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Learning to Walk

August 16, 2022

Getting Ready, August 15, 2022

I didn’t get out as planned for an early Sunday morning walk with my pack yesterday. And, really, I should know better, right? That I probably won’t get out early on a Sunday, or maybe at all on a Sunday? But I did get out today. I walked for an hour and twenty minutes with my pack. It will probably be 2-3 pounds heavier than it is at the moment, but it was fairly full. And you know what? I think I can do this.

For the first ten minutes I always find myself thinking, “What are you doing? You can’t walk 7-8 hours a day for two and half months? Your muscles already ache. And how can I possibly carry this pack that far, and up and down hills/mountains?” But then my muscles get warmed up, I hit my stride, and I realize I can do this. I know that pack is going to get heavy, but I was absolutely fine carrying it for an hour and twenty minutes. After the first ten minutes, it just starts to feel like an extension of your body. We’ll see if that’s still the case after several hours of walking.

I’ve decided that with the limited time I have left to get my body ready for this, I need to walk with my pack as much as I can. Up until now I’ve been thinking I need to get used to long distances without it first. But now I think I just need to focus on doing whatever I can every day with the pack.

And apart from a couple of days between now and the time I leave, I’m probably not going to have much more than an hour a day to walk. This week almost every minute is scheduled with personal things that have to get done before I leave for three months, medical appointments, getting Emily ready for college, and work. Another thing I am just going to have to accept is that not everything is going to get done. I think I could probably stay up around the clock for the next week and still not accomplish everything I had hoped to do.

Back in my Vermont days, when I sang with the Pumpkin Hill Singers, we used to sing a round when we messed up big in rehearsal: “Oh well, what the hell, diddly, diddly, diddly, diddly, Oh well, what the hell, diddly, diddly do.” I’ve been finding myself singing that a lot lately. When the St. Patrick’s Breastplate ear worm is not in my head, that is. I recommend it. The round, not the ear worm. It helps you not take yourself too seriously. Of course, you’ll have to make the tune up yourself since I can’t sing it for you.

The Clydesdale was on the bridle path around the Reservoir again today. At least I think this is the same horse I saw a few weeks ago. The hooves look like Clydesdale hooves, but he doesn’t look quite as big. Both times I’ve seen him there has been a petite female officer riding him. He must prefer women.
If you look carefully you’ll see the Chrysler Building—a gem among those appalling tall fingers. And you can also see the spire of the Empire State Building. It’s getting to the point where you really have to look for these iconic NYC buildings in the midst of what our skyline has become, but they are still there.
I’m going to get very used to this pack. I’m sure it will feel like an old friend before long.

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