NSV: Hiking up to Abenaki Lookout tower in New Hampshire

My asthma had been giving me fits for a month or more the day this photos was taken. The winter saw me have the flu, then bronchitis, and then a really bad bout with a sinus infection. When this photo was taken on Sunday, April 19th, I could barely make it up the hill to the lookout tower. DF and I were up at Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend and he had promised me that on weekends we could walk to get my "activity points" in for the week. The back-story here is that last summer, on a hot and humid day, we'd stopped by the same trail and I couldn't get even 1/2 of the way up before I had to turn around and head back to the a/c of the car.

I was determined NOT to let my asthma, poor breathing get in the way this time. DF was so good about it - he stopped with me along the path - encouraged me to take it slow - even said "look, my heart is beating fast too, it isn't just you that needs to go slow", so slowly but surely we made it up there and the lookout tower steps looked impossible to me as I leaned against the base, breathing hard.

But then I thought to myself, "I can do this. I can catch my breath and go up to the top." And so, flight after flight of stairs, I climbed, rested a second, climbed the next set of stairs. Up and up 'til we made it to the top. The photo below is me realizing that I'd overcome my fear... it was a true smile of accomplishment. Not only had I given myself the time to get up there and not backed down from the challenge, I overcome the occasional fear I have experienced since my asthma worsened of "oh my God, what if I get (wherever seems remote) and I have a problem and I can't get (fill in the blank... "down" or "out" or "into")?" So it was two victories in one climb and the view was soooooo worth it!

Happy to have made it up and overcome my asthma difficulties... I didn't give up with DF's encouragement and had a major Non-Scale Victory (NSV) as a result! The smile wasn't 'posed', it was honest.

Another view of the lake in very early spring in New Hampshire just as the trees were about to begin to bud...