Had another NSV (nonscale victory) today.  For the longest time (5+ years, ever sinc we have lived here) one of my biggest nemeses has been this HILL around the corner from my house. That hill lies between our home and this beautiful regional park where I love to walk/run. But the problem is that the HILL is extremely steep. And since it comes at the very beginning of my workout, I am often winded, stiff, and in pain as I do the worst part of my workout first. It used to make me so cranky and distraught that I would avoid working out altogether, because by the time I got to the top of the hill I would be in such a bad mood that basically the stress hormone in my body (cortisol) negated any endorphins I might enjoy.

That hill was seriously psyching me out. I used to tell my trainer, “If I could ONLY get to the point where that hill doesn’t kill me….” But after 3 years of training, the hill was still kicking my butt. Not one time went by when I didn’t have to stop halfway up, lean over with hands on knees, gasp, pant and swear a bit. It really felt bad. I wanted to be able to make it up the hill without feeling like I was dying halfway.

Sometime in February, I made a deal with myself that I would not put myself through the Agony of the hill, because I knew I was avoiding walking in the park because I hated the hill so much. I told myself it was OK to DRIVE the stupid 1/4 mile to the parking lot, get out and walk or run from there. So that I wouldn’t get myself all distraught by doing the hill first.

Well, so guess what happened today? You can guess! THE HILL DID NOT KILL ME! Sure, I was breathing harder than normal, but I kept up my fast rate, I didn’t stop, and I didn’t feel like utter crap by the time I got to the top. It was just what I had always hoped for.

Today, I told myself I was going to “take it easy” because I’d been doing very hard workouts this week. I ran three times, did a few killer gym workouts, and did 1000x hops on the spin bike. My arms were screaming from the many pushups and crab walks I did.  I didn’t want to skip exercise altogether so I told myself, just walk in the park. It’ll be a … walk in the park! (LOL) I set off with my music and chugged up the hill. YAY.

I ran into a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a few months. She was running. She stopped and said many nice, shocked statements about my size and state of fitness. That was nice. (although I realize I am not exactly graceful at accepting compliments yet. I guess the appropriate response is probably a simple ‘thank you’)

I continued on. One of my “running songs” came on (“Heat Wave” by Linda Ronstadt) I couldn’t help it. I started running. I just ran until the song was over, then resumed walking. Then another “running song” came on (“Don’t Fear the Reaper” which is one of my favorites ever). I ran again. This happened 3 or 4 times and at one point, I was at this very steep hill (much like the one near my house) out on the trail. Normally I feel pretty macho if I just WALK fast up that thing. But I kept running. I was like, HOLY CRAP I AM RUNNING UP A HILL.

Remember that old Kate Bush song, “Running Up That Hill?” I used to love that song. Anyway, some of the lyrics go

“If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.
If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.”
And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh…

And EVERY TIME I heard that song, I’d sort of sigh a little bit and think, *I* could never run up ANY freaking hill.

But look at me now.