Saturday, April 02, 2005

Journaling on the trail...

John Evans is evil -- and that's spelled E V I L. First he gets me hooked on Battlestar Galactica and then he gets me hooked on trail journals written by hikers on trails like the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, Colorado, etc. I'm currently reading a trail journal written by a 37-year-old woman nicknamed Bedouin (trail name given because of her Megamid tent) and she's section hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) alone and in 200-mile two-week hikes every year during her annual vacations. I've read through two years and am now on the third year and the more I read the more I want to get out there even though I'm not nearly ready for a 200-mile trek (or a 50-mile trek come to that). There's something about getting out there and exploring, even if it's a trail you share with other people, and being in the outdoors on your own away from people -- although from what I've read you do not get too far from people or shelters or towns near the trails that offer all kinds of hiker-friendly food, snacks, equipment, fuel, and company. Still, I want to get out there and I know in order to do that I have to start working on getting to the stage where a 50-mile hike won't bother me and I'll be Jonesing for the real trails.

The more I read, the more I want to get out there; the more I want to get out there, the more I'm dissatisfied with things as they are now. I'm not a person who likes to wait when I have a goal in mind, and it's not about instant gratification either. It's about having a goal I know is within my grasp but for a little work or planning and wanting to go after it. Reminds me of Tom Cruise in Top Gun when he tells Charlie, after she accuses him of being aggressive, that he is aggressive and that when he sees something he wants he goes after it. I know the feeling.

in line with that thought, I received a phone call from a friend back in Ohio who wants my help playing a practical joke on her family. She asked me because she has heard and seen some of the tricks I've played on family members and she likes the way I think and plan. I agreed to help and even offered some really great tweaks on her plan, fleshing it out into a true Fixnwrtr-styled full fledged, never-to-be-forgotten practical joke that will live on long after the punch line in anecdotes and family stories. Anyway, to get back to the point of this line of thought, she said that she admired me because I don't whine, even though there are parts of my life (from beginning to end) that have been pretty awful and frightening and even horrific, but I never whine. I told her what I tell everyone, life happens and it isn't always pretty and all the experiences I have had make me who and what I am right now. Without those experiences I would be someone else and maybe someone I wouldn't even like. Whining gets you nowhere. If you don't like a situation or you're unhappy and you don't do anything about whining is a waste of energy and just proves that you'd rather whine than fix whatever is wrong. Children whine. Wimps whine. But people who know what they want and go after it don't whine.

I emailed Bev this morning in hopes she will lend me her TaeBo tape so I can get in shape. I'm also going to start hiking around here and doing a little climbing before I move to the Springs to build up my weak ankles and hamstrings and toughen up the ligaments and muscles around my knees -- once the snow stops falling and the roads and conditions are a lot less muddy and icy than they are now. I don't have cleats on any of my shoes. When I get to the Springs I'll spring for a new, well fitted pair of running shoes, as suggested in Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking, which the above mentioned EVIL man suggested and I got from the local library system, and get out on some day and weekend hikes as soon as I get settled in the Springs. I will of course break in the shoes before trekking because I know one thing about hiking/walking/backpacking already: When the feet go, the rest of the body goes. I learned that growing up in the Army where the condition of one's feet can decide, and has decided, the outcome of many a battle. I know from personal experience that I can weather storm, misfortune, danger, and near death experiences, but I cannot weather ill-fitting shoes and bad feet. Oh, I've had my share of aches and pains in my feet, swelling, plantar fasciitis, and the occasional blister from bad shoes, but I tossed the shoes, fixed the problems that caused damage to my feet and paid attention to what causes blisters and foot ills. I refuse to suffer. I'm not the martyr type. I either fix it, toss it, or don't do it again. It's that simple.

Anyway, my mind is made up and my goals are set. I'll work overtime and do more dictation to pay for my new addiction, thanks to the above named EVIL fella, but I am going to enjoy myself and make another dream come true.

Yes, Mom, I am a dreamer, but as I've told you countless times, without dreamers you would still be living in a cave eating raw rotting flesh from a dead animal you fell over while searching for grubs, and plants dressed in foul-smelling animal skins or plaited grasses or the all-together instead of having seven or eight closets full of clothes, jewelry, shoes, and what not in a warm house with a below zero bedroom, eating off a whore house dining room set, watching Forever Knight on your 70" TV screen and taping it on your DVR, and driving around in your vintage Cadillac. So there!

Whatever your dreams (especially the really good ones), it is worth making them come true.

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