|Ruby discovered snow for the first time and she wasn't quite sure what to do with it.|
It's my experience that the older you get, the easier it can be to throw in the towel. Sometimes the thought of lifting one more weight is discouraging. And what people don't tell you is that there are random pains that come and go. These mean more now than they did when I was twenty and just shrugged them off.
When you don't do something for awhile, getting back to it can be even harder. As I lugged the Stihl down the trail on the work day, I wondered: how did I ever cut down trees all day long on the fire crew? Even running, which I used to love above all else, can feel like a chore. Haven't I done this enough? When do I get to quit? But as we slogged up from Swamp Creek, I knew that if I gave in to the siren call of the couch, I would regret it. I think it's like anything else: after decades of activity, my body needs it for everything to work right. It might not be climbing Everest, but it's still something.
We saw a pop up hunting camp at the trailhead when we returned. A bunch of older guys were puzzling over a framework of poles that would eventually hold their tent. "There's no way they will walk down in there," I guessed. "Probably road hunting," T agreed.
But maybe I'm wrong. I've seen all sorts of unlikely characters push on well past what I thought their limits to be. I remember back in the day when the fire crew guys were reluctant to give up the saw, or when Trail Crew Dan was shocked I could keep up with him hiking. Something kept me going then. Something keeps me going now.