After I wrote the last blog, I walked down to the river and took a look at how high the water had risen since the morning. I was surprised to see that I could no longer get out to the islands I normally can get to. They were either submerged or close to it. Anyway, I can no longer get anywhere near them. Ah well. Next May or June I will be out there again, rock hopping.
I was really hurting when I was wandering around on the banks of the river, so when I hobbled back up, I told my girlfriend I was going to walk down to the end of the road, a 1.3 mile distance. It was really painful and difficult. I’ve climbed the Grand Teton, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Shasta, in addition to many others, and this – a less than a mile and a half distance – was almost too much for me. My hips hurt and ground the whole way. My shoulders burned with searing pain and at times I labored to keep walking. But I pushed through it, and enjoyed being out in the twilight, with low, scudding clouds bringing a fresh assault of rain – though not on me.
Sometimes I really don’t know what to do. Exercise more, for one thing. I need to be walking that damn road every day. I realized on this walk that my body has become quite weak in many ways, so I need to force myself through the pain and find ways to work out, as close to every day as possible. If my body was in better shape, it might be able to fight this condition a little better. I should be doing yoga, eating way better, drinking less coffee (ugh – perish the thought!), and taking way less drugs for pain.
I felt more of a fighting spirit from myself on that walk than I have in quite a while. I feel like I have, to a certain degree, surrendered to my condition. I feel like I have started to give up, but tonight I realized that if I don’t start fighting more, I will end up disabled, unable to hike, much less climb or kayak. I hope I can remember that in the years to come. I feel like this thing has sort of worn me out in some ways, it has eaten me out from the inside for close to sixteen years. But I am also a kind of lean, pared down spirit, tough and weathered, able to suffer and persevere.
I am hoping that someday soon I will be able to meet the farmer who owns the land adjacent to my house. There is a ridge of high hills that stretch over to Whistlers Bend Park rd, and I hear he is pretty liberal about giving people permission to use his property, so I hope he will grant me permission to make that my regular conditioning hike, which would be awesome. Perfect for mountaineering, actually. But if I had that to walk, I would probably do it just about every day.
I will keep fighting this. I have to. If I don’t, I don’t want to think about where it would go, but it doesn’t look pretty. I’ve got work to do.