Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Reasons to Be Thankful

#70: Give my mother-in-law the day off from Thanksgiving cooking.
#1: 100 new recipes.
This list item originally said "prepare Thanksgiving dinner completely by myself"...but then I realized that one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is spending the day in the kitchen with other people, so I changed it. We spent this Thanksgiving in Hawaii with Tom's family, and as an added incentive to do the cooking, Thanksgiving fell on Tom's mom's birthday this year! So Tom and I did the cooking, and his brother and sister did the dishes. We made all the typical Thanksgiving foods, but I found new ways to do mashed potatoes and green beans, thanks to Food Network (new recipes 49 and 50...halfway to finishing my #1)! The mashed potatoes were fantastic, and the green beans were...decent. I had to make some adjustments to the recipe, and I think I might have compromised the flavor a little. But all in all, everything turned out well, and it was a great day for my mom-in-law!

#83: Climb Diamond Head.
Woohoo, this is done! But now I get to tell the painful story of how this ended up on the list in the first place. The first time Tom and I went to visit his family in Hawaii, we did all of the must-do tourist things in about a week, and one of them was hiking Diamond Head. It started out smoothly enough, but eventually things got a little...well, challenging.

After at least 30 minutes of hiking, we had to climb this...and yes, it is as scary as it looks. I just barely made it to the top of the stairs...and when I did, things went horribly, horribly wrong. All of a sudden, I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe, I felt like I was going to throw up, and none of my muscles seemed to work. It was terrifying...and humiliating. That was as far as I got that day; all I could do was sit there sipping water at the top of the stairs, watching everyone else walk past me on their way to the summit. That memory has haunted me for nearly two years, and every time I think about it, it makes me angry, but in a good way because it makes me want to tackle that crater. Then this year, I had my chance; when Tom's parents asked us what we'd like to do during this visit, I asked to go back to Diamond Head.
There were a several things that made this hike a whole lot easier than the first one: 1) it wasn't as hot outside as it was the first time we went, 2) we were behind a group of high-school students who insisted on stopping every few minutes to take pictures, so we had lots of chances to catch our breath, 3) I could tell that the "training" I've been doing for the Bridge Run has helped increase my endurance, as opposed to before when I wasn't exercising at all, and finally...4) that nightmarish staircase no longer takes you to the top of the crater; there is now a detour that directs you to a staircase that's not as steep, and it's broken up so that you're not just continuously climbing for what feels like hours. Regardless of how much easier it was, I felt so accomplished afterward!!!

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