I have never been called crazy so many times before in my life than in this past week!  And I’ll be damned if others’ opinions are going to stop me from what brings me peace and happiness!  In fact they may have just fueled my fire…

It has now been a week since my last post after my “tumble on the trail”. The medical verdict is that I forced the weight of my body on my radius bone and shoved it into me wrist. Tomorrow I have surgery, heightening my risk of setting off metal detectors at the airport due to the plate and screws they will need to insert. Remarkably they say 2 weeks and I get my stitches out and start physical therapy. I’m getting good at typing now with 6 fingers: left hand plus the longest (middle finger) that is protruding from the club-like right arm that has fondly grown on me this past week.

But honestly, after the shock of how good I really screwed myself up, and then relief that the timed recovery will still allow me to continue plans for my 2 week vacation in a month, there was one other emotion that has surprised me as a result of this: Determination.

Of course I needed to explain myself 100 times over as to how I injured myself: “hiking + muddy slippery path = falling down.  Getting ice and conjuring up enough strength and will to drive myself back the 35 miles away from home that I was. Crying for the first time after reaching home, where my husband could take over thought for me and get me to the ER.” So after this explanation over the past week (I do not kid you or inflate this number)  8 out of 10 responses where “Are you crazy! Why are you walking alone!” preceded by an entourage of questions all beginning with “what if…?”  After a while I started to say “You can’t live life on “what if’s!! ” to stop the harassment I was beginning to feel! And so this kind of picks up from where I left off last week on the thought of “Timing” but taking it a step further to the repercussions of our own choices in timing which was the subject of my thoughts today.

It was a gorgeous second to last day of July in WI and the day before my surgery. My head needed contentment, my skin needed to feel the sun and my will needed to be proven strong. So I did some research and located a level, stable path nearby. With frozen ice bottle stuck in my sling (great triple purpose use!) I headed out to the Oak Creek stent of the Oak Leaf trail. This is a trail I have walked 30+ times in the Milwaukee area, and biked in this location 7-8 years ago. It combs through the farm fields and winds through the newly build backyards of subdivisions. It’s enough to feel as though you are out of the city; hearing crickets and hawks, seeing cattail and dandelions floating though the sky.

“The Oak Leaf Trail (formerly 76 Bike Trail) is a paved 108-mile (174 km) multi-use recreational trail which encircles Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.  Clearly marked trail segments connect all of the major parks in the Milwaukee County Park System with a “ribbon of green”. Early bicycling advocate Harold “Zip” Morgan first conceived and laid out a 64-mile (103 km) trail in 1939. The route made its way around the edge of the county and through natural resource corridors found along the rivers and lakefront. Three decades later the trail was officially established by the Milwaukee County Park Commission, and in 1966 construction of the parkland trails began. It became known as the 76 Bike Trail for the 76 miles (122 km) it spanned. The present system of inter-connecting trails consists of 48 miles (77 km) of asphalt paths and 31 miles (50 km) of parkway, along with 27 miles (43 km) of municipal streets that have designated bicycle lanes and sidewalks.”- Wikipedia


So it was amongst these fields and in this smooth and clear pathway that I tried to sort out the dealings of this week and what is to come …knowing I have no clue what is to come. Last week my mind was reeling about an individuals perception of time. How one person’s impatience compares to another’s ability to roll with the punches (I just never got to write about it.). Variations in my upcoming vacation plans had just a few days before (for the better) due to a last minute change of plans of the cousin I’m visiting. Had it not been for that timing, my own would not have turned out the way it appears it will, and the domino affect continues. Timing would have stunk had I been put in a cast which would need to be removed in the middle of the time I was supposed to be gone; not that surgery is better, but selfishly I didn’t want to be disappointed by another canceled or amended time off that I’ve looked forward to. My and my husbands track record for vacation plans unfulfilled is off the charts, mostly due to his health… and now I was fearing seeing a pattern in my own health issues hindering my number one love for travel.

In my own way I was asking myself “What if?” however, more so in retrospect then driven by the fear that my co-workers displayed. Fear is not an emotion I connect with. I have never been one to fall short of doing something due to simply fear of the unknown. From my observation, fear seems to be an emotion centered on what will come in the future that we cannot control. Worry, on the other hand, is more up my alley. I can worry that I did something wrong in the past that will affect my present situation, or the choices I make today and their influence on the future. Worry, centers on my own participation in an act. Fear removes our own power and places our destiny in others’ hands. And even though I feel I have recently done a good job of curtailing my own worry, fear in the “invisible-who-knows-if-it-will-even-happen” will not ever be allowed in my vocabulary.

So, instead I remain willful to do what I still can around the house. I worked more than a full work week and I will still continue to WALK and tell about it. The trails may be more calm for the rest of this season, but with a purchase of  better hiking boots and quite a bit more research over the winter, the Ice Age Trail and all of its 1000+ miles will still call me next year, and I am determined to instead prepare for the “what ifs” and face them head on.