Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tiger Mountain Momma

After waffling back-n-forth, I agreed to go on another trek up Tiger Mountain. The Lazy Me wanted to curl in up bed with the Paul Maier book I am reading. The Competative Me wanted to face the mountain again, but conquer it with a little more dignity and a lot less concern about having a heart attack.

This time I was ready. I was wearing comfy sweats and a light jacket, and remembered to pack a hair tie, tissue and a lip balm. I was determined to do better. To quote Yogi Berra, "Baseball's 90 percent mental. The other half is physical." Even though his math is kinda' bad, I agree about the 90% mental battle. I was determined.

I still marvel when I see ferns growing wild everywhere in Washington. When I was young, my mother valiantly nursed her big fern along for a few years, but the plant's vitality never matched her efforts. It was always just a little brown and just a little wilty. Sunlight would glow through the tall cedars, lighting up the ferns and the trail, like a beacon of hope and guidance. Tiger Mountain really is more than a hike, it is an experience in Creation.

We brought along a flat-lander from Kansas. We wanted to show him REAL mountains, not those little hills he's used to.
He showed us. He graciously asked Scott and I minded if he passed us on the trail. Since I don't think he knew CPR anyway, and our daughters had already abandoned us for the vigorous teenage pace, we just waved him on. The mountain was like a Sunday stroll for him and he ran some of the way up and 75% of the way down.
Beginner's luck.

Over a steep mile later, our first view of Mt. Rainier.
This would have been called a Breathtaking View, but I don't like cliches and I didn't have any breathe left at this point anyway. All my determination didn't keep my heart rate down.

I have no idea what this cool plant was, but I loved the swirly, fragile vines on the end of the stem. I loved all the little inspirations along the way; heavenly affirmations for the effort.
She was even more beautiful on the way down. M'Lady of the PNW.
Bethany hiked with me for the first five minutes down the trail, then she had to pick up pace.
She should have stayed by my side. She would have seen me jog half way down the mountain. Yes, pick your jaw off your keyboard, I jogged. It felt amazing!
While I was pretending I was a mountain goat, nimbly picking my way on the jagged rock trail down the steep slope, I had a serious thought.
I just don't want to get back to where I was before cancer, I want to be BETTER than I was before cancer. I want to improve in areas of exercise, diet and nutrition. I don't want to just survive, I want to live a healthy and productive life.

The leaves are just starting to turn. I loved the way they framed the love of my life on the trail; deciduous swords crossing in honor.
My Amazing Grace ran down the mountain, too. Only she fell and got a big boo-boo. I didn't kiss in. I didn't even have a band-aid. But I did give her sympathy.
As of today, the rating stands as follows:
Momma Mindy - 2
Tiger Mountain - 0
....with the strength and help of the Lord. Amen.


  1. Wow! You really live there? They are some absolutely spectacular pics of God's creation. Lovely! And you are super brave to take it on. Good on you!

  2. Ruby, that is EXACTLY what I felt when I saw that first view through the leaves....I LIVE here....I am NOT on vacation. We feel blessed to live here. Thanks for the encouragement.


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