Sadie, my brother’s dog, excitedly bolts towards the frantic thrashing out in the brush. Sadie and I are out hiking in the national forest, adjacent to my brothers property. Here, there are bears, mountain lions, deer and a plethora of other wildlife lurking about. Most likely, the thrashing is not a mountain lion, that cat would be more stealth in its get away and bears are not frequently seen.The poor noisy creature was trying to desperately to escape their own danger. So, I deduce it is a deer or some other timid creature not out to eat us…. We haven’t started out at dawn, but neither is it noon. But surprisingly the temperature is already starting to rise.
The heat of the morning is enough that I’m glad that I didn’t wear a jacket. I can’t tie it around my waist. My waist is already busy with a made for it pack filled with water bottles. I smile slyly at being so wise because I know I would end up carrying said jacket and I hate the encumbrance of something in my hands as I am hiking.
I slog up a trail that a person fifty pounds lighter would most likely sprint up. But me, I have to stop frequently to allow the pounding of my heart and the ache of my lungs to catch up with my racing brain who taunts, “Just a little bit more. Just a little bit more.”
My legs and thighs shriek that they cannot take another step. They beg me to turn around for home, please. My limbs feel as though they are being fed by a slushie machine, fed but under nourished by the heavy frozen sugar. However, I know my body better than that; we’ve been through this journey many times before. I know what it is capable of and I know how far I can push. But, today I won’t push myself to body shaking fatigue because I wish to venture out again tomorrow.
I push myself because, reluctantly I admit I am embarrassed. As if my GA and it’s ugly to me red spots are not enough, I am embarrassed by my flaccid roundness. I am embarrassed because I am unhealthy, again. It is my undoing. Will I ever learn to keep good habits? For that shame, I have brought to life a repeating goal and that whisper of a dream is to bring my body to health. Because, if being my mothers caregiver has taught me one thing it is this:
I do not want to live a life attached to a hose and a machine that dictates what I can and cannot do. I wish to live a life encumbered by my decisions and not to be tied down to the mandate of a machine.
So out to the woods I go and push on towards my dream.
Ah, here we are. Expectantly, Sadie looks back at me as if to ask if I am coming. The road has plateaued and I can breathe deeply and recover. My brain coaxes, “Just a litle bit more.” I pick up my pace and push a tad further before turning around for home.