Manic: I used to try (emphasis on “try”) coming down my mountain hike quickly. I only had to fall once to know not to try that again! That happened about 6 months ago.
Managed: Yesterday I came down slowly and let lots of folks pass me by and you won’t believe what happened next! I saw two people fall!
One gal fell on her hips and hands like I had several months before (thank goodness for our reflexes) and the next man actually tumbled down the mountain! Yep, I saw a man stop, drop and roll like you do in a fire, but there was no fire and the stopping was actually the last step!
Thankfully, he was fine. He was also shirtless, but didn’t have one scratch or cut on his skin anywhere! I couldn’t believe that he popped right up and climbed back up to the trail. I hated telling him that his bag was still down there. But he went back down, retrieved it, thanked me and continued on. I did hear him say a little swear word as he processed what had just occurred. I didn’t blame him, either!
Later at the end of the trail, I saw him again and he asked me if I was the one who saw him fall. When I answered yes, he asked me what his fall looked like. I told him it was a classic roll and that I was terrified that he wouldn’t stop rolling for a while.
He told me that he was afraid of that as he tumbled, too. I asked him if everything went in slow motion and he told me that it had and that he saw and felt every rock as he fell. Again, I can’t believe that he didn’t have one scratch, cut or break on his body! Although at this point, he was on an adrenaline rush and I’m certain that was sore later!
So, a few lessons learned here and some that I need to now follow as well:
1. Remember who the boss is when you are coming down our beautiful mountains….the beautiful mountain is the boss! Be careful and don’t go faster than you think you should, just to keep up with your friends. It is better to fall a bit behind, than to fall!
2. I carry my keys freehand when I hike. Bad idea! If I take a tumble like this guy did, then my keys may keep falling past the point of no return. So, wear a good ol’ fashioned fanny pack. I’m wearing mine tomorrow, for sure now.
3. Take water. Although some of our Valley mountain hikes are short, it is surprising how hot you get going up. The mountain seems to intensify the sun.
4. Buy good shoes. I finally bought hiking sneakers and I can’t believe what a difference it has made. I’m still super careful coming down, but I have much better traction now!
5. Wear a good organic sunscreen. If you’re worried about the chemicals in the sunblock, visit the website called cosmetic data base (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/) to look up the ingredients in different sunscreens. I have high-risk moles, but I’m also Vitamin D deficient, so now I want to get some of that sun.
So, I wear a hat and always wear a SFP moisturizer on my face. I go up without sunscreen on my body (I’m certain my dermatologist would NOT like this), but then I apply some before the hike down. A friend of mine, who is a nurse, told me that 10 minutes of sun on your bare shoulder gives you a good Vitamin D dose.
6. Be alert to bees and snakes. I like to stay on well-populated paths for that reason. I have no idea if I’m right or wrong about this, but I feel like there is less wildlife where there are more people. Plus if I do have a problem, there are plenty of peeps out there hiking who would be happy to lend a helping hand.
Careful out there, folks. Happy Hiking!
What’s your favorite hiking trail? Share here in the comments section.
Mine is South Mountain in Phoenix 🙂