Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Incline

Imagine the hardest thing you've ever done. Now imagine something about 10 times harder. That is the incline. 0.88 miles of 2,744 of the steepest steps I have ever walked up. It felt more like 5 miles honestly. I did the incline last year too, but since then they renovated the steps to make them safer, and in doing so they also got steeper. Great. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the incline really is the hardest thing I've ever done. My legs started hurting not even 1/4 of the way up (probably because I went on a 6 mile hike the day before) and by time I was almost to the top they were numb (which kind of made it easier to climb the rest of the way actually!). I stopped several times to catch my breath and drink water but I refused to give up, even after we reached the trail at the halfway point and my friend said that we could just go back down. Nope, I had gone this far and I wasn't giving up! I wanted to make it to the top in under an hour but unfortunately I made it just shy of that; it took me an hour and 2 minutes (I blame my friend for making me stop so many times!). But once I finally made it to the top I was so relieved and I felt very strong and proud of myself. After accomplishing a feat like that, you feel like you can do anything!
Once we'd all caught our breaths and took some pictures documenting our performance, we walked down the mountain on the Barr Trail, which feels like a piece of cake after walking up the incline. The trail also had a great view of the mountains and we came upon tons of wild flowering cactus, which I had never actually seen in real life before! Another great wonder of Colorado..
When we reached the bottom the first thing we did was go out to eat in Manitou Springs. You'd be amazed how hungry you get after walking up a mountain! Manitou Springs is another of my favorite places in Colorado. You don't see small, old-timey towns like that much anymore. There are tons of great shops and restaurants, and even an old arcade with tons of vintage video games like Mrs. PacMan, frogger, and DDR. Needless to say, we spent quite some time in there! Overall, it was a great day balanced with work and play, good food, and great memories.

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