View from Appalachian Trail in CT
Once upon a time, I was in much better shape than I am now, and I loved to hike. One time? I even hiked a portion of The Applachian Trail, that mac daddy of trails that starts in Maine and ends somewhere way south of there. Like way way south, in the Carolinas maybe. So far south that once I took a few steps up a mountain with a much-too-heavy backpack strapped to me, I suddenly realized what a huge feat it would be to hike the whole thing, and how small and frail I was. And how my feet hurt. And how thirsty I was. And how gross MRE’s are. And how amazing the scenery was. And how small I was in the universe. Stuff like that.
I think of that stuff – things that I did when my body was stronger – when I am just sitting around minding my own business and WHAM I have a crazy ass muscle spasm somewhere seemingly inexplicable, like behind my left shoulder blade. I wasn’t even doing anything. Which is rare. I was literally just sitting there.
A few months ago an additional pain on top of all the other pain I feel would have been enough to send me to the floor in a puddle of frustrated tears. Now? I can handle it, kind of. I can pop a high dose anti-inflammatory, breathe deeply many times (watch how fast your kids come running when you try to do this, with repetitive cries of “Mommy! Can I…?” or “Mommy! He hit me!” etc.), and ride off into the sunset to see my physical therapist/healer.
I can still picture a photo that I used to have of myself sitting on a rock somewhere in those mountains. I wish I could shake that girl and say “Don’t take this for granted. Who cares about hiking blisters? Someday this will all be a distant memory and you’ll hurt just from sitting around.”