Know Your Limits

Ever since my daughter got engaged at the top of Dragon’s Tooth, it has been my desire to hike to the top.  My husband tried it once but did not make it to the very top as the last leg of the hike has you scaling rocks.

After a successful hike with my friends this week, I was determined that I could do this hike today.  Kids, dogs, parents with babies strapped to their backs, and people older than me have all managed to make this climb.

However, after I decided to do this, I read on a website that this hike makes McAfee’s Knob seem like a cakewalk (it isn’t).  This gave me pause, but I was mildly optimistic.

It was a gorgeous day and the nature along the way was worth stopping for photos.

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We had 6 or more creek crossings, some a little challenging after all the rain we’ve had recently.

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The first part of the trail, while challenging, is certainly doable.  It’s when you reach the Appalachian Trail (the last .7 miles) that it becomes quite a bit more difficult.

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This is an understatement!

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It was at this point that I was ready to give up, but after a short rest, we decided to go a little further.  We didn’t want to get this far and return without at least getting a good view.  So we soldiered on until I finally made the executive decision that I would not be able to get to the top.  By now my knee is aching, my hips are burning and all I could think of, was how bad it would be if I injured myself a week before we leave for Europe (where we plan to do a lot of hiking).  JG agreed, knowing that his previous attempt failed and he had serious doubts as to whether I should be trying it.  So this was our stopping point:

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Marked by this tree:

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Part of me wanted to cry, I did not want to admit my limitations.  But the smarter side of me was quick to recognize that I’m not 20 anymore.  It was still a very good hike – about 4 miles, and we made it through over half of the challenging part, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Have you ever found you couldn’t make it to the end of this hike, or any hike? Please share with me so I won’t feel so alone.

P.S. – who brings a boom box on a trail (blasting country music no less) – it was rude and obnoxious – next time get some headphones!!

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14 thoughts on “Know Your Limits

  1. It’s easy to beat yourself up over what you failed to accomplish rather than what you did. Maybe you should be looking at this adventure as simply a training hike.
    Any marathon runner will tell you that you don’t start out running 26 miles. It is built up over time by gradual training as distance and intensity is increased. Hiking isn’t much different – especially on challenging terrain.

    You will conquer this climb. It’s still early in the season and remember where you were a few months ago!

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  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is good to be reminded that we aren’t superhuman when it comes to all things. Sometimes a broken ankle just isn’t worth the trouble. 🙂

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  3. So! I look at this a bit differently: you undertook a challenge, one that many people would not have even conidered, even if they had a healthy knee and hip! Many would have just said “I can’t do that because of (insert physical ailment here)”. You on the other hand were cautiously optimistic and look what you accomplished! You can now go to Europe confident that you can do some significant hiking AND you can go to Europe with confidence that you have already tested your body AND you can to to Europe without a new injury or a worsened old one.

    It’s just like the woman who was right behind me on the zipline. She was frightened, did the first leg, and decided to sit out the second. I am hoping that she went home feeling proud of her accomplishment.
    I’m very proud of you!

    This is the first blog I’ve visited since before I went to DC! Yay!

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    1. Thanks LB, I cannot believe I am not even sore this morning, so hiking has been tested and I AM ready to hike Norway! That was really the main reason for the hike, I just bit off more than I could chew. But I’m glad I got a taste of the trail, and I’m grateful I knew when to stop.

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  4. I’m going to share a couple of quotes at the end of my comment. First, I want to give you a high-five and say “well done”. There is no failure in this scenario. As LB says, you could have just sat it out and not even tried. Further, how many people wish from a hospital bed that they *didn’t* push through that last step? I’m glad you honored your boundaries, and that you are good to go for your time in Europe. It sounds like fun.

    “ Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.
    “ No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person.

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