Late June found us driving down the majestic California coastline. We drove to Big Sur for a family camping adventure. The campground was along the banks of a river where everyone coasted on inflatables with a gentle current. We haven't camped for years. Camping is hard work. So stayed in a tent-cabin that was sweet and rustic all at once.
Here is the interior of our tent-cabin at Big Sur Campground and Cabins. I brought the battery operated white lights for fun. The kids were thrilled. We met up with cousins and headed straight to the river-beach. And so began our outdoor adventures.
Three days of family and fun, right?
Right. And wrong.
We had a lovely spot away from traffic. Which also meant away from the river-beach, away from restrooms, the playground, and the basketball court. Up a small slope. Not too far. Except when Ian jumps into the river and needs a towel, or the kids want a snack, then back to the playground, and then Anika lost her very favorite sweatshirt.
Day one, I am ambitious and careful. I try to conserve energy. But the trees are tall and the adventure calls my name.
Saying no is so difficult. Which means I wake up the next day sore and aching. My hip is angry. My muscles protest every step. I hang back while the kids go play. I don't drift down the river because the walk back is too daunting. I do my best. I wonder if leg braces would have helped, but camp-dirt is getting into everything. I wouldn't want them ruined.
So I help with cooking and cleaning but I also sit while others organize, which is another difficult thing for me. I want to be up helping. Argh! Luckily my family understands. I get to soak up sunshine in the daytime by the river and laughter in the evening by the fire.
The real kick hits me on the third day. Now my muscles burn, I feel weak, and I face a new challenge. Heavy, overwhelming fatigue fogs my mind and makes me wonder... Why? Why do this to myself? Why not stay home where I can control my day? These moments, these challenges, hold up a mirror to my CMT, and show me how my CMT is no small journey. CMT is huge. Staying home is so much easier.
And yet, by the third day, we were planning next summer. Perhaps I will try to be closer to the center of camp. But maybe not. I wasn't too anxious. I would bring my leg braces. And rise up to the challenge. Take the fatigue (that lasted for days) and the soreness, because life is gorgeous and grand. Sleeping under trees. Eating hot dogs roasted over a fire. All these things are worthy adventures for the kids.
But what really gets me more than creating outdoor memories, more than the experience, is family. Because we camped with family. Cousins and aunts and uncles. They mean more than anything. These moments are everything to me. They inspire me. They make the journey worth every step.
I know why I go big. Life isn't about the destination. Life is the journey.