Creating my Path – Hiking on Horizon

hiking horizonMy last post here was April 23rd (just checked the date). Time.  Illusion.  It’s May 31st, 2016.  I’ve come to report progress.  It’s been pathetically slow.

It has been only in the past 3 or 4 days that another milestone was achieved.  That saying.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  True.  If you’re a hiker and you are actually able to hike and out there having fun, think of me the next time, eh?

It seems like just as soon as the idea came up to hike the A.T. and when starting to reach for that goal, a major setback happened. I refuse to be a victim — as victim-sounding as this may all seem.

Dealing with my knee pain and swelling since January has not been fun.  One MRI and Steroid Injection and about 5 weeks later and some serious progress is happening.  After the huge swelling dissipated, I was left with what’s been there a long time — a compromised knee with ligaments, cartilage and meniscus issues (very little bone on bone problems thankfully) — but added to that now loss of muscle which has been decline in strength adding further to knee instability.

It’s a catch 22.  You got to get the muscles surrounding the knee stronger without stressing the knee further which happens easily b/c of atrophy of the muscles.

Gimmie’ a break!  Yet, it’s all true.

But I’ve been spin biking and doing little squats. I still don’t have a good signal when balancing on one leg (it’s like I don’t feel where i am in time and space–as if it’s numb) and this causes a bit of a balance problem for a nano-second or two.

I’ve been walking pretty darn good with a grocery cart but without any support whatsoever . . .  well, let’s just say not so good.

Now here’s what I to report . . . 

Upstairs at the Y there’s an indoor track.  Sixteen times around that and you’ve got one mile.  Well, until a few days ago I could only go around 3 or 4 times.   (I’d try it every few days and could only get around 3 or 4 times before the knee screamed.)

But the other day I managed 16 times around — a full mile!  Yeah, baby!  A break through!

No trekking poles like I use on the trail and no shopping card like in the grocery store.  Just pure, raw,  honest-to-goodness walking one-full-mile without any support. Just me and my knee!   Of course, it’s all level but still . . .

Over this Memorial Day weekend, I walked a mile up and down paved hills here where I live to the tune of one full mile too!

Hey, it’s progress; don’t scoff.  I’m never going to be like Grandma Gatewood (sadly)  and my knee is always going to be compromised (what’s torn is torn and what’s worn is worn), but with more consistent effort, soon muscle strength will return.

Then I should be good on a 5 mile trail with my trekking poles again.  Day hikes are back in my possible, probably future again!

And I’m here to say that I’m glad about it. And mighty thankful too.  Slowly and surely, steady-as-she-goes, plugging away at it, day hikes seem to be on my horizon.

I saw a quote recently that read . . .

“A path is something you create as you walk it. The ground you’ve trodden hardens, and that’s what forms your path. You’re the only one who can create your own path. Walk on your own. If you haven’t given up yet, that is.”

I haven’t . . . given up that is!  Not by a long shot.  And now it’s time for me to go walk!




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