Reflections of a Reluctant Aging Backpacker

I admit it was easier to say no. No one would have blamed me. It’s been awhile since I backpacked, gained some weight, and took ill a few days before our Yoga Hikes St. Louis backwoods overnight adventure.

But see, that’s when I felt the grace to realize that maybe I can learn something from this experience. Oh no I didn’t do it perfectly, maybe could have done some things differently. But today I sit in gratitude I made it through ok. Really better than ok, I feel content and stronger, even wiser.

There are times to say ‘hell no’ and sometimes say ‘lets give it a try’ even when its easier to say ‘not a chance’.

You can only prepare so much when you’re gathering your camping gear then ditching most of it after you realize you’ll be carrying all that abundance into your backpack. Then you get selective.

After preparing like an seasoned woman journeying in the backwoods, my best advice is to keep it simple and just make up your mind to do it.

The things I worried about didn’t happen.

My feet didn’t hurt walking on the native trails. I was relieved I didn’t have to pee in the woods during the night. Grateful to keep up and not fall behind the group on the trail. My recent not-feeling-well was not an issue so another lesson I learned being selective in my worrying process for next time. Don’t sweat the small things.

Shawn Saathoff Chereskin

Yes, my body hurt but it was manageable, better then expected.

I listened to my body. I asked for help readjusting my shoulder straps to take the pressure off my upper back. My body moved much easier.

My muscles in my legs were starting to burn and I was getting out of breath so I steadied my pace and pondered my daughter’s words of wisdom, ‘slow down your breath and remember you are strong.’

Shawn Saathoff Chereskin

Whether I was hesitating on my ability to backpack again or my limited aging belief, my risk-taking, believing-I-could attitude far outlast the seemingly temporal effects of fear that I wasn’t capable of trying again.

It’s a process of discovery and it enlightened me to move forward on my journey of life.

Shawn Saathoff Chereskin

Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming. ~ Alice Walker