On our last full day in Edinburgh we wanted to do something that would really allow us to remember our time here; some activity that would leave a lasting, if not permanent, impression on us. It was time to climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat. From that bold face of rock overlooking all of Edinburgh and the sea beyond, with the wind whipping my hair into foam, I made a startling discovery.
I am shatteringly out of shape.
The climb to the top of Arthur’s seat is steep and long and rocky. Though I started out with the proverbial spring in the old step, by halfway up, I was seriously questioning my choice of venue for the day. It’s time like these that I begin to sing little songs in my head. Yes, this is a window into what keeps me going when the going gets tough.
“One day (step) at a time, Sweet Jesus,…that’s all I’m asking from you”. At times of stress my religious upbringing is likely to rear its head, this time along with a vague memory of an ancient family love of country music. Like many people who have left organized religion well behind them, I am apt to call on the Lord God Almighty when I have questioned my own human willingness to punish myself for having a body. I mean, who else is going to listen to me complain? Also that song has a good rhythm that helps a woman on the downhill side of middle age continue to put one foot up in front of the other.
Seriously, walking the sidewalks of Tacoma is not the same thing as walking a vertical trail. Who knew? Well, I did, but I forgot. That’s probably best. Had I remembered how hard it is to defy the gravitational pull of earth and rise above it, I would have stayed home.
“I am woman, hear me roar…”. Almost to the top, my legs had their own version of this song called “I am jelly, hear me snore.” I was so very tempted to entitle this post, “Almost-Pensioner Makes it to the Top of Arthur’s Seat and then Takes Nap”, but that was too many words.
Of course, we made it to the top. Because failure is not an option once begun. Hey, I think that attitude’s pretty much how we find ourselves with a big sailboat, getting ready to set sail.
We got our wish. This hike made a lasting impression on our souls, and even on our hips and knees. Enjoy the spectacular view. We certainly did.