This week, I was able to spend a few days in Tennesee, visiting my cousins, with my brother. It was a pretty cool trip.
Last Fall, Coach told me he was applying for grad school and if he gets in, he would be moving across the country. For selfish reasons, I was at first, not very happy with this thought…what would I do without my daily dose of Coach? At the same time, I was talking to my Tennessee cousin about jobs and he suggested I consider moving down there. I told Coach I was considering it, (although I wasn’t seriously considering it) simply to throw it back at him…if you can move across the country…well so can I! (Yes, I am a brat!)
Hang with me, I have a point…really.
One of the things I said to him duirng this conversation was some comment about “who am I gonna hike with if he moves across the country?” And something else about there being good hiking in Tennesee. His response?
“Do you hike NOW?”
Up until that point, I have never been hiking. I have walked some trails, but I would not call that hiking. But I dreamed of it. I thought hiking out in the wilderness, with nothing but the sounds of birds and critters for company sounded wonderful and in some weird way, romantic, even though I would often dream of doing this alone. It was also something I never thought I could do! At least not at this point in my life. I think I also always envisioned this activity alone, because to do it with someone would automatically mean I hold someone else back…as they walk slow enough for me to keep up, or I get embarrassed if I can’t do it.
So I have had a long time dream of hiking.
This past week I got to go hiking at Radnor State Park in Brentwood, TN! My cousin Mike and I, did a 4 mile trek up onto one of the trails marked “difficult”. I REALLY wanted to do this trail because up until we got to the turnoff for that trail, we were on an easy trail with his kids and it was more like a trail walk, not what I consider a hike. A hike, in my opinion should include hills and rocks and it should be hard at times.
Mike questioned me about whether I REALLY wanted to do this. He warned me it looks easy right now, but he suspects that the difficulty lies in climbing the Mountain (in TN they call this a hill, but to a MI girl, it is a mountain) that we were currently walking along the base of. We eventually climbed 1100 feet UP!
YES! I absolutely want to do this.
We broke off from the kids and the wife and headed off. We got to the part where it started getting difficult…see those stairs in that first picture?(Yes I know, the photo is facing DOWN the stairs…I had to climb those…and there was MORE much MORE heading up!) Mike questioned me again. Am I sure?
You know your limitations and abilities, Kim, are you sure?
YES! Mike, I might sound like I am dying and cannot breathe, but I assure you I want to do this. And just for that doubting sounding question….I WILL do it, even if it kills me 🙂 Mike, you will learn…pose a question that sounds like you doubt me…and I will set out to prove I can…you had no idea how that simple, caring, question fueled me…:-)
Off we went!
It was awesome! I loved it…and while I stopped at various points…I was able to keep up with him. However, at one point he bagan to sound like Coach and Adam. We were almost to the top and I stopped to breathe and he shouted back at me…”We rest at the top, get moving!”
Crap…who brought those two along…I thought I was with my nice and always polite cousin.
Here is what I learned.
- I love hiking!
- I really really love hiking!
- I don’t want to hike alone. I learned more about Mike during that hike and he about me than we have ever shared in our lifetimes! He now even knows about this blog…and up until now my brother is the only family to know about it! A long hike with a friend can be filled with delightful conversation and sweet silence as well!
- I CAN hike!
- It feels so good to be able to do something you never thought you would be able to do.
- God has created some beautiful landscapes that I have been missing out on because of my own fear…and because of how I have let my weight get so out of control. No more!
I have some new goals to add to my list.
1. Sometime in the next 2 years, I want to hike the Cumberland Trail. It goes from the northern border of TN all the way to the Southern border…through the Mountains. I have checked it out. It is 300 miles long or so and will likely take about 20 days to do.
2. Michigan has a lot of state parks. I want to see and experience all of them. All of the beauty Michigan has to show me, while hiking.
Who wants to go with me?????
Now for some more pictures of my hike. (wildlife was in abundance! We got like 5-8 feet from some deer. They were not afraid of us at all! It was awesome!)
Yes, if I ran on this trail (it is protected land) I could be fined $196.50. Who comes up with THAT amount? Why not $195 or $200???