I sit and think about how quickly time passes; it was a year ago today that I was injured and off-trail waiting for my lower leg to mend. Luckily for me, Google Photos ‘rediscover this day’ feature doesn’t discriminate between good days and the days you would much rather forget.
The topmost title photo is of the general store and restaurant I spent a few days hanging out at before making the decision to leave the trail and rest at my parents house back in Barrie, ON. In contrast, the lower image is of a cabin just off the trail I bunked in the other week — I have been injury free and taking it slow this year to avoid injury, even though I wanted to do a 40 km day.
I reminisce about the photos taken exactly one year ago, and it is amazing how different my mindset is this year while on the trail; I am calmer, less rushed, and not hurried to get in those kilometers. However, I am still learning how to do things better when out here each week.
Although this year will be more challenging: different landscapes, climates, and larger distance to cover; however, my experiences from last year will make the learning curve less steep and uncomfortable, I’m guessing.
In comparison to last year, I worry little about the ‘ideal place’ to setup my tent when either in town or on the trail; I seem to have developed an eye for finding that small patch of ground within the forest, field, or human landscape: church, school, park, someones yard (when offered or asked, of course).
Last year, I fret about a place to sleep for the night — not now. Many times, great camp spots just seem to appear near the end of the day, but I am also wiser about ceasing the opportunity when it flashes before my eyes.
The biggest growing moment, one of many, during My Walk was not being ashamed of taking this planned time out in my life, especially during a period of time of peak physical fitness and health. Although I am pursuing something that doesn’t involve money, someone else, a fancy title, or even material gain — this walking enterprise is probably a loss by some measure.
Regardless, didn’t someone say that youth is wasted on the young and retirement is wasted on the old?
In all, My Walk is an experience that no amount of money, place of employment, title, or even person is capable of giving me. My Walk is something I have dreamed of performing and I am ready for whatever lesson or experience it hands me. Learning as I go.
It is funny, I began to write this post inside that little cabin pictured above: hunched over my little keyboard, while sitting atop an upturned log. The cabin was dark and muggy, but no matter, it was a safe place from the thunder, lightening, and tumultuous emotions of the weather surrounding me that evening.
Many days later, I am under another shelter and a hundred or more kilometers away; my feet still bare the blisters from that rainy day. It seems the rain comes and goes during the week, but the blisters they cause remain; a reminder of how we are at the mercy of the environment and weather out here. Even though I changed my socks regularly, it seems that once a shoe is soaked it is hard to stop blisters from forming while trying to move forward.
It is a fact that there is pain, frustration, and want while doing this big walk. Then, out of nowhere, comes great satisfaction and fun: it is an emotional rollercoaster. Regardless, this emotional rollercoaster is what happens when covering great distances, alone, and many I have chatted with along the way have also experienced this emotional ride as well — cross country cyclists and runners alike. This is titled Type 2 fun.
All I know is that with the pain, frustration, and want comes lasting pleasure; but, in time. Sorry, no instant gratification here.