Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting Back on the Trail

As mentioned in last week's "The Journey", I fell down while taking a walk nine days ago. In the eight days since, I haven't attempted a walk of any distance beyond going from a car to a house, movie theater, restaurant, or store. That all changed today.

Sure, the walk wasn't long, only a bit longer than a mile. It wasn't particularly strenuous either, just a few times around the Beech Grove trail at Forest Glen. Except for a short jaunt down a grassy path to reach over a mile, the path was paved, mostly level, and dry. All in all, it was more of a stroll than a hike. However, it was a start.

Quite frankly, once I had verified my ankle and knee hadn't been seriously injured in the fall, the biggest issue I faced was mental. Several times over the next week I would catch my self reliving the moment when my ankle did that double roll thing, and it would make me shiver. At times I wasn't sure if I could get myself to walk to my mailbox, let alone a full mile, or the miles in a day's worth of hiking.

Nonetheless, I did it. Was I over worrying about it happening again? Hell no, I evaluated every step my right leg made, ever cautious in case it did it's rolling thing again. Nonetheless, I still found enjoyment in walking in the shade and hearing the birds chirp and sing. I even took pleasure in the sweat from the exertion in the July warmth. Short and easy though the trip was, it was good to be back.

At one point I needed to take a quick walk to get in at over a mile. I could have chosen to walk up the parking lot road to the main road and back. Instead I chose a short grass path through trees between the parking lot and a nearby open area. I approached it gingerly, as there were mole tunnels all around. At one point I almost detoured back to the paved area, but I instead plowed forward. Sure, it was a short jaunt on non-paved ground, but it felt good to walk on something approximating a real trail.

All in all, it was a very small step back, but also a good one. I'm still hesitant about doing any sort of significant distance or elevation change, but I know I'll get there. I have faith that I will because I like doing this, and because it gives me pleasure and calms my nerves. And if I fall down again, or if I have other mishaps or obstacles in my way, I know I can get over them. I can't say I'll be going out and hiking twenty miles tomorrow or anything, but at least I'm confident I can start working my way to there.

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