I have been enjoying reading the very interesting blogs posted by so many wonderful "BraveHeartWomen",but haven't been
blogging for awhile myself.
I just read a story of a "BraveHeartWoman",that I want to share with you.I has inspired me and I hope it will do the same for you.
See picture of Nancy above.
" Enjoying Simple Pleasures"
August 13, 2009
Taking a Hike to the “Rest of my Life”
When I was asked to write a weekly blog about senior health on Everyday Health, I was pretty excited, and thought “not bad for an old lady.” Then reality set in as I realized what this meant. Not only would this be a commitment of time, but I wondered how I would be able to present fresh and interesting material each week. I had the stories that were important to me, and there were things I wanted to say, but didn’t know how to get started, and if I would be interesting.
I decided that I would just start at the beginning of another journey I had taken. That journey started with a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and it changed my life. I was 63-years-old at the time, had three grown children (one still at home), a job I liked, and a toxic marriage. To this day, I don’t know where the idea of taking a hike of this magnitude came from. The Appalachian Trail is over 2,000 miles long. It wasn’t something I had always wanted to do. I wasn’t particularly fit, nor particularly courageous. Maybe it was basic survival; I must have known I had to do something.
I discovered that just taking a stand, deciding to do something, gave me strength. I had not actually decided to end my 27 year marriage at that time, but the average time to complete the hike would take approximately six months. The plan was that I would return and life would go on as usual. As I think back on that moment, I realize I would have gone no matter what. I had to.
There was a lot of planning to be done for a hike of that length, but for me, the hardest part was behind me. Now I could devote time to selecting the equipment I would need, and figuring out the logistics. There is much information on how to prepare, both hard copy and on the web. On March 14, 1999, I flew to Atlanta, was met by a woman I discovered on an Appalachian Trail Web site, and was actually starting off the next day.
There are different kinds of fear. The fear involved in just taking off into the unknown like this is certainly one kind. I hadn’t broken all ties in my life though. I had a leave of absence from my job, so I would still be able to support myself, and one of my sons was going to hike the first three weeks with me. And as for the marriage? I wasn’t thinking of that.
As I write this, I have a memory of a friend I want to share. I met Maria, a talented amateur poet, shortly after I had returned home from the trail, and was living on my own. Maria was very interested in my story. I did not realize how much until I got a call from her one cold night, saying she had just found the courage to take her own hike. Her hike took her across town and away from an abusive boyfriend. She told me she may not have been able to hike on the trail, but she could take the steps she did. Indeed there are many ways to be “healthy.”
Onward and upward,
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