I am addicted to hiking. I want to start by thanking you, because I spend a lot of time on WordPress reading. You have all awakened my love of learning, creativity, and nature. I lurk on countless blogs, sucking on your words like a greedy vampire. Thanks to your poetry and prose, I want to be. There is nothing to say after that, because anything to follow be would be an expectation. Saturday, last week, I woke with, what can only be described, as a lightning bolt up my ass. I call to mind the scene from Hook:
Unlike Bob Hoskins’ apostrophe, I had an energizing enema, I hopped in my car and drove straight to a lake and hiked around it for over 6 miles. I then climbed at St. Pete’s two times – Sunday and Monday. Since Monday, I have been wondering where and when I could go again.
Thanks to my ex’s suggestion – seriously, how cool is it that we help each other instead of hating each other – I joined an app called “Meet Up”. I joined so many different groups, because I am sick and tired of sitting on my ass, alone, in my living room. I promised myself, in January, that “The Butt Will Grow”. The butt has demanded more than dance and yoga. (I will pleasantly note, though, that my yoga pants no longer contain the illusion of an ass.)
I checked Meet Up last night and sure enough, there was a 6 mile night hike. Done and done. As I neared the park, I was overcome with “Turn around!!! You can’t do this!! You don’t even know how to hike, you’re too slow” Images of Carrie’s Mom “They’re all gonna laugh at you” haunted me. I took a deep breath and said, “You can either keep dying, or you can start living.” I turned off the ignition, and walked up to a group of complete strangers and introduced myself. Immersed in the beauty of the night sky, stars, and cooling breeze from the creek, I found myself talking and learning. One man put me on to iTunes University, which offers course upon course of academia for free!!! UCLA has a complete course offering on mindfulness with a weekly podcast, Philosophy for Beginners, Creative Writing, Poetry, Quantum Physics, Astrology, and on and on and on. My scholarly soul is overjoyed!!!
A few of the hikers went to a bar to have a celebratory beer. The hike leader told me that I need to go backpacking, because he can tell I am a born backpacker. I laughed and told him I’m all in. As I engaged with the people at the table, grinning, joking, swapping stories, I realized that all eyes were on me. “The old me” would have been shitting my pants, nervous, and stammering or drinking her face off to escape the anxiety. Instead, I don’t know how to say this without sounding arrogant, they all seemed enamored with me. As I was doing my Italian talking with my hands thing, sidebars started about my tats, questions, and then I showed them my Phoenix. After I showed my Phoenix, the hike leader said “That’s IT, you have to come, I’ll lend you my backpack, whatever you need”
I went home on a cloud, and conked out immediately. I woke up this morning grinning from ear to ear. Between all of the new avenues I can explore and the connections I have made in one hike, I feel as though Mother Earth opened her arms to me and said “Let’s go beautiful girl, it’s time for you to play” I would have never thought hiking as something I could do, let alone love. I already have a hike planned potentially today and tomorrow.
Pushing my body to her limits and seeing her knock those limits down and tell me “MORE!”is the most incredible feeling in the world. I was sore last night, yet with a good night’s rest, I am still rocking a fully charged colon. I also cannot stop thinking, what else have I lied to myself about? I would not try to supplant myself above the Buddha, but I do love to mix things up. Buddha taught me “Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything” I’m going to add… Expect Nothing but Change, Appreciate Everything Changing –
It brings expect nothing and impermeability together, and those two concepts give me peace. Every day, I have woken up and said “this is the best day ever”, no matter what, I have no expectation, no good or bad, because a day that I am blessed to learn/teach is the best day ever. Every day, I am waking and thinking I have no idea who I am, no idea where I am going, but I don’t want to look back anymore. Those are all tall orders, and I am short, but if I can start off hiking 6 miles, I have no idea where I can end. The next realization I had staring at the sky this morning watching a flock of birds fly overhead, “…I’m only getting started”
H.A. – Hiking Addicts, my new life program, because recovery is my past, and living is my present. “It works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it.”
Today’s Serenity Prayer: Mother , thank you for the body that carries me, the mind that powers my body, and the life that courses in and around. Give me the acceptance to always look forward, courage to never give up, and the wisdom to be all that I will, and all that I am.