How To Enjoy A 50K — Step 11: Go Be That Girl In The Woods With Her Dogs
I have this fear that, when my time comes up, the only thing anyone will remember about me is that I spent a lot of time in the woods with my dogs.
I fear that I’ll never again matter to someone on a day-to-day basis. It’s already been so long I’ve honestly forgotten what that feels like. I fear I’ll never help my friends and family enough. That I’ll never be a wife. That I’ll never again experience career success. That I’ll never be a known published writer. That my novels won’t matter. That the rest of my life will be spent walking in aimless lonely circles wishing things were different and I had someone by my side.
I fear ultimate happiness and human relationship will elude me. I fear if I keep heading off into the woods on solo adventures that I will actually die from the loneliness I’ve felt for so many years now.
But then I go to the forest and I turn 43 and I see a picture of myself as that girl in the woods with her dogs. And all I see is happy. All I see is joy. All I see is how ridiculous and wasteful those fears really are.
And I dare say this is what I look like almost every time I step into the woods with my dogs. (BTW, how great does my hair look? And that’s after only two washes w/ the good shampoo 🤩)
Why would I ever judge that girl as not enough?
In a 2011 post I wrote this about hiking in the Makiki Valley of Oahu with Banjo & Tobi:
Before I know it I’m deep in the woods. In here all my frustrations evaporate and I can breathe. This is my bliss, my peace, my serenity. This is time spent in a fashion that feels right and good.
And this image of my dogs’ backsides as they sprint off to discover the way through the bamboo and the mud and the sun is the epitome of joy to me. I am happy here and I will continue to come back for as long as I am able.
Why would I ever judge that as not enough?
For me, loneliness is a normal part of my personality and my chosen lifestyle that I contend with frequently. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that I also experience extraordinary freedom, joy, peace, serenity, happiness, energy, adventure, and love more often than a lot of the people I know.
Banjo was a rock star trail dog for 15 yrs. Tobi kicks ass in the woods too. He’s a lot like me—stressed out and agitated indoors, full of bliss and peace outdoors. And I can’t wait to see Asha running free, embodying her wild spirit as well.
Hygge be damned. I hate winter. I hate chapped skin and dehydration. I hate being inside. I hate being cold. I hate wearing extra layers just to stay warm at my desk. I hate sitting at my desk.
But none of that information is useful.
Here’s what matters: I want to live a warm active life outside in the sun.
If I’m ever going to commit to the necessary training that will allow me to not only complete but thoroughly enjoy a 50K, I’ve got to get out into the woods on a regular basis and stay there for good. The sun and the trees are calling. Someone remind me why I thought settling in the northeast was a smart idea?
Whatever happens, spring is on its way and I cannot wait! Love 💛 and light 💡