48.7° I did the very thing that I caution everyone about. I took a little walk that turned into an epic hike. I paid for it all day Sunday. The hardest part was it wasn't an epic hike at all. It was just epic for me. And it drove home this tumbling-feeling where I thought, this would have been easy ten years ago . . . oh no, what's becoming of me?
The walk itself was nothing, really. Maybe a little something. The sun was out and the kids were tearing up the house so I thought, let's find the track at the high school across the street. They can run. It'll be different, but not far. With Ian in the stroller, Anika and I walked across the street.
Our local high school is big. And I must say the accessible ramps were not well marked. So we crisscrosed hunting for a way to get the stroller to the track. We hit a couple dead-end elevator-with-a-key access points (it was the weekend) where I had to carry Ian down. Anika would watch him and I went back up for the stroller.
Finally we got down to the track. The kids ran all of five minutes before Anika tired out. We headed back up the hill. I saw a cute little nature trail. We took that, found acorn caps, and came to a fork in the path. "That way," Anika said, pointing back the was we came to a steep hill. The other way sloped much more gradually and seemed to curve right to the road. "That way," I said. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The trail didn't head towards the road. It ambled alongside the road, behind rows of fenced houses. With just enough gravel that I had to push Ian pretty hard. Steer around tree roots. The usual obstacles.
But since we hadn't left for a big adventure, I didn't have my phone. And when the trail finally let us out, we were ages away from home. I leaned on the stroller and cursed that no-phone decision. "We should call Dad," Anika said.
But it wasn't that far in my logical-mind. I had no good reason for feeling so wore out. Come on, I thought, it's nothing. We used to walk this far for a candy bar as kids, then sprint back to Grandma's house. Uphill. I didn't need rescuing (even if I had the means to call for a rescue). So we steered down a side street and made our way home, Anika saying how I'd made such a wrong turn.
We made it home. "There," I thought, "Imagination. I can do these things after all. No problem."
Except the energy was just gone in me. The whole next day I dragged. I was grumpy. Irritable. Craving a nap. A dark day.
Didn't help that we did more walking in town, or that I had a fun evening on Saturday. Sure, all of that contributed, too. But that accidental hike loomed over it all. The smallness of it, the fact it should not send me into a spin, and yet the spin I was in . . .
Reconciling limits with expectations. Right there. The set up was the stroller, the unplanned exertion, the lack of a way-out once I hit the wall . . .
I can still walk, still have adventures. Just . . . pay attention. Please. The fall-out was no fun.