And Now

John M. mountaineering!

Something happened to me on my last hike in Southern Virginia. It was too hard. The heat. The hills. The distance.

It’s not easy for me to declare anything too hard. That is not what I do. That means, to me, I’m have the wrong attitude.

Attitude is everything, right. Nope. It’s not.

Attitude is incredibly important, but intelligence is more important. Our good sense trumps (I hate that word now) attitude.

I may not finish the AT. I may not complete this goal. It’s ok.

Man. That was really hard to write.

I posted that photo of John because it shows what the terrain can look like. Yesterday, I hiked from Ashfield Road to Bake Oven Knob Road in Eastern PA. It was rocks. Big rocks. Pointy rocks. Wet rocks. Slippery rocks. I fell once. Minor fall. Lucky. Well, I’m careful, but you never know when that fall will happen.

At 71, my balance is not like it was. I train at home with balance equipment. Yup. Train. It helps, but I’m 71.

Just as I have settled myself into this new approach to finishing, along comes a German hiker. About my age. We shared stroke stories. Mine was a TIA. His was the real deal. 10 years ago for him, 10 months ago for me.

He is Thru hiking the trail.

He started in February and is now in PA. Pretty much ahead of schedule for a Thru hiker. He has residual effects from his stroke. Balance problems. Weakness on his right side. He is Thru hiking the trail.

It was really hard to not want to finish, after that conversation. He is going to finish at Katahdin. Stroke victim. Weakness on his right side. Balance problems.

I’m not him. That is also hard to say. I want to say, why am I backing off. He’s doing it!!!

Well. I’m staying with my soft goal of finishing. Actually, I’m leaning a little more toward the “I can do it” approach today. I was tilting pretty far toward the “I can’t do it” side 2 days ago.

I guess I’ll just wait and see.

I have been obsessed with finishing since 1996. Now, I’m just going to keep the door open. Not nail it open, glue it to the wall, and paint it.

I think I will just let it swing. Yes. Just let it swing.


5 thoughts on “And Now

  1. Good. I believe your last communication was something about the good part being when you stop hiking. Sure doesn’t sound like much fun. Love you, Doug. Take care of yourself

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. You will do what is right for you. I think it’s a motivator to stay active and healthy. One foot in front of the other at your own pace, on your own terms!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I get older, I am not worried at all about losing a step, losing balance is a nother issue. In my sports life, like yours Doug, we worked hard and long to be the best we could on that specific day. We were good at that then and I say we can be good with this exact same directive today. We CAN be as good as we can be. it was always hard when we exerted at a maximum level. We reveled in that effort. suggest you can do the same right now. Recognize things are tough and do your best. All in, as you declare. That is a lifetime of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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