I’ve posted my most recent adventure/hike and the demise of my hobby here. So “savor” is appropriate for my “afterward”.
It’s hard as we grow old to realize there are things that we can no longer do. I have identified myself as a hiker for almost two decades – sometimes regular and other times sporadic but it’s been a mainstay of my identity. Having attempted a ‘thru-hike’ of the Appalachian Trail this spring – and ‘failed’ due to my physical ailments – I rested and then hiked a small NH mountain only to find that I no long “have what it takes” to hike. I finally came to the conclusion that conquering a peak was not worth the subsequent pain that I had to endure, not only with the descent, but the day or two afterward.
I had not really thought much about not being able to hike – I just did it. There’s always discomfort and pain when exerting ourselves with a strenuous activity such as climbing mountains. And as I’ve gotten older the “pain” evolved from the muscle pain we all feel when we work out to the joint pain some of us feel when our cartilage and bones have been worn through life’s usage. I had thought I’d have stress fractures of my leg bones due to, not only the pounding that the legs take when hiking up and down multiple mountains in a day and then day after day, but also the extra weight we carry in our back packs. Maybe I have had stress fractures, I’m not sure since I did not have xrays taken. But, having found out that another hiker suffered chondromalacia and we have the same symptoms, I’m thinking that this is the most likely reason my knees have been so painful. There’s a difference between muscle pain and working through it and joint pain – there is NOTHING that will make joint pain lessen, not pushing through, or resting or herbal remedies. Joint pain comes from the wear and tear of cartilage breakdown through a lifetime of use (and/or abuse) and, perhaps, a knee replacement will ‘fix’ it but that is an expensive solution that many cannot afford. Usually we just refrain from doing what causes the pain – until the everyday usage is more than we can tolerate.
I’ve decided to move on with my life, find another hobby or form of excerise that works for me. My advice to those of you who have physical hobbies that you enjoy – SAVOR everyday that you get to do what you want and enjoy.