After my successful hike to Diamond Head, I was totally ready to tackle the Manoa Falls hike. It sounded do-able, but the trail was way harder than I expected.
It all started out just fine. I had brought my trusty hiking poles, and was enjoying the tropical rainforest around us. We heard many birds but didn’t see any yet.
The scenery reminded me of the tree walk in Singapore, which I attempted and couldn’t do, so that should have forewarned me 🙂
For now I was still optimistic about my capabilities and enjoying the hike, expecting to reach the water fall at the end.
We met some other hikers who told us that some of the scenes in Jurassic Park were filmed here. Very cool! The trail was getting harder though, but I was in no way or shape ready to give up.
Until I was. My energy and my walking ability was rapidly decreasing and I started questioning people who were on the way down. Hoping for a ‘sure, you’re almost there!’ but instead getting mostly ‘it’s getting steeper and harder and you’re not even halfway and there be dragons!’
Darn! I was so convinced I would make it up. But MS reality convinced me otherwise. Convinced me that it’s not about the destination but about the journey. That not even trying would be the real failure. But still, darn!
Deep breath, Carpe Diem, and admit that reality not always matches with ability. So I told Tom he should go up to the waterfall, while I slowly started making my way down.
I took my time. Waiting for my body to catch up with my desires. Waiting for no spectators to be around when I got down stairs sitting down, because I ‘knew’ people would think I was weird. And a loser. Which might be true, but I didn’t want ‘people’ to know 🙂
After a while I made it to a more open part of the trail where I decided to switch from hiking and beating myself up to bird watching. I sat, I meditated, I was, I observed, I became a living breathing part of the tropical rainforest. My frustrations melted away to nothingness, and instead I became a bird watcher, a nature observer, a go-with-the-flow person.
I rested, relaxed, took pictures, and relished the reality of being in the rain forest. In Hawaii! How much better can life get?
Tom came back down and confirmed that I had made the right decision. The hike was hard and slippery, even for him. We watched birds together for a bit and then made our way back down.
We called an Uber, even although Tom’s phone ran out of battery immediately after calling it, but everything worked out anyway. It was a good hike, even if much harder than expected. I am glad we did it and that I got to watch many birds 🙂
And I might or might not have another MS challenge to beat one day. Or not 🙂