The Journey – Discovering

I am discovering I am a dynamic aging cartographer (a map maker). I believe you are, too, whether you know it or not. No matter our age, every move we take, every choice we make, we are creating the map of our future and how we will age. WOW! Talk about unlimited possibilities!

Chapter 2, Part I – June 2021 – Discovering

Discovering the Cartographer

Did you know that coaches have coaches? Well, we do because we don’t have our “stuff” together any more than you do. I asked for coaching to determine my purpose for writing these blog posts over the next year to share Willis’ and my journey to our adventure of hiking the Falls. What is the theme I want to refer to each time I sit down to write? I knew I wanted it to be something that supports dynamic aging. “It feels like I am creating a trail map,” I told my coach. “Starting at the trailhead (the original idea to do the hike) and knowing the destination (to hike the Falls). I don’t know what is between here and there and the how and what it will look like.”

She paraphrased that it sounded like I was a “cartographer for aging.” That totally resonated! I am a cartographer for aging with unlimited possibilities – looking for what excites me – taking risks that demand s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out of my comfort zone and that bring about doubt.

I believe we are each our own cartographer for aging possibilities. There’s no right or wrong – there’s only what works and doesn’t work. The learning is in the doing. By writing these blog posts, I get to share my experience. I invite you – or challenge you – Be your own cartographer – create your own map. What do you want? What scares you?

I am a pathfinder – a lifetime dynamic aging cartographer. This ties in perfectly with my life purpose to explore, discover and empower.

Discovering on Our Next Big Hike

Pratt Hike Trailhead
Pratt Hike Trailhead

Our first big hike upon returning to the Mainland worked out great!  On June 7, Willis and I did our next “big” hike – a strenuous 7-miler called the Pratt Trail in the Los Padres National Forest. Strenuous = 1800’ elevation gain with consistently steep lengthy portions of the trail. We figured it would be no problem to add on another mile. Well, we definitely found out what works and what does not.

Discovering What Works and What Does Not

Talk about learning what works and does not work. This hike did not work in that it did not facilitate our journey. In fact, it was a setback.  On the trip down, we both realized we had over-extended ourselves. I experienced knee issues. This is something that shows up on occasion as pain in the lateral (outside) of the knee so that bending the joint becomes very painful sometimes to the point where I have to stop frequently. I was able to alleviate it by using Katy Bowman’s method of shifting the weight in the hips side to side, like a horse does, coming downhill. This takes the excessive weight off the knees.

Discovering a Setback

Pratt to Nordhoff Trail
Pratt to Nordhoff Trail

For Willis, it was a major setback. The new right hip seemed to do fine. The left hip – not so much. He experienced pain and discomfort. Next day he was sore all over, the left hip hurt and he was limping noticeably. This continued for at least a week. Then he started walking about a mile indoors. Finally, on 6/19, he did a one-mile hike here on the Ranch which is up and down the side of  a mountain. It seemed to be the beginning of recovery.

Discovering Uncertainty

But the left hip goes in and out of pain and discomfort. He notices his right leg is weaker than his left. There is uncertainty in how to proceed and unanswered questions. Did he injure the left hip? What is the status of the left hip? Is the pain and discomfort just the “normal” result of the muscles getting stronger? Or is there another hip replacement ahead? After hiking 1-2 miles here on the Ranch a couple of times a week, he called his hip surgeon and requested x-rays of both hips to get a baseline of what is happening. Results upcoming in July. Stay tuned.

Meantime, I recovered with no noticeable adverse effects and continued hiking several times a week up to 4 miles. At least once a week I wear a backpack starting with 8.5 pounds and will work up to where I can carry adequate water and gear for the Falls hike.

Next Installment: Chapter 2, Part II – June 2021