Last year I finished hiking the 67 highest peaks of New England. A mighty accomplishment for anyone, but for someone like me – living with Ménière’s disease – a truly spectacular feat. Following is the essay I submitted to the 4000 Footer Committee for admission to the NE67 Club. I’m honored to have received my patch and am now working towards my next… two. LOL
The weeks of eager anticipation end tomorrow.. when I set off on my trip! WOOHOO! My bag is packed and after last week’s $745 investment in front brakes and 3 new tires, my car is ready too. I’ve just been finishing up the little odds and ends left over after tackling big stuff (the travel equivalent of “broom sweeping” on move-out day) and handling the unanticipated weirdness that drops by to say HOWDY! before you head out for a month.
We had friends visiting from Philly all last weekend. In addition to enjoying several local beaches, touring Fort Gorges and eating our fill of Labor Day barbeque, we also visited Mackworth Island.
I am a walker, and have been from the time I started Junior High and was forced to trek home daily the mile and a half from school. That’s quite a hike for a 13 year old kid who’d never walked much before. I would complain to my parents, who both worked – necessitating the walk – but to no avail. Sometimes I would sneak on a friend’s bus, pretending I was going to her house after school, then walk the 5 minutes home. I never could figure out why she got to take the bus, when she lived just the other side of the main arterial. But anyway…
Fast forward several years. My husband – then boyfriend – took me to a nature refuge near our (then) homes, and the experience changed my life. I discovered not only a passion for the natural world, but a love of walking that I’d never known before. I began walking everywhere, whenever time afforded. I couldn’t get up early enough to walk the 4 miles to work, but I walked home nearly every night. Even during pregnancy – there I was, humpty dumpty in a business suit, stocking’ed feet stuck into two tennis shoes, heels in a bag at my side. I thought when I walked, about life and love, and everything else. Those walks set me right on the path to labor, and I often described the birth process just like a walk home, with a finite start, middle and end. Walking kept me in shape, despite having gained FIFTY POUNDS that first pregnancy, and after my daughter was born, I walked all the more. No longer tied to a work schedule, I would walk into town to meet my husband for lunch, our daughter strapped to my chest. And when she got too big to carry, I’d push her in her stroller. Everywhere.