Little Steps: Day 13 – Life can Change in an Instant

Day 13: 3.81 miles / Total miles: 10.71mi / Days left: 166 / Time: 1:49:17 minI am not sure how I want to start this post. I am not sure where I want this post to go.When I write, I let the words flow. And I go wherever they take me. The words lead me.But today, I have so much on my mind. So much I want to say. So much I do not know how to express. Even during my hike, my inner voice was moving a thousand miles a second.Most of it overpowered by static, as if I was losing reception the farther I went on the trail.Maybe I will do bullet points of all the main topics I want to cover.Like my life lessons learned in the past week, e.g. bathroom first, check water, write out all (ALL) parts of the route.Or how my fingers and hands would become hard and stiff the longer I held them straight down by my side. All the blood rushed straight to my finger tips.Or maybe I should go in to depth about how important it is to not just read the map, but have every step mapped out.Or perhaps I can excitedly discuss how I went down hill, and then up and down, up and down, up up down, wrong turn, add an extra mile bc I was determined to do my original loop, straight up the side of a cliff at a 75* incline (ok probably a 60* incline…).And then more up and down and around, with one final push up a never ending hill.And I didnt die. Almost. But I didnt.But how do I walk downhill? Feet forward, angled, in a V? Do I angle my body with my pack facing the cliff behind me or the hill in front of me?Or what about all the philosophical deep thinking brain muscles I exercised today.I imagined I was walking thru a forest 10,000 years old. I tried imagining what these trees looked like. Would this place even be a forest? Maybe a desert? How big were the birds? Or am I walking on an old ocean floor? Who, or what, roamed the ground beneath me?And then I started thinking about how simple life is in the woods. You have to worry about shelter, substenance, survival.There is no social media here. No drama. No pain. No insurance companies to fight. No guilt. No divisive rhetoric.Just yourself and the ground beneath you, the trees around you, and the birds above you.And the occasional airplane.But everything I was eager to write about, was immediately forgotten with just one phone call.In that one moment, in just a few words, you realize just how much life can change in an instant.How nothing except what we love, matters.We can get upset about insurance coverage, and we can get upset about people living their lives differently than us.We can get upset at a store treating us with disrespect.We can get upset with ourselves for screwing up.But where does getting upset get us in the grand scheme of things?Not very far.Today, I went on a 3.81 mile hike. It was supposed to be 2.3. I had mentally planned for 2.3.But I made a wrong turn.I didnt know that I needed to get off the trail I was on and get on a connecting trail.I know exactly where I missed my turn. And there was no sign there. But had I written out my path, each trail and connecting trail, I would not have had an issue.I didnt realize I was on the wrong path until I was walking up a hill and was getting a little frustrated that it just kept going up.So I took a look at my AllTrails map to see how much farther I had left.And that is when I noticed I wasnt where I needed to be.I could have gotten mad at myself.Or angry.I would have probably felt defeated and deflated. And honestly, I might have a few weeks ago.My husband reminds me that I am terrible at directions. This just goes to prove him right. Again.But I chose not to give in to the negativity.It didn’t matter that I took a detour.What mattered was that I stayed calm. I looked at my maps. I took a deep breath. I sat down. I made a game plan.Option 1: I continue on my current path and just cut my hike a mile short.OrOption 2: I keep going forward, and then take a right to hook up with a connecting trail to get to the trail I really wanted to be on.(I didnt think of option 3 – turning around and backtracking .2 mi to get to the place I missed the turn – until I was about 3.5 miles in to my hike)I chose option 2.And I am honestly glad I did.Life can change in an instant. But it is up to us to determine how we react.Had I chosen to deflate, I would not have been able to push myself. I would not have experienced the feeling of accomplishment after the intense desire to give up.Life can change in an instant. Calls can come at any moment, about a loved one needing medical attention.Do we panic or do we put our head down? Or do we put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done? How do we choose to learn and grow and move forward?Life can change in an instant. Being alone in the woods, makes you dial in to your inner radio wavelength.Do we panic or do we put our head down? Or do we put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done? How do we choose to learn and grow and move forward?

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