An Idea is Born

My dad has been known to have a crazy idea or two. So far, these ideas have brought me to train with him for the Vermont 50, the Tahoe Rim Trail 100, and then the Vermont 50 again. Winter came around and, as we were doing some Christmas shopping in EMS one day, my dad picks up a map of the 4000 footers. His next question as we wait in line to check out is: “I wonder how fast this can be done”. Any normal person would look up the record and move on with their lives. Not dad. It was there that his immaculate planning began…

Training this summer was a gift. The Whites are a place where you feel all-powerful and overpowered at the same time. My dad and I had the incredible experience of feeling the extremes of this dichotomy while testing our own limits (or at least mine) over the course of 4 days, 19 hours, 40 minutes completing New Hampshire’s 48 4000 footers. We lost our coordination and sometimes the better part of our consciousness. We laughed a lot; I cried a little (sorry dad). It was a failure and a success.

My mom and dad were amazing. My mother single-handedly served as our support team, catering to our every need and comforting me while I groaned in pain during the short naps. My father supported me through the whole challenge. I was very disappointed to realize that we weren’t moving fast enough to make the men’s record and felt guilty that I had possibly held my dad from getting a record for himself. He never complained of an ounce of pain (which made me question his humanity), helped me with navigation, and made the hike enjoyable. Not many people are lucky enough to spend that kind of quality time with their parents. I like that it wasn’t just me that went through the ups and downs over the course of those five days: it was all three of us…and it was insane.

In hindsight, we would have done a lot differently had we known I was going to be hard pressed to improve on the women's fastest known time (like not finishing on Owl’s Head or sleeping more earlier), but that was half of the experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I had club legs and a shuffled limp of a walk in the airport the next day, and my feet (with a few half-dollar size blisters) and ankles were pouring out over the top of my sister’s shoes because I didn’t fit into any of my own. As painful as movement was for a few days, it served as a nice reminder of our amazing adventure.