i learned some things today while hiking. it's getting late so i'm just going to get this out without a ton of editing. i thought you should know up front. some of you are english majors. myself included.
i may regret this in the morning, but only grammatically speaking. content-wise, i'm pretty sure i'll nail it on the head.
so, sometime between the point at which i had the complimentary cup of coffee at the car wash ($4!! yay for being a frequent customer!!) and while i was killing time at ralphs buying hi-chew, dark chocolate chips, and green tabasco before meeting a friend for lunch, the overcast sky melted into sunshine and i started jonesing for a hike. there may have been a lot of yelling in my car, maybe perhaps some in-seat dancing and the stereo was probably a little louder than normal and playing something pleasant and fun and fairly recent thanks to pandora. the last time i went hiking by myself was last year for 4th of july. it was my way of marking my independence day. solo hikes are cathartic and curative for all sorts of ailments.
when i hike, i never listen to music. i take my phone, douse my pale skin in spf 50, throw on a black baseball cap, pack myself some ice water and top it off with a nutrient-rich bar "just in case." today was no exception.
it felt pretty good, early on: gorgeous day, beautiful surroundings. an hour in, i was ready to be done. i had eaten the bar, spent time jogging on a narrow trail where i warily scanned for snakes (mindful of the warning a pair of hikers shared), my nose was leaking its allergic reaction to the environment down half my face, and i was no where near where i intended to be. with less than half a bottle of water left, i trekked onward, picking a path down through the wild hillsides. i listened to the constant humming of bees as they slaved away in the trees i passed. i listened for the infrequent trail rider and moved off the path at the sound of squeaking brakes or at the sound of "rider up!"piercing the otherwise peaceful air. i listened to my body, which was beginning to ache in various places. my foot hasn't been the same since i had surgery in late november.
i listened. i assessed. and i kept moving. great googley moogley! what an incredible instrument the brain is to keep driving the body forward regardless of the obvious hurting that's happening in the depths of muscles and tissues! i may never be close to being an athlete, but i get it now: this is how one trains in spite of physical limitations. this is how you get to the next level. this is what it is to break the threshold of the known and achieve.
two hours. it was amazing to sit in my car. i celebrated with a burst of energy from who knows where. i made it home, singing and stopping for gas and picking up chicken wings & a redbox movie ("the perks of being a wallflower" is magic, but then again hearing david bowie's "heroes" during the film didn't exactly hurt) en route. i cleaned up, ate dinner, iced my shoulder & foot, and then baked a batch of banana oat chocolate chip muffins. booyah. then i blogged about it.
i win today. today gives me so much hope for the things that i am trying to get done with my life, and i didn't even touch on everything i did or thought about. if i were to sum it up, i would say that my capacity has increased because i know i can tolerate a lot. not just physical pain, but the emotional stuff too. as long as i can think my way through it, i know my brain is able to sort out what belongs, how to navigate the steps, when to slow down, speed up, or refuel on the run. the future is now.
the future, also, is sleep. until next time...