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Today I felt that way!

I felt dull-witted, punky, ache-eee.

Yet, we’d agreed to meet Gwen and John with their poodles at 6:45 AM for a three-mile hike.

Our commitment prodded me enough to get dressed and out to meet them.

And we met as planned.

OK, five minutes late!

John was patient enough to straggle along in the rear with me for a good bit of the hike.

This too, kept me pushing onward and forward.


Freedom of Choice as a Real Prod

On other hikes when I am feeling sluggish, my dear friend, Brandon, is kind enough to put up with my Geezerish stop and go-ing.

But, getting out on the trail many days lately, is not easy when I am feeling the shitty-ess.

I felt that way a couple of days ago.

It was one of those days I had to play every one of my tricks on myself.

And it worked so well that it motivated me this morning to get up and go with Gwen & John.

Let me tell you about that day — which may have been my all-time victory over this shitty-ness.

Mind you, I’m not usually this way.

Just a bad spell of it this past week or so.

This other day, I chose a trail I’ve hiked hundreds of times.

I know just about every rock and ripple of it blind-folded.


But, I was feeling so shitty I didn’t even want to get out of the car to start hiking.

Habit however, dragged me out and onto the trail, where I told myself,

“All right, I’ll just push myself up the short, steep, little section to the junction with Trail 181.

“That’s really so short I know I can do it — in my sleep.


And I further tell myself, “Dammit, if I get that far, I can turn right around and come back down. And hike no more today.”

Or, I can say to myself, “If I’m feeling just a bit better, I can take a left turn onto a short quarter-mile loop of trail, hike around and back to the car, calling it a day.”

If I did that I would have hiked less than ten minutes and less than a half mile of trail. But I would have hiked!

When I do get there though, I talk to myself again, saying, “I know the longer trail eases up right here into a stretch of easy plodding. If I choose to hike just onto this section alone, I will have hiked a bit longer. How much could it hurt to keep going on this easy section?”

So what the heck, I chose to keep on going on this easier stretch of trail.

After plodding this section up, over and around a few rises I reach the first switchback.

Again, I allow myself a choice.

I say, “Golly, you hiked a bit farther this time than you expected.  You can continue on a few hundred feet more to the next switchback.

Or you can turn back and know you’d already have hiked a half mile and that would give you a full mile when you get back to the car.

“Hmmm. Not bad for a shitty day!”

I love this freedom. Having a choice!

Giving myself these choices is a big motivation for continuing.

Provided I honestly allow myself to have that freedom.

“So what the heck.  Why not go on at least to the next switchback?”

And so I pushed myself up to that switchback, with freedom to choose again at that point – “Will I or will I not want more hiking?”

While the few hundred feet to that switchback is steeper, by then I was loosened up enough to say to myself once more, “What the heck.”

For I know the trail from there is a long very gentle rise to the rock water bar. And I can again have a choice — onward or back to the car?

By then, it seemed dumb not to enjoy this beautiful section of trail, especially since I’ve already climbed the most difficult part.

Freedom of choice!

I love it.

Love also the joy I get from the stillness of the woods and the few birds chirping.

So, again I chose to give in to the attractions of the woodland, knowing the going would be easy, and I can choose to turn back at the rock water bar if I like.

But again, at the rock water bar, there is a sweet open stretch of very easy trail out to the rocky corner.

The legs’ inertia are saying, “Why not? Come on, Bill, old boy. You know how much you love this section.”

“Okay. Alright. I know.” And I go.

If I choose, I can still turn back at the rocky corner.

Getting there though, and the freedom I’ve given myself, is such a great temptation. “Yes or no?”

I choose “Yes” again and It’s then just a quick dash to the rocky Queen’s Throne at the inside corner.

I’d never want to miss it. So I didn’t. And plodded on.

There was no reistance at that point, for it is just a few hundred feet more to the junction of the Ojito Trail.

And if I get that far, I will have hiked a full mile, meaning I’d have done a two-mile hike if I turned back at that point.

My freedom, is now merely a surrender to habit.

Of course, I trounce on up there.

And have another major choice.

I could continue on another mile or so to the Lunch Stop View Point.

Or turn back to complete a full two-mile hike.

“Okay. Alright. I’ve worked the kinks out of my mental state.”

So, I chose at this point to turn back.

I felt good for having enjoyed the trail more than I’d expected.

Of course, there’s always that comfy feeling to have given the body a healthy boost.

And dragged myself out of that shitty state of mind.

Not bad for an old geezer.

And there’s always tomorrow for a longer hike up to the Lunch Rock View Point.

I hate to admit I have these days.

If I allow myself to dwell on them though, and give in, they would soon drag me down into a TV-sitting life-style.

Eeeeeeek!  Not that!



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One Response

  1. Heidi Sparkes Guber
    | Reply

    BEAUTIFUL, Bill… So inspiring and so like my interior life every day… Thanks you for making it visible! Sending love to you all, H & Z

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