Yesterday we walked the seawall. It was lovely. The day was perfect. We walked with some of our best friends in the whole wide world. The day was perfect. Did I mention that? We talked and laughed and bemoaned our sore hips. We took photos. We drove home and drank beer and ate veggies. We commiserated. I am super motivated to get back into shape as the gauntlet has been dropped. We should hike the West Coast Trail next summer. Of the six of us - I am the one who needs to train the most.
Prior to this whole discussion of hiking the trail, Mr. W and I had been walking on one of our favourite trails here in the valley and I was feeling a tad bit defeated. Defeated by things out of my control. Defeated by some lack of success at my job and finances and just an overall dark cloud. Then as we rounded a corner I looked up and saw a woman hitting the trail - walking with a foot brace and a cane. Clearly she had had a stroke. I was astonished to see her on the trail in the middle of the day. It was hot outside. At least 36 degrees C. We were on our second lap. I took one look at her body and face and all I saw was sheer determination. Her walking partner was a mere pace ahead of her and they were moving slowly. I was absolutely floored by her resolution. We circled round the trail and met them again about a third of the way through. I figured they were going to take at least 3 times as long to do the lap as us. I told them they were hardcore. She said I am not going to get better if I don't work at it. That's all she said. I am humbled by this woman's tenacity and her unwillingness to lay down and give up. If she can motivate herself to forge ahead and climb such a mountain then, surely I can too. I hope I see her again. I hope I can remember the stark impact she made upon me and keep climbing my own mountains.
This whole experience has led to several discussions on the dispensation of burdens. We do not get to choose that with which we struggle. Often I feel I am at the end of my rope. Intellectually I understand my faith teaches that I will not be given more than I can carry but, there are days - most days when I actively rail against such teaching and I argue with Master of the Universe.... "this is all I can handle... do not give me more... I am telling you .. I am done" and yet, I don't get to choose when is enough. And somehow I do rally. Someone we do rally. And forge along doing the best we can.