Your thread is delightful!
A few years ago my hiking buddy (who is also my best friend's husband, as Emma detests hiking)arranged for a Rim-to-rim trip through the Grand Canyon. Besides the two of us, he also invited some members of another group he hikes with, a pretty exclusive men's hiking club.
When we met early in the morning on the North Rim,the other two men were furious (I don't speak their dialect, but I can tell ticked-off in any language!) He had previously told them what a good hiker I was....but sorta neglected to also add I was female. A loud argument ensued, with the two of them insisting my friend leave me behind as I was sure to slow them down and ruin the trip. He just smiled, nodded, and told them, in essence, "just wait."
By the time we reached the river, I had easily passed them up, and waited with some group snacks at the bottom. They were happy and surprised. We started trading trail stories and jokes, and quickly became good friends as they realized I wasn't going to slow them down. By the time we reached The Box, it was 112 degrees, and one got heat exhaustion. Since my background is medical, I was able to get him cooled down and he was able to finish the hike.
On the way up, the guys opened up that they were shocked a woman could hike so well. They had tried to get their wives interested but hadn't had any luck. A long conversation ensued, with occasional translation by my friend, as we discussed the differences between men and women, what we each look for out of our wilderness experiences, and how to perhaps approach their wives so that they would be more interested in joining them in the future.
We all finished a fantastic hike in great spirits and with new, lasting friends. That "exclusive" hiking club is now open to all. Even Emma has joined our hikes!
Adorning my desk is a priceless picture: the 4 of us, standing on that bridge over the Colorado river, grinning like crazy. Happy in any language.