Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's Not Right, But It's Okay: A List of Things That Climbing a Mountain This Morning Was

Climbing a mountain for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning is the following things:

1. a new experience
2. exhausting
3. a great bonding experience with my host brother (HB from here on out)- the only human who appeared to be climbing remotely close to my pace. Here we are, sweaty but enthusiastic, at about the 3rd time that homestay father (HSF) told us we were "almost there"

4. much different than my usual saturday morning routine of cooking enough buckwheat ginger waffles, crepes, and eggs to feed a small army
5. difficult
6. good for my health
7. more than a little embarrassing, since my host parents laughed when HB and I needed to sit down
8. a little scary, because there were a few minutes I'm pretty sure I kept myself from fainting through sheer force of will. Those were the minutes where we walked up meter after meter of small stairs, as far as the eye could see (not unlike the ones in Seeyle Hall, for you Smith folk -- only way, way more of them), at breakneck pace. It was then that it occurred to me that I have chosen to spend my year in a country where every adult male has been through army training -- scaling mountains is probably the least of my homestay father's (HSF) physical abilities.
9. funny! when we reached the summit, HSF announced "this is not mountain - this is hill!" Maybe it was the altitude, but after huffing and puffing for an hour to get my American butt up there, I thought that was hilarious
10. about 10 WW POINTS. Which is, dishearteningly enough, approximately how much peanut butter I ate today (...not an exaggeration, just the actual gospel truth). I think HSM over- PBs me out of concern for my vegetarian ways.
11. interesting. when I managed to look up from my feet and not trip over a root or branch, I saw some really beautiful flowers and butterflies that I didn't recognize from home
12. inspiring. for a while I kept in pretty decent cardio shape just from singing -- freshman year, between chorus and voice lessons and a capella, it was 15+ hours/week. Sophomore year I started elliptical-ing fairly regularly after my voice teacher demanded I work on being able to carry over between longer phrases in the classical pieces we were working on. Now that I'm not singing, I need to get back into shape the old fashioned way. Fortunately, there's a Curves right across the street. I love living in a city!
13. beautiful. The view from the top, with mountains on one side and the city of Daejeon out on the other, was really something I'm glad I could see!

and here's me, HB, & HSM at the summit (HSF is behind the lens):

14. the source of a sense of accomplishment. My estimation of how the morning would go was pretty spot-on, actually -- the only difference being that, though HSF told me last night we would leave at 10, HB knocked on my door at 8:45am to wake me up, fully dressed and nearly ready to leave. So the day moved up about and hour - mostly, that just means that I'm gonna sleep like a baby tonight! hmm...wonder if there are any good places I can get a massage tomorrow...

OK, my turn to shower. Can't wait for my movie date with host sibs and Sarah!

PS: Only Koreans would put exercise equipment at the summit of a mountain -- and actually USE IT!


maybeyourmom said...

Hey, you go! what a flexible traveler/guest you are, and always have been. It is a joy to see that smile..

Anonymous said...

comfortable sneakers will make a world of difference for next week's hike. Don't they have those in Korea?

dara said...

@ mom - thanks for being so mom-like :)
@ 1:09 - actually, my sandals worked out pretty well. I don't need new shoes, just new lungs. As for sneakers - yeah, they do have 'em, but finding women's shoes above a size 8 is a nightmare!

Josh Lo said...

you are blogging like crazy now!

Anonymous said...

What a very nice and attractive host family you seem to have gotten. Lucky you!

Jorie and Ernie said...