I enjoy hiking and backpacking. There is something about being in the woods that you don’t get out here in civilization. It is often very quiet. The alpha dogs and the corporations are not here. There is the wind and the sound of birds. And there is the struggle reaching the next ridge.
Last year I went on a hike to McAfee’s Knob here in Virginia. After about the first five miles I was hiking alone. Everyone else in our great group of Central Virginia Trailblazers had moved ahead to the camping area. But a couple of them came back and took my pack so I pretty much ran to the campsite. You really feel the difference when that load is lifted.
This year we are going to McAfee’s Knob again. And my goal is to do it unaided. I continue to walk nearly every day, 6 or 8 miles. I continue to try and understand my body and its nutritional requirements. I’ve lost a lot of weight but that’s really not the answer. You have to do a lot more than lose weight if you want to climb even these small mountains in Virginia at my age. Water, carbs, and the rest is very important. I’m hoping that this time things will go better.
Being sixty something means something different to me. I look around and see a lot of folks in my age bracket who are slowing down. Relaxing. I never had much of an opportunity to be so active when I was young. Kids and my government job slowed me down. But, as they say, “it’s never too late”.
We shall see. I think that a lot of it depends on what is burning inside you.
And do you ignore it? Do you fall asleep? Or do you take a chance and burn up some miles. Do you get outside and breathe the air. Feel your lungs try to do their thing.
Recently someone we know died after a short illness. He had pulmonary fibrosis. I think about him sometimes when I am hurting as I go up a steep slope. And I thank God for the pain. Because it means this body is still working. It functions as it did decades ago. It just needs more time to do the same thing.
And a little love.