Today I put on my new purple boots, my special wool hiking socks (that for some reason I purchased on sale somewhere last winter, before I even had an inkling of going on a hike, which were still in the package in my closet until a few weeks ago when I got them out in preparation for this whole hiking thing), my recently arrived hiking pants (ordered in a long length for my freakish legs), slung on a backpack (carrying two bottles of water, my camera and a few extra things to simulate my actual hike stuff) and maneuvered my family into "support mom in her endeavors" mode.
The boy child was eager, husband was surprisingly willing, daughter grumbled as is her custom with new things, and we proceeded to the local "Wilderness Area". Really, that's what it's called. No sarcastic quotations there. It's about ten miles down a side road as you go out of town, whereupon we paid $6 a person to enter the wilderness. So much for my selling point that hiking could be a family acitvity that wouldn't cost anything. But, hey, we are not complaining! We are like professional hikers. Look at us, going on a course you have to pay for! This is no backyard hike we are on, this is the real deal! We got maps and everything. (You know, I came out here a few times when the boy was little and I don't remember this part.)
Coincidentally, and interestingly, as soon as we parked and got out of the truck we saw another hiker; it was the girl who sold me my cool boots at REI. We got to talk to her for a bit and saw her again at the end too. Already we have met new nice people.
It was a nice cool morning here today. Too bad it was almost 2:00 when we hit the trail! Still seemed coolish when we started though. However, 85 degrees starts to feel pretty warm pretty fast when you are going uphill!
My new boots are great! My long pants that roll up are comfortable. Even my new sports bra was not annoying. What wasn't great was that my body is at least ten years older and 15 pounds heavier than the last time I hiked these hills. What wasn't comfortable was how much harder it was for me now. And what was really annoying was that even though I have been walking and even though my heart and head wanted it to be a breeze, it wasn't. It was hard. And as we climbed, even a little bit, my heart pounded and I was breathing hard. And I got mad. Every time I had to stop and catch my breath or sit for a minute under a tree I got madder. I got mad at my body for not being what it once was. I got mad because my thyroid is gone (even though when it was here it plotted against me by growing twice its size and playing see how many body functions I can mess up). They tell me the replacement pill is the same and your body doesn't know the difference. But, kids, I'm not buying that! And I got mad, because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hike well with others on the Gratitude Hike, less than two weeks away.
I got frustrated. So there I am, mad and frustrated walking up a hill with my happy family. They are having a great time. The daughter is walking and skipping and talking, ponytail bouncing, and having a grand time- no grumbling at all once she gets going. And I'm trying so hard to have a good time. Because I am seriously happy here! I'm happy, yet I'm annoyed and i'm even more annoyed that I am not just happy. It's a pretty day, my family is all outside doing something together. I'm right where I wanted to be. What could be better? I'll tell you what! Me not being a giant heart pounding, mouth breathing, slow moving old mom thing, that's what! Not feeling the gratitude here so much, now are we?
But you know what? Life is not all lalala, everything is nice, I'm so happy to be alive, it's a wonderful world, every minute of every day. At least it isn't for anyone I know. So it was not too pleasant being me in my body for a while today. But I kept going. And you know what? It got freaking steeper! Oh yeah. And I had to sit and rest. I told my husband and kids to go on (and they did, but not far) and I found a shady spot and I sat there being mad and then very sad. I cried. I put my arms on my knees and my head down, and I cried. I cried because I couldn't do what I wanted to do easily. I cried for the times I did it with my son in years past (and probably carried him part of the way too). I cried because I just felt like crying. My husband and kids left me alone. I could hear them just up the hill. I don't know if they saw me crying or not, I didn't want them to, yet I still cried. Then I stopped. Luckily I packed some tissues in my backpack. I dried my eyes, blew my nose and got up. I kept going. It's what I do. Oh, don't go thinking I'm some great, positive energy guru who always knows how to take the next step, or that I am so sure of myself that I know I will always make it. It's only in retrospect and years of looking back, forward, and inward that I know this about me. It's so much easier to see it looking back than in the moment though.
My day? My day was a great day. And going down was so much fun!