Some random thoughts on a winter day’s walk. . . .
Today is the anomaly of winter – heading toward 50 degrees, sunny – a perfect day for a walk in the woods. Despite this, I’ve been feeling crappy (and crabby) as a result of some minor dental surgery last week, so I was not particularly in the mood. I was absolutely being lazy, and didn’t really want to go, despite the gorgeous weather. But I knew that my body won’t magically get ready for hiking season without some effort on my part, so off I went.
Once under way, I began to realize that yes, the dental pain is annoying – but it will eventually go away. Really, on a scale of 1 – 10, it’s maybe a 3. It’s the fact that hasn’t improved and doesn’t go away that makes it so darned annoying. But it got me thinking about pain in general. . .
As for the rest of me: my legs feel good, my feet feel good, and walking energizes me. I can carry my pack comfortably, although it’s no where near 30 pounds yet. Compared to my health for well over 30 years of my so far almost 60 year life, all of this is an amazing thing in itself.
Thirty years ago, I was dealing with endometriosis. Two weeks of the month, a walk around the grocery store could be blindingly painful – leaning over the grocery cart biting-back-tears painful, crawling home to curl up under a blanket with pain killers for the rest of the night painful. And that was when I could get them, which wasn’t often. Once I had Hannah and the endometriosis wasn’t a direct issue in pain an more, I dealt with fibromyalgia. Someone once described it as never knowing that when other people were tired that they were JUST tired – pain and exhaustion were intertwined in such a way that they were never separate.
Now that I’m on thyroid meds, all of this pain is but a memory the vast majority of the time. Sure I can work to exhaustion, and occasionally there is even pain involved – stacking too much wood at once comes to mind as a cause of bodily pain on exertion. It is NOTHING like it was for so many years, however. So when folks talk about whether or not 60 years olds can do the AT, I have to laugh. I don’t know, but I sure have a better chance than when I was 30.