Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breaking Rules

In my old, fiercely independent, road warrior life, I had a set of rules. Here are some of them:

1. Don't buy any furniture that you can't move by yourself. Better yet, don't buy furniture. Have a folding helitack-type chair that you use to sit on. Sleep on a thermarest, wrapped in a sleeping bag. Have one pot, one spoon, one fork.

2. Make sure everything fits in your Chevette for an easy escape.

3. Never give a man a) money, b) your heart. You're just moving on anyway.

4. Don't ever take a desk job.

5.  Climb every mountain, ford every stream.

I also had rules I thought were true of myself, usually starting with "I'm not a." Not a bike rider. Swimmer. Person who owns a lawnmower. Marrying Type.

Yesterday my enormous new amoire was delivered. It weighs 225 pounds. I bought it because I somehow neglected to notice that my cabin has no closets (or a kitchen. Another story).  I love my armoire. It was made with dead standing lodgepole and draw knives, which I have had the (dis) pleasure of using and know it's hard. I need an army to move this armoire.

Today I sat at my desk all day.

I own a lawnmower.

I don't climb every mountain anymore, though I try my hardest. I for sure don't ford every stream, not the ones raging with snowmelt, the ones that could take me down.

 I'm a bike rider. A swimmer. And, I'm getting married in 72 days.

I guess you just never know.

My new rules:

1. Stick around long enough to know a place and a person.

2. Only have the stuff you really need (and a cool armoire or two)

3. Never give a man money but do give your heart, if he deserves it.

4. If you take a desk job, have an escape plan so you don't grow old at work.

5. Climb the mountains you want to climb, not the ones others want you to. Same for streams. If you don't feel like it, don't. But keep going, don't sit around too long.

I'm trying to replace the "I'm not a" with "I am." I'm a writer. Trail runner. Baker of bread. Backpacker. I'm not a lot of things, but why focus on those?

Have you ever had rules that changed? Let me know. Click that comment button below. Yes,  I know you need a Google account. I know it's a pain. Humor me.


  1. A lot of my rules: 1. campground had to have shower. (now I backpack without seeing a shower for days)
    2. trail running is EVIL (it now keeps me from going nuts on the roads)
    3. Beans are gross (I looooove beans, even though they don't always love me)
    4. I hated things that were hard (now I love a challenge!)
    5. I refused to run a full marathon (did three in one year last year, and plan to do the same this year)

    I spent a year battling cancer in 2005. Surviving that made me re-evaluate life and I think I've broken a lot of my own rules in that process. Rules are meant to be broken, right?

  2. I'm not sure it's a rule... but I'm not a runner. Really. Yet somehow I have gotten myself to a point where an 8 or 12 mile run isn't weird. How is that, if I'm not a runner? :)

    Herring Cove-Beaver Lake-Blue Lake Rd-Heart Lake-Thimbleberry and back along SMC is my longest (about 12 mile) run ever. And then I was alive enough to go over to a friends for dinner and be social!

    Congrats on getting married, by the way!

    -dani snyder

  3. I LOVE your blog. It is such a fresh breathe of air because I don't often come across women who love exploring the outdoors as much as I do. Thanks for writing, and keep it up! I feel like I have something to learn from you.


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