I’ve taken to hiking these past few months. On a grey day, lumbering clouds rolling by, I’ll imagine I’ve been set loose for a coming-of-age walkabout. Sunny Saturdays I streak through the bush with nary-a-care, sprinting my beloved switchbacks and lollygagging through the lazier loops. Windy afternoons are positively soul emancipating. Midweek there is a particular trail that is guaranteed to be totally empty. Exclusivity, wildflowers, and my own thinking rock: bliss on a mountainside.
A few weeks ago mid-hike I got a really bad cramp. The summit was in sight. I was way past the halfway mark. It would have been easy to turn around. But I was determined to make it up my mountain. So I shortened my stride. And slowed my pace. Then shortened it again. And slowed further still.
As I ascended that peak I broke into peals of laughter. Outwardly I must have looked absurd. Neon-green fanny pack swaying in one hand, water bottle in the other, I had just side-shuffled, grape-vined, tip-toe’d, and bum-scooted up a ridiculous incline with the momentum of a hibernating snail BUT I had made it! Three billion baby-steps up a mountain.
And friends. Major metaphor. Here I am again: facing a new kind of summit. I fractured my rib and pulled some muscles. This is really discouraging, this is incredibly painful, and this is not the specific route I would have chosen to journey.
But if I can baby-step my way up an actual mountain I think I can handle this. Already I’ve had some big support from family and amazing friends. Thank you for being you. Because as much as I love my solo hikes, I booked an All-Inclusive Life Expedition. (Thank you for being such terrific companions and co-creators!)
Now who’s in for book fort building and movie nights??