Day 7: in which the plan goes off the rails… and I rally. Plus, week 1 fitness summary.

Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter’? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,” ‘to the Holy Land.” And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.      –John Muir

Today: hike day! Or should I call it “saunter day”? My favorite day of the week. I am happily agnostic-atheist and I don’t go to church, but I recognize that there is something centering and grounding about having a place of reverence to go every week, a place to be calm and peaceful and contemplative. For me, that place is the wild. Going into the wild once a week to experience and appreciate the beautiful and terrible wonder of nature helps me keep my cool the rest of the week. Alas, this week’s hike was not to be.

It was my BF’s turn to pick a hike, so he flipped through Sacramento’s Best Day Hikes and chose the Sweetwater Trail that runs along a segment of Folsom Lake. It was a long but gorgeous drive through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We finally reached Folsom Lake – but there wasn’t a trailhead in sight. After careful consultation of the map, we determined that we had been careless and navigated to the wrong end of a horseshoe-shaped road, while the trailhead was at the other end. Given the narrow, winding condition of the road, it would have taken us another hour and half just to get to the trailhead. Unfortunately, we had a lot of things on today’s to-do list and spending an extra 90 minutes in the car was going to be problematic. And, from a practical standpoint gas is expensive; so is eating healthfully, which I am prioritizing. My car is old and needs to be coddled, and I certainly can’t afford a new one. So we turned around and drove home.

We are our actions, not our intentions. “I don’t have time for X” is code for “X is not a priority.” As I turned the car around, I thought, I am choosing to break the promise to myself that I will hike every week as part of my journey towards fitness. In itself, that thought is not a problem: it’s just a fact. But it led to this much more dangerous thought: you can’t sustain this lifestyle, might as well call it quits. Safer to quit on your own terms than try and fail. Another dollar in the mental you can’t do this bank.

So I suggested that we go for a walk once we got back home, which we did. Psychically, it’s not the same as a hike, and it’s not going to add big distance to my trek to Mordor, but at least it’s getting out and moving. And that’s a victory all on its own: I got out and moved today. Another victory: when BF said, “let’s stop and get something to eat on the way home,” I suggested we eat at home instead, which we did — I didn’t feed my disappointment with carbs.

Here’s why this all matters: the vagaries of day-to-day living will frequently upset even the best-laid plans (e.g. a carefully planned fitness program). Or in other words, shit happens. My journey will fail if I can’t accept that I will not be able to rigidly follow my plan 100% of the time and figure out ways to adapt to those situations. That’s why today was not just a victory but a great victory: when I couldn’t do the exercise I had planned, I got up and moved anyway. I adapted. So I think I’ll just transfer that you can’t do this dollar to the fuck yes I can account.

Fitness today:
Miles to Mordor: walked 3 miles

Food today
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, almonds
Lunch: Brown basmati rice, leftover chicken korma
Snack: trail mix
Dinner: Taco salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, ground beef, avocado, Greek yogurt, salsa)

Weekly fitness update (my progress charts are at the link)
Miles to Mordor, total (C25k + walking + gym warm-up): 31.2 miles, 6.81% of the distance to Rivendell. I’m on my way!
Strength training sessions: 4 (2 upper body, 2 lower body). I did 4 in a row but that means 3 days off and now on the 3rd day I’m feeling kind of antsy. Next week I’m trying 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, 2 off.
C25k: finished week 1! Bring on week 2. 🙂
Hikes: 0. See above. Sad.

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