Walked 4.3 miles today in the bright Claremont morning. While in Chicago I walked two miles on the elliptical machine where I was staying. I went out to dinner with my good friend Margot, who inquired if I was the oldest person on this hike (I think she is questioning my sanity in volunteering to go). All of a sudden I realized I was. Haven’t thought about it before, but the average age is probably about 20. Long-forgotten visions of Nanook of the North filled my head with the long-view shot of grandma set loose on the ice floe because she couldn’t chew walrus hide anymore. I’m pretty sure great portions of the movie (available via YouTube) were fake, but it worries me. Let’s say that as we’re hiking and there’s a sudden snow storm and we are trapped for weeks on a mountain peak like that Uruguayan rugby team in the movie Alive. I know who everyone will be looking at as a source of protein after a few days. No Way! And, of course, as people have been reminding me for the past few months, when you see a bear it’s only the person in the back of the pack that has to worry. That’s going to be me! I am going to do some wind sprints and build up my running skills. No back of the pack for me! And, yes, I will be seeing Gary for spin class on Sunday (sigh). I’m not going down without a fight.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”
― John Muir
In other words, me. Am more and more looking forward to the trip, spending the time with my son and Pitzer folks. During alumni weekend, kind people who had been reading my blog were asking if I was prepared, ready and (I guess) willing to start the trip. Yes, I think so, and I am actually looking forward to the challenges we’ll face. I fully expect to be exhausted at times, to be amazed at the amount of moleskin on my feet by the end of the journey, to long for a shower and a good hot soak, and to miss my comfortable reading chair and ottoman. At the same time, I am bursting to be free of the expected and the usual. I can’t wait to pare down and carry everything I need on my back. Mine is a highly scheduled life. If I want to know where I will be the second week in November, I need only look at the schedule contained on my iPhone and I am sure most of the hours are already taken. Free time has not been a part of my life for a very long time. Instead, there are stolen hours or maybe days taken on holidays or school breaks. So I am thinking 21 days–21 whole days–where I will be free of imposed and necessary organization. I won’t wear a watch and I’ll wake up when the sun (or my son) tells me to. Birds, bears, streams and mountains will be part of our community (and hopefully good members). I plan to hold close and practice Thoreau’s observation: “It is a great art to saunter.” (April 26, 1841) Ready to start walking? Absolutely.
And as for my training efforts? Free weights and yoga yesterday. Today, two miles and free weights before jumping on a plane to Chicago. Am determined to work out every day this month. So far I am on track.
Worked out on the elliptical machine today—2.6 miles covered.
Also did free weights and stomach crunches. I’m back!
This morning: Pilates and a quick half a mile power walk around Claremont. Something amazing happened in Pilates for the very first time—my instructor said, “Good job.” A few kind words go a loooong way.
Looking forward to alumni reunion this weekend!