Being a ninja involves a lot of complicated qualifications, including cheating death and breaking minor laws in order to cheat death. Check and check for training for the week. Both training exercises were accomplished with this week’s hike, the Stairway to Heaven.
Anna, Kate, Ben and I were successful in this attempt to reach the stairs without detection by the guard, who apparently does not wake up as early on weekdays as on weekends. No need to ninja him, though we did sneak through the forest in the dark just to play it safe.
The hike is breathtaking. It is proof that God exists, and that we are so small. Everything we make is small. The world is so large to us, but it is still small.
You have plenty of time to meditate on all those stairs. There are a lot. No really, a lot. Stair after stair after stair. And when you get to the landing, you realize that you are only halfway there. The H-3 highway gets smaller and smaller, and still you are not at the top.
We made our way to the second landing, where we could see the whole valley and even caught a glimpse of Pearl Harbor on the other side of the island. Alas, we did not make it to the radio station for lack of time.
Now, three days later, I can walk like a normal human being again. Not having ever climbed that many stairs in my whole life, the following day I continually felt like someone was stabbing me in the legs. Masking my pain was another exercise in ninja-ism. I hobbled around at work like a penguin trying not to look like a penguin. A mere step up looked like an unscalable mountain to me. At my Friday night viewing of West Side Story, Kate and I raced an old man down the stairs at the theater and lost. Miserably. It wasn’t even close. Alas, even ninjas can’t win them all.