Recently my friend Cindy went on an impromptu adventure climbing one of the Wichita Wildlife Refuge trails, expert level, all by herself. She posted her adventure on Facebook and once described it to me as “exhilarating.” I was impressed. A solo hike during snake season.
Then I thought, why not? I can do this. I have lost 194 pounds so far. Why not take this new body out for a spin. See what it can do. I’m not doing expert level though. Let’s start with beginner.
A few days later, I saw Cindy in person and told her I was motivated to try it. Ever the encourager, Cindy said, “You got this.”
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Everyone needs a friend Cindy in their life.
The following is an accurate accounting of my personal adventure, as spoken by me to my inner voice:
What a beautiful day! I can’t believe I am doing this! I’m going hiking. I haven’t been hiking since…puberty.
Okay, Cindy said I need to get a map from the visitor center and talk to the worker there about what level of difficulty I can manage. Oh, here are the maps. But that worker looks busy. Oh, the maps have difficulty level on them.
There are a lot of easy trails. Only two difficult and three moderate. Moderate! That sounds like me. I can do that. I don’t need no stinking easy trail.
You got this.
Okay, let’s try the nearest one.
This looks easy! Why, there are stairs. Whoever heard of a trail with stairs. This will be a piece of cake. My inner voice said I could do this. Cindy said I got this. It’s on!
Oh how pretty! It’s like a waterfall, only man-made.
Wait. Where did the stairs go? Now it’s just dirt and rocks. I guess I Follow this.
Okay, the trail sign said be aware. You have the lake on your right. Just keep it there and follow the trail. You got this!
Wait. The trail goes through that tall grass. Cindy said to watch for snakes. How am I supposed to go through talk glass during snake season!
My inner voice is an idiot!
Oh, that wasn’t so bad. Now. Rocks…lots of rocks. Just keep the lake on your right.
That sounded like a rattlesnake! A RATTLESNAKE!! Oh. Wait. Just some kind of flying insect. Why God did you make an insect that sounds like a rattlesnake?!? Are you crazy. Okay. That is behind me.
Woods! Let’s go in here. Watch for ticks. Wait, how are you supposed to watch for ticks? They are awfully small until they feed off of you.
Wait. That’s four tips on that leaf. What was that saying? “Leaves of four, shut the door”?
No. I think it’s “leaves of three.”
That makes no sense. “Leaves” does not rhyme with “door.”
You’ll be fine.
Keep the lake on your right.
A bridge! Cool. That’s a pretty stream!
What was that sound? That sounded like something big going into the water. Who is saying that word? That is not a nice word! Doesn’t that idiot know this is a family place? Why does he keep saying that?
Oh. That’s me. Shut up, Ken!
Another bridge. What was that sound?!? That’s too big for a fish. Why does the water move like that? That is freaky.
Stop running! Stop running! You’re still too fat to run.
Catch your breath! Breathe. Breathe! Okay. You’re okay.
Well, at least you didn’t panic.
Now, go back and get a photo of the snake.
Are you crazy?
Just don’t get too close. You’ll be fine.
You got this.
Wait. Where is the trail?
Don’t worry. Just keep the lake on your right.
Where’s the lake!
I see a trail. I see tracks.
Those are not human tracks.
Shut up! It’s okay. Oh! There! You see! Here is the trail. It just looks darker in color. Wetter. It’s because we are in the woods.
You’re still an idiot.
Wait, there’s a fork in the trail.
Which one do I take?
How am I supposed to know that? Where’s the map?
In the car.
That’s a great place for it.
Oh! I see a human! And a camper! And a pickup! There’s the lake! Yay!
Man: You lost?
Me: No, no, no. Not at all.
Me: Little bit.
**To Be continued in next Friday’s post.
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