First of all, 9 miles was, once upon a time, more than I thought was possible for me. Now it’s not even a challenge , when the terrain is easy like today.
Secondly, these two in the photo are REALLY nice men. Scott W. and John M. Both have their lives prioritized correctly. They understand how happy people create happy lives. Balancing their own health and wellbeing against job and family.
We talked about wives, jobs, our children, coaching, relationships, boots, teaching, engineering, dentistry, geography, geology, health, exercise, disease prevention, fluoride, dogs, winter, the AT, State Parks, Ursinus, Albright College, the Navel Academy, Temple, West Virginia, cars, parties, alcoholism and not about politics or religion. No politics on Inauguration Day. Amazing, really. Maybe we had had enough of politics, after the last 6 months. We didn’t once say “Trump” in 3 hours and 9 miles. Beautiful morning.
I’m bad at making friends. Maybe it’s about my alcoholism. Maybe not. Maybe because I love solitude. Maybe because I didn’t want any. Maybe because when I was working, I had people around me all the time.
Maybe I’ve begun to grow into new territory in my life.
I didn’t believe that Gates and John really wanted to hike like this with me. I thought they felt sorry for me and they were just being nice. They were driving miles just to help me reach my goal of Section Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Maybe they were just trying to get me to come to the HS reunion; bring me back into the Central Bucks fold. It couldn’t be because they really like to hike and enjoy my company. Could it?
Why would Scott drive all the way up to Nockamixon just for a few hours on the trail? Does he like hiking and enjoy my company and even meeting a friend of mine? (We both have John M friends we grew up with. I’ll get to that weirdness later.)
Could it be that I like being around these guys, too? Grown up men?
My entire life was spent being in charge of groups of people. Organizing. Having to be responsible for their well being. Making sure they got home safe. Had a good time.
I didn’t have any friends. I’m just learning how to have friends. Non AA friends. They say when you drink like I did, you stop growing up at the point you begin your addiction. That was age 11 for me. I got sober at 46. I was like an 11 year old, learning how to be an adult. I was good at my job. I was bad at my personal life and I never made any friends. I was nervous around other adults when I was out of job situations.
I think these guys are my friends. John and Gates after more than 50 years of knowing each other. Scott after one hike. I think maybe I like hiking with these guys as much as I like hiking alone. I think I can like both. I think I could tell them I wanted to hike alone and they would understand. I would understand if they said that to me. I guess that’s how friendship works. Huh.
I never had this as an adult. I like it.
And now back to Scott. We met on the AT a few weeks ago. Before I had this friend thing going. We began talking. I had Lyme Disease. So did he. I cycled. So did he. I coached Volleyball. His daughter was playing collegiate volleyball against a team coached by one of my former players. He hiked all Winter as long as there was no ice or rain. Me too. And on and on it went. It was weird.
He kept wanting to hike with me, even after I canceled. Didn’t people get disappointed with you and blow you off if you cancelled? Maybe not. Maybe they just waited until the next opportunity and they just picked up where they left off. Is that how normal grown ups work? Maybe I was the one blowing people off. Hmm.
I think they all like to hike. I think they hike when they can and not when they can’t. I think they have NO AGENDA OTHER THAN THAT! What? It’s that easy? I can either hike or not hike and we can still be friends until the next time we hike or not?
I like this grown up thing.
I had a really good time this morning hiking with a couple of friends.
I have friends who are not in AA. Not sure I ever would.
It was Inauguration Day and we just walked, like any other day and we didn’t say “Trump” once. 😀
Thank you Scott for these:
I almost forgot!!!! I think maybe Bo is my friend, too!