Journey of Self-Discovery – Just Do It!

I have noticed a belief in our culture that age is determinative of what we can BE, DO, HAVE. That there is such a thing as “normal” aging. That age is responsible for the aches, pains, physical, mental and emotional changes we experience as we get older. I say this belief is erroneous! In my experience it depends on each individual! HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU DON’T JUST DO IT?!? Thanks, Nike, for such a great slogan and challenge!

Chapter 5 – September 2021 

Just do it!  Reality

My purpose in writing this post is to share our Journey of Self-Discovery when it feels hard – like when things don’t seem to be working to support us in our commitment to prepare and hike Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park next June 2022. Or when we get discouraged or tired or scared. The reason I want to share is because sometimes I only want to share my successes so I can look “good.” The real story on any journey is the hard parts and getting through them. We won’t know if we can hike the Falls until we do it. And before that, we do whatever it takes to prepare.

Just do it! Challenges

Joan doing bridges
Just Do It! Joan doing bridges.

On Tuesday, September 7, I hiked 6 miles in 2 hours and 40 minutes including climbing 280 stairs carrying 8 pounds (weight vest and backpack with one quart of water.) WOW! I felt GREAT!  The following Sunday I started off on a simple walk to breakfast. Apparently I took off too fast and too hard with long strides and next thing I knew I had hurt my left hip and was unable to continue walking. X-rays showed a “normal” hip  – hooray – no bone or joint damage. Diagnosis: Soft tissue injury. Prescription: Ice 3 times a day, anti-inflammatories, and walking only as needed for activities of daily living. In other words, no hiking or even long walking for at least two weeks! And just that quick my plans for preparing to hike the Falls are on hold!

Just do it! OMG! This is Hard!

Many of us make resolutions on New Year’s Eve. We are excited about making changes in our lives – taking on new challenges – like going to the gym. The first 3 weeks at the gym it is crowded. Then it gets less crowded. That initial excitement wears off. What keeps us going then?

Before my injury and restriction, I was noticing that this year-long journey preparing to hike the Falls was feeling hard on several levels. Writing about it on a regular basis for these blog posts can be challenging. What do I write about? How do I keep it interesting? What will we do this month to change it up so we are having fun while heading in the direction of the Falls?

Showing up for the prototype Be Stronger classes with Nancy Burns on-line at Body Wisdom Studios  is demanding of our time. Hiking regularly and getting in several 5 mile or more walks/hikes each month requires planning. Sometimes we repeat a hike and our time is slower than before. What is that about?

I have noticed some numbness in my toes and feet on occasion. Is it neuropathy? How will it affect my ability to hike and to keep my balance? Willis’ left hip (his original one) continues to be sensitive during and after hiking. And he has scoliosis which seems to be affecting how he walks. How will that affect him as we continue to prepare?

And now this hip injury and restricted walking! So much is unknown. It feels really scary to say we will hike the Falls in June of 2022 when we have no idea what the future holds!  I am noticing it was all so fun and exciting when we first said we were going to hike the Falls. Now it feels a little tedious and scary.

Just do it! – The best cure for fear is action

Doubts come up for me when I look into the future – the unknown. If I stay here, in the PRESENT moment, take action, do whatever I can to prepare and stay focused, I feel great! That’s easier said than done sometimes – especially when there are setbacks or injuries or aches and pains that seem to bode disaster. That’s when I check back on my Purpose – why am I doing this? What is the Outcome I want? We want to see what we are capable of at our ages – to build our confidence to tackle things we want to do that may not be considered “normal” at our ages.  We are still committed to that so we get up, dust ourselves off and keep going as long and as far as we can.

Willis using the TRX
Just Do It! Willis using the TRX

When the pity party begins, we say “Wrap up the pity party!” What CAN WE DO in this moment in this condition? With my hip, no walking for at least 2 weeks. How about building upper body strength? How about floor work – bridges, abs, planks, core work? What can I read/watch/listen to that keeps me moving forward? Maybe rather than this being a disaster, I can reframe it as having time to write a blog post, communicate with friends who are struggling in their lives, plan our next hikes. The possibilities are limited only by my imagination.

All we can do is do what we can in the moment – stay in the present and JUST DO IT!

Next Installment: October 2021 – Be Stronger

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. The past is history, the future is a mystery. All I have is today, now. Accept my reality, take the next appropriate action, surrender to win. Reading your blog post felt like being at my Al-anon meeting 🙂 I wish you and Willis well on your road to Vernal Falls.

    1. Thank you Tim. We wish you well on whatever road you choose. You have made a difference in our world!

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