much slippery, oozy mud. I fall further and further behind. The gazelles leap to the front. The herd has separated into three distinct bands. The gazelles, the flat landers- those that question their cardio fitness levels, and those on the quest for a missing dog.

Then I decide yogurt before a hike is a terrible idea. Coffee with whipped cream an even worse idea. I propose a new law. When it's your mother's birthday, you MUST leave her enough milk for her coffee. Too late now.  I sit and concentrate on breathing. Summon all my Jedi training (focus), all my Karate Kid wisdom (wax on/wax off). Just focus.

This conversation between Luke and Yoda plays in my head...

Luke: I can't. It's too big.

Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship

Then it starts to blizzard. Sideways.  Out of nowhere (the gazelles are surely at the top having coffee by now). I put on my hat (it's pretty- with loads of sequins), my hood, and my other hood. I have no more hoods. I am now breaking out into a cold sweat. And the Harry search and rescue party overtakes us. I forgot my phone. Can't even facebook my misery. Donna has even left us to join the gazelles.

I sit again. On the sloggy ground. Two-thirds of the way up this beast. I contemplate my options. Die here. On my birthday. Roll my way to the bottom. Slog my way to the top. I am a card carrying member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Okay, not really but I could be. There is just so much paperwork and you probably have to host a luncheon). Time to get up. Summon the "force".

We slog on. We pass a 'closed for the season' restaurant. Contemplate knocking. I tell Chris I have 50ch. Let's go. She responds with she has a whole walletful of cash. Credit cards, too. Idle talk. We slog on. Past the spot where I saw the nun.  Past the sign which we think says 'no littering'. Is a dead body litter?  Past the sign that marks the exact center of canton Zug.  I decide that is an excellent reference to give to search and rescue. Past the horses. Have they been broken yet? Could we steal one? Over the next hill. I can see the top now.  To the top, past my daughter's classroom where she is hanging her head in shame hoping no one recognizes her mother but that sparkly hat is so sparkly. I'm noticed. I make sure to wave to my older daughter's friend as I stumble past.

And yes, they are all drinking coffee snug in the restaurant at the top. No, I will not be joining them. Then, one pops out to inform us they'd thought we'd given up and gone back down.

Just for that, I am going on the next hike. Given up? Why on earth would we do that? I'm offended.



  1. Love, love and laughing hysterically. I can just hear you having your Jedi focus conversation.

    You should be offended!! Who do those gazelles think they are dealing with here?? You are a true Jedi Warrior with your own sparkly armor. They have no idea....

  2. Hiking is all about setting your own pace... just as life is all about setting your own pace.. making it a competition just takes all the fun out of it..
    Ann Weaver

  3. So, funny. It's such a joy to read—my thought after each of your blogs is, "I'm not alone."

  4. So, so funny! You make me even want to hike that mountain now! ok I didn't actually say that!

  5. OK, posted to RallyTown.com. This counts as outdoor adventure! Title is "A Connecticut Girl In Switzerland Goes For A Hike" !


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