Walking With Hope
Paths are made by walking – Franz Kafka
Like many thousands of educators across America, I enjoyed a week off for the holiday. I planned my time off around two grueling PT visits and a beautiful hike which kicked me into gear for a week of high calorie foods. The hike near the redwoods in Central California was amazing. The weather was cool. I started off with my typical workout gear, added a thicker sweatshirt and some gloves. Mixed in with the coolness was even more coolness – the people that I walked with ranged from age 2 (cute enough to eat) to early 50 or so (not divulging who that is). A young yoga teacher and her toddler, a retired Marine and father and two moms to grown children! We were a diverse group but had several things in common. We have all had had our own challenges whether it be a difficult childhood, an ailing parent or hip problems (that would be me). We all love yoga. We all love to be out in the stillness of nature. We all value community.
We walked and talked. We took pictures. I was hyper-aware of where my feet were landing. With that kind of focus, I sometimes get ahead of myself and others. I was so excited to be walking and, while our young yogi mom carried her toddler in a super high-tech fancy baby carrying backpack, I did not realize that I was probably 10 feet ahead of the others. I think I was talking and walking and pointing things out. I did not realize how far ahead I was until we later shared the pictures that we had taken during the hike! One of the amazing views was of an almost secret garden kind of stream with the autumn leaves framing beauty and hope.
And another view was taken of me walking ahead of the others. Previously, I would have been self-conscious of having a rear-view picture taken mainly because…well, let’s be honest…what woman really wants a rear-view picture taken? Unless, of course, you’re famous for having hips that don’t lie. Unfortunately, my hips tell the truth. And the truth was that my glutes had previously been a bit saggy from having two hip surgeries! While looking at the picture, that was not my first thought though which, in and of itself, was a milestone. What I realized from the picture was that my view of this hip journey includes a path that I’m still walking on and I’m okay with that. I’m still putting one foot in front of the other with hope and optimism mixed in with some caution and peppered with a hippie attitude. I’m making my own path by walking forward with grit and, sometimes, grace.