Friday, May 15, 2009

196 Miles at the close.

Hello All

Well this will be the last entry on the blog for now. A little over a week ago I got off the trail to go to the doctors. My foot continued to get more painful and swollen and so I knew I needed to see a doctor...I got an x-ray and found out that I had a fracture in my foot. I asked the doctor if I was willing to hike through the pain could I go on without doing more damage who said that my bone would continue to crack down the center if I did such a strenuous activity the 10 hours a day I was doing. OUCH!!! This felt like my worst nightmare when I heard it. My disappointment was overwhelming but I knew I could not stay and hike.

Moral of the story is that Heavenly Father knows me and it helped me that the diagnosis was so unquestionable. The doc said to rest it a month and then get it checked out again and maybe I could get back on the trail. We will see. I had my cry of disappointment and then said, "well this is the way it is so I need a new plan for my summer." I am taking

I rented a car and drove to visit my grandmother in New Jersey. I have been here helping her with what I can and figuring out what I will do now. Being on the trail was my plan for the whole summer and now I have a month if not more to figure out what I will do. Lesson learned: have a contingency plan next time. I will be back in Tampa on Wednesday this coming week.

So I wanted to share with you all my feelings about being on the trail. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, including serving a mission. I did not think that anything could be more draining than serving a mission but there you have a companion and when you are having an off day you push through because you are part of a team and that is motivating enough.

I felt vulnerable out there, wondering if some wild animal was going to eat me (funny to say) and because I was a woman in the middle of the wilderness by myself. I had days when I had hiked 13 miles with 2 more to go, my feet being blocks of pain and so tired that each step took effort. I would tell myself that eventually I would get to camp. When I would get to camp and see some people I had grown to love and immediately felt at home. The beef jerky tasted like fillet mignon and slipping into a sleeping bag on the hard ground felt like a bed at a 5 star hotel. I learned the power of encouragement in these times is incalculable. I would not have gotten as far as I did without the encouragement of my friends on the trail. If I had not been hurt, I would have have finished the 1200 miles and it would have said "it was because of other hikers love."

I did not think that I would laugh as much as I have out here. For those of you who know me well you have seen what happens when something really hits my funny bone...a unrelenting laughter for 10 minutes...this happened to me often when I was with friends in camp and sometimes when I was all by myself. I am a better women for having gone. For now, 196 miles completed, 1/6 of the trail.

Now off to life's next learning opportunity. Hopefully no matter what I do with the rest of the summer, I will be starting graduate school in the fall.

Thank you for all your love and prayers.