• Sincerely, Ronda

Today I Took a Hike

Today is the first day of MY new year. Yesterday was my birthday and just like many years in the past I was mopey. I am really not a fan of birthdays probably because its a huge reflection day for me and If I didn't do something AMAZING like hike Mt. Everest I can't help but feel like I wasted yet another year. I know it sounds dumb but I go through this every December 21st ever since I was a child. Today is the first day of MY new year and I am NOT going to waste it! So what did I do? I set out to tackle my first hike of my new year.

I didn't tell anyone I was going other than my oldest daughter (you know just in case, you should always tell someone where you are going when you venture off into nature) because I didn't want anyone to try and stop me. I am supposed to be resting and letting my body heal and regenerate, but laying in bed or on the couch may be good for my body at the moment but it is detrimental to my mind! I needed so desperately to get out in nature I was literally daydreaming about it.

The drive to the nearby park was painful (every bump in the road rattled my core and reminded me of every stitch holding me back together). I continued on my way trying to avoid any bump that I could, then at the entrance to the park, there strategically placed was a speed bump as a last ditch reminder that maybe I should turn around and get my butt back in bed. Thankfully I didn't listen to the signs :)

I pulled into the parking circle and looked for the closest parking spot to the trailheads. I was in luck, someone had just pulled out and I got the first spot (yay me)! I grabbed my water bottle, and my Daddy's old cane and stepped out of my car onto the gravel. I was so incredibly happy to be there! I didn't have a plan, I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I didn't know if my legs were going to want to carry me today, or if the pain in my abdomen would be too much to bare.

I began to make my way to the trail heads. My legs could feel everything! Before my diagnosis I used to run all over these hills taking for granted the use of my legs and pushing my body harder each time trying to get a better time than the last. This time was different, every tiny bit of uneven ground or small incline felt like I was climbing the tallest mountain. As I began I was dizzy, my legs felt like I had been at sea for sometime and I was trying to get my land legs back. I took it slow holding on to the cane as if it were my last lifeline and stopping every couple steps. The small breeze whistled through the canyon an underneath the bridge I was standing on. I stopped an observed a family making their way back from their hike, the kids racing to be the first to touch the bridge and it made my heart happy (the innocence of childhood with their whole life ahead of them). I made my way to the handicapped accessible trail head.

I slowly made my way around the .60 mile loop. I listened to the different shades of browns and pink gravel crunch under my hiking shoes. I noticed every shade of green that blanketed the desert floor and the splashes of yellow flowers that bloomed abound. As I stopped to regain some energy to move forward, leaning against the old wooden cane, I watched ants working diligently to fill there homes with food for the winter. I observed a small lizard with colors of pink and green, and a bee busily collecting pollen from a nearby flower. The birds were chirping and dancing from branch to branch seemingly without a care in the world. A lone hiker singing loud for all to hear as he bounced without fail from boulder to boulder on his way down the mountain. My eyes and my ears were on high alert and were sure to not miss a second of this time outside.

Today I went on a hike. I've been on hundreds of hikes in my life from a young child all the way through my adult life. Today was different. Today wasn't about getting to a destination, It wasn't about getting to the top. Today's hike was not about a personal record of time or distance. Today's hike was not about being a bad ass. Today's hike was about reflection. Today's hike is about new beginnings. Today's hike will always be a reminder to be thankful for the good days, to be mindful of the good things in my life, and to never ever take this life given to me for granted, not even for a second! Life is fragile and precious. This hike will be a reminder to slow down and appreciate all of my surroundings. I have been on hundreds of hikes and today, well this was my favorite!

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