4. Racing for Life

The loss of my health, the loss of Tricia’s mother, the bad planning, the bad diet, the failed first day of hiking, the two weeks of illness, and logistical frustrations on the trail, all contribute to sadness about this leg of the journey.

Perhaps the mistakes could have been prevented, but nothing could change the downstroke of the cycle. Adversities had to run their course, forcing new adaptations and different ways of thinking upon me.

Stubbornly refusing to quit, I returned to the trail, encountering remarkable people, animals, and a mountain spirit along the way. Yet the experience felt like a losing effort. Upon completing my northern journey, I felt relief, not joy.

The flame of the “idea” had gone out. My enthusiasm was spent. The costs and time committed to distance hiking mounted too high. Passion burned no more.

On the plus side, the experience planted seeds of renewal, for a life plan to live a healthy, productive 100 years. Surely, the time had come to get on with real life, at home and at work.