Sharing love with my husband on Valentine’s Day is special because it allows us to take time for ourselves and sharing time together while embracing good health. In years past we have enjoyed a fun leisurely hike or a partner yoga class to celebrate Valentine's day. This year we took part in an annual uphill climb called the Katoolah Uphill benefiting a local charity. The climb takes place up a ski run at Snowbowl in Northern Arizona and begins shortly after the ski hill closes. I had done this climb with a friend a handful of years ago and the weather was sunny and the temps a cheerful warm. This year as my husband and I were driving to the mountain it was raining, turning a rainy snow as we ascended to the base of the mountain with the temperature at a nice 33 degrees.
With a few minutes left before the start of the climb many men, women, families, and friends gathered at the starting line. Familiar with the history of the event I knew some of the climbers were destined to climb and win this race. Our focus was to have fun and celebrate our “healthy heart day” together. As others, we were very excited (and a little anxious) about the 2200 elevation climb, but most importantly we were happy to be sharing the experience together.
So the climb began and we had about one and a half to two miles to the top of the mountain before we then descended back down the mountain for a total of about three and half miles. Through most of the race and especially at the top of the mountain the wind blew rather strong with the conditions almost blizzard like, making it challenging to see at times.
My husband and I motivated each other along the way especially when the course was straight up slowing our climb at times. We enjoyed the camaraderie among the climbers and the hearted energy by the staff cheering everyone on at various milestones along the course. There were times in the race when it would have been much more fun to stop climbing and turn around and slide down the mountain… but we just kept climbing… and smiling.
The sky was completely dark about half way through the race with the snow and wind keeping our visibility to about 10-20 feet in front of us. It was almost magical being on top of a mountain in the dark with the snow falling as runners with headlamps ran by adding a glow to the path. There was safety patrol along the way with blinking red lights making sure none of the participants veered off path.
With a little distance left in the race we held hands and soon finished the race together. After the race we enjoyed a Valentines kiss at the finish line celebrating the challenging team experience we finished together! A few days later we celebrated again on Valentine’s Day at home with a wonderful grilled tuna steak and salad dinner… talking about how the climb. It is the experiences we share, like the mountain climb, we remember for months and years to come, embracing and keeping each other healthy along the way. Life and love are good when our health is good.
How did you share good love and good health with someone you care for on Valentine’s day?