Monday, March 8, 2010


So I went orienteering this Saturday. It was my first go at it-- Husband does it fairly regularly, so he dragged me along not-so-unwillingly.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, orienteering is basically running (in my case, walking, huffing, puffing, crawling, and trudging) through the woods with a map and a compass. The map shows a series of "Control points" which you have to go to in order. At the point, you punch a card with a pin puncher that makes a series of tiny pin-sized holes in the correct square of the punch card. More advanced courses use a nifty little electronic thumb pad.

Mostly due to my husband's insistence that the easiest course, White, was "for little kids", I was running the next easiest course, yellow. Again, I'm using the term "running" quite loosely.

As far as the actual map reading and locating skills went, I did fine. Didn't get lost, and only had a small amount of trouble finding one point.

As far as the physical skills required to walk 3-4 miles through woods that seem to predominately consist of steep hills... well, I wasn't quite prepared. I discovered this as I was clinging to the edge of a gully, frantically trying to scramble up as my fingers and feet slipped through the mud and grass.

I made it, though. Covered in mud, wheezing like an asthmatic octogenarian, and swearing that I was going to kill my husband, I came up over the last hill and enjoyed a leisurely (flat) walk to the last two control points.

The results haven't been posted yet, but I'm fairly certain that I placed first in my category owing to the fact that I was the only one in my category. If there was another 19-35 year old female running the yellow course, well, I didn't get first. I can just about guarantee that.

All in all, it was fun. I should probably be in much, much better shape, but I survived and finished, so that should be something at least. There's another meet in two weeks, but it's larger. The suggestion was made that perhaps I should run a white course this time around. I'm not arguing.

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