Back when I was a long-distance runner, I enjoyed the challenge of a hill. Attacking a hill was so much fun; I passed many runners going uphill. Unfortunately, a lot of them passed me going downhill. My shorter legs were at a disadvantage downhill.
I'm sure I got my love for challenging hills when I was very young. Back then while my family and I were still living on a farm, we had a rim that followed along part of the creek that ran through the farm.
This rim had a steep drop down to the creek; almost a sheer, straight drop. I remembered many times keeping myself entertained climbing from the creek bottom straight up past the limestone jutting out from the top of the rim. I would grab any shred of bush or twig to keep from falling back and kept churning my legs. Not the safest thing to do--one mishap would have sent me backwards.
During the winter I used my saucer sled to try going down the sheer drop--ever seen that scene from National Lampoon Christmas when Clark Griswold greases up his saucer? Well I didn't see any sparks flying but I sure had a lot of air time.
I was always curious what the elevation difference was between the rim and the creek. Thanks to GIS mapping, I now know. The rim above the creek is 1902.8 feet while the creek is at 1861.8 feet.
That's 41 feet difference in a short amount of space.
I learned how to climb hills when I was young--always go forward; going back was never a viable option.