earthtrekblog

Adventures of Life


2 Comments

Someone gave themself to me

I am reminded again and again to be grateful for what I have! I have a great job which allows me to make positive differences in the lives of others. I am able to share my own knowledge and wisdom or to gain insight into outcomes through others experiences.
Over a year ago my world crashed down on me. I couldn’t find the positives in my life. The pain and frustrations of my knee injury were greater than I could have imagined. I had looked forward to the surgery thinking it would happen and all would be well. It’s never as easy as it seems.

IMG_4778.JPG

When walking is still challenging water is a great option.

Almost exactly a year ago I was battling through the rigors of PT, fighting for a chance to go car camping in Acadia. This year I’m fighting for clearance to go hike the Appalachian Trail, departing in 7 to 8 months time.  It took my physical therapist reminding me of my journey before I truly realized where I was.  Since my surgery I had been stuck in a negative space which had become my life.  With the acknowledgement of my growth from beginning to present I suddenly found light again.  That despite my battles I had gained much, both in losses and wins.  My job reminds me over and over again, life is never easy but there is a way.

I need to thank a family. I’ve been holding onto the donor card from my surgery waiting for the right time. I want to let the family of the person know they made a difference. I don’t know how to word my appreciation. How can you recognize a family’s loss by sending a letter stating that the little ligament in your knee, which their loss provided for you, is opening new doors? Six years ago the idea to hike a trail spanning more than 10 states and over 2000 miles was nothing but a tiny seed. After my surgery I needed a goal, something to give meaning to my life again. The AT was it. I want to share my amazing journey with this family. I want to show them the bright side of their loss. The beauty of things newly discovered, of limits pushed, and strength gained. I want them to know even the little things made a big difference.

IMG_4780-0.JPG

This was my first “hike” after my surgery. I braced up and headed out onto the trail. We took our time and enjoyed the trek.


Leave a comment

The journey is the destination

There are times when life takes over. I had this awesome plan laid out and suddenly I was pushed off onto a detour. It’s been just over a year since I had my ACL replaced, I had found the trails again and had huge plans ahead of me. But first it seems I need to travel some bumpy ground before I get to my destination.

It's important to enjoy the wildflower that line your path

It’s important to enjoy the wildflower that line your path

Three months ago my leg started bothering me. At first I thought it was all in my head but I realized the pain was consistent, I was allowing the pain to become part of my day to day life. I made a couple calls, one specifically to my surgeon. “My tibia is achy. More specifically, where you put a screw in my leg I am getting a deep throbbing pain in the bone. Any chance the screw is coming out on its own?”

Three weeks later I’m sitting in his office while he pokes my leg and confirms my fears. I’ve got a screw loose. Another three weeks and I’m sitting in a hospital bed waiting to have it removed. Bonus to the surgery, I’m back in physical therapy to continue focused muscle building. Surgery was quick, I walked out of the hospital on crutches and found a nice place on the couch for the next couple days while the throbbing subsided.

Guess being short a loose screw isn't a bad thing

Guess being short a loose screw isn’t a bad thing

Star and I missed the woods. Short walks at the park were all I could handle despite my hopes for more. But true to my style I found myself back in the woods by the end of the week. What would have been an easy 45 min casual walk covering 2 miles became a 2 1/2 hour walk. If it had been flat terrain I’d have had little difficulty but this section of woods housed dips and rises which slowed me drastically. Once again I was humbled by how quickly life can change.

When you've been cooped up for a week with nothing but Chuck-it time at the park it's time to branch out when you hit the woods.

When you’ve been cooped up for a week with nothing but Chuck-it time at the park it’s time to branch out when you hit the woods.


When forced to slow down you start looking at all the things surrounding you. You pause and readjust your angle, the new perspectives are worth it.  Black Eyed Susan's catching rays

When forced to slow down you start looking at all the things surrounding you.
You pause and readjust your angle, the new perspectives are worth it.
Black Eyed Susan’s catching rays


It's the little things you need to stop and take a moment to look at.  Even if it means getting low to the ground. "Corpse Plant or Indian Pipe"

It’s the little things you need to stop and take a moment to look at.
Even if it means getting low to the ground.
“Corpse Plant or Indian Pipe”


My feet were back on the ground and I was moving forward, so why stop? If you’re going to get things done you’re better off doing them all at once. I’d been dreading making a dental appointment. But the wisdom teeth were past due and I wanted them out. A simple evaluation visit turned into multiple appointments getting my teeth cleaned and cavities taken care of (until two weeks ago I’d never had a filling). These trips were just the beginning, little did I know just how much I’d detest the idea of sitting in a dental chair.

X-rays of my mouth showed how very special I am. I not only had wisdom teeth which needed to be taken out but I had FIVE!!! Lucky for me I only needed two extracted. I made an appointment as soon as possible hoping to be done with it. Just as my leg was back on the mend and I was ready to hit the mountains again I found myself only dreaming of them. While the nitrous oxide kicked in I drifted off to the great outdoors. I saw myself hiking down the AT with my pup at my side. Life was awesome! Then I came too. I was in a fog. I couldn’t believe the surgery was already done and the awesomeness of the trail was not real. oh well, I felt GREAT!

All smiles and full of "laughing gas"

All smiles and full of “laughing gas”

Almost a week out from the extraction and life is still on hold. The dry socket I acquired on day four put a bit of a damper on the quick recovery, granted I can’t complain too much since my face didn’t puff up. A bonus and yet slightly disappointing, due to lack of swelling, I had no opportunity to play the role of a chipmunk. I do feel like a holiday special though, full of spice and everything nice. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to appreciate cloves again. Not after 48 hours of having my jaw “packed” with something heavily doused in clove oil (with the likely hood of a couple more days ahead of me).

So this is life at the moment. I am planning, plotting, and bleeding minds dry while I search for information about hiking the AT. The more knowledge I can gain the better off I’ll be. To sit and read someone else’s story about their experience on the trail just makes the prospect ahead of me that much more exciting.

We've done it before and we will do it again!!! Summit of Mt. Chocorua

We’ve done it before and we will do it again!!!
Summit of Mt. Chocorua