When I was five years old, I took off into the woods during a tornado watch. My grandfather was outside storm spotting like a funnel was about to come rolling over the hillside. By the way I got yelled at, you would have thought that it had. Maybe it was coming. I don’t know. I was five.
I was blissfully running through the field and woods. I climbed trees and over logs, through the brush. I was what my grandfather referred to as “a free spirit”.
It’s ingrained in my DNA. It’s not like I could help it. I come from Vikings and pioneers.
When I was six, I was riding ponies and horses without ever being told how. I built impressive forts and had a working knowledge of things I had never been taught.
I was built for exploration and adventure.
I’ve had two people, so far, make comments about the outdoors and going hiking.
I told my friend Marissa about my diagnosis and her response was,”Wow, and I was going to ask you to take me hiking with you,”
Ok and why aren’t we going?
Another person said “Wow, no more woods for you.”
I don’t agree.
I see no reason to give up the activities that I enjoy because of this. I don’t have any plans to change my ways. I am going to continue to go kayaking, camping, hiking, trail riding and other activities that I enjoy. I just have to be more careful.
I have been all over the country to hike. I love Colorado, Montana and Tennessee. I wander all over my home state of Indiana. I think my favorite state park is Turkey Run. I can walk the trails of Potato Creek State Park backwards and blindfolded at night.
I do think it’s wild that I am 38 years old and I have been playing in the woods since I was a little girl. I have always been really vigilant about checking myself for ticks. I’ve had my share of encounters with them. I’m actually fairly paranoid about them. Here I am, 38 years old and I have Lyme Disease. I guess my lucky ran out.
I couldn’t’ give up hiking even if I tried. I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s a part of me. It’s where I find my peace. It’s my outlet for stress. I love the outdoors. There’s too much to see and experience. So the answer is a big fat no. I have no plans to change my ways.
Neither should you.