Tuesday, February 23, 2016

No longer a prisoner of my own mind (PCT d - 85)

I've spoken, in this blog and elsewhere, of the fact that I'm tackling my 100-mile hike in May "because no-on told me I couldn't". So, evidently, I had already grasped the concept that one's own mind can trap one, or set one free. Thus it was that I had a revelation recently. After comfortably walking 10 miles a few days ago, and six miles last Saturday, there's really no need for me to think of my radius of operation, or my circle of influence, being so small (only as wide as the distance I walk to work each day - 0.75 miles). 

Freeing myself from that stinkin' thinkin', I can see now that practically ANYWHERE in town is within my reach. From the South Hills, I can walk to East Helena, I can walk to the west side, or to the north valley. With this new freedom, I decided to skip my usual ride to the swimming pool last night, and walked there instead. It's only 2.0 miles from my apartment, but I would never have thought about walking there before. In my head, it was always too far away. I didn't walk home, though (come on! It's uphill). In between, I swam for a solid hour, which felt really good. As I was doing so, it occurred to me that it's now possible to get up earlier, walk to the pool, swim for 30-40 minutes in the morning, and still walk to work. Nice! I used to go to the pool at 05:00 every weekday morning anyway, back in 2014 and early 2015. 

I even contemplated how I had allowed myself NOT to climb the hillock outside my apartment ("Buttercup Hill", I think it has been called, back in the 1970s). It's a 200 foot, very steep hill, which I was somehow frightened to climb until three months after I'd moved in. As soon as the snow/ice and soft mud are no longer a problem I will be climbing it on a regular basis now. 

So, it goes to show, if we impose limits on ourselves we can be pretty effective prison warders. We can hold ourselves back from reaching out and trying, from pushing ourselves to our boundaries and beyond. Without these self-imposed walls, the anything is possible!

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