One year ago today, I was so excited to embark on a new adventure. My good friend, Cheryl and I, had decided we needed to try something new. You know, get out of our comfort zone.
We drove 3 hours south to Red River Gorge Kentucky where we would join 10 other women on this new adventure. We would learn how to pack our backpacks with a tent, sleeping bag and supplies for the night. Hike the gorge then set up camp for the night.
Once camp was set, we’d cook our dinner over the open fire. We’d belly laugh over our crazy lives and shed tears over our crazy lives.
We’d bond over sharing our stories and leave the next morning knowing we had made lifelong friends. OK, so after camp set up, that's what I envisioned. :)
We were warned prior to the trip that the backpack would weigh about 30 lbs once packed and to practice carrying such weight before the actual hike..
OK, no problem. I'm in decent shape. Physically active.
What I didn't anticipate was the rough terrain.
The tree roots that protruded at every step.
The slippery mud because it had just rained.
The rickety little bridge that 'stay on the left hand side where the boards are more sturdy'.
The single file hiking line we had to make because the path was so narrow. One wrong move and we were part of the gorge.
The instructions yelled back to us by our leader in the front to warn us of what obstacles lay ahead.
The log we had to do a monkey swing under, slippery stairs, deep mud….
And that backpack......I felt like I was carrying Cheryl on my back.
OK so my expectations were a little off.
I thought I'd be gazing out at the landscape.
Taking in the beauty that surrounded us.
Have deep meaningful conversations with my new friends.
I had a rude awakening….You know that monkey swing I just mentioned? That was right before we started to head back up the gorge. We had hiked about 1 ½ miles down.
I was ready to make camp so I could relax. So I could look straight into the eyes of my new friends, instead of down at my feet analyzing every step.
Our fearless leader yelled back at the slippery uphill terrain that was coming.
No problem. If I put my left foot here between these two tree roots for leverage, I can step up with my right foot.
Slow motion...as I stepped with my right foot it started to slip down with the mud. My left snug in its place, I started to topple. The weight of the backpack adding force to fall along with body.
Oh boy, I knew something was definitely wrong.
“Are you alright?t our leader yelled!
I'll cut to the chase...
I knew I couldn’t finish the hike the way I came in.
But somehow I had to hike back up, with what I was positive, was a broken foot.
The other ladies went on and along with our leader, Cheryl, me and another hiker started the very long journey UP.
I didn’t cry. I didn’t yell. Oh wait, I do remember yelling out a few swear words along the way.
I did crawl, hobble, go backwards and did anything I knew how to do to maneuver towards the top.
I also told myself, ‘You can do this.” “There’s an end to this” “One step at a time”
My mind literally took over to allow me to conquer the feat I had in front of me.
They praised me for how I was doing. “What else would I do?” I asked.
“Oh most people would call for emergency”.
I’m not praising myself as I’m better than anyone else for doing this. .That is farthest from who I am.
But, my mind didn’t even entertain the idea of getting help.
There was a strength I felt inside of me.
Life had put this test in front of me and I was determined to complete it.
I had not been tested like this in a long time.
I remember asking our leader how much further we had.
“The truth”, she asked me.
OK, psyche talk to myself.
I’m shortening the story for your benefit but boy it’s one Cheryl and I will never forget.
We drove 1 ½ north to University of Kentucky Hospital as I wanted a larger city than where we were.
During my x-rays/Ct scan my blood pressure dipped 80/60. New to me.
Once I got some fluids etc I was good.
So the verdict on my foot? 4 out of 5 metatarsals bones broken and the big toe metatarsal 2 breaks.
They splinted me as I wanted to get back to Indiana to see an orthopedic there.
9 hrs in the ER. I’ll spare you those details. That was worse than the climb up with my broken foot.
Back in Indiana...
No surgery needed. Yay!
A cast and 6 weeks non-weight bearing...Ugh
I have stairs so moved in with my mom and step-dad. Thank goodness for them. Also another test for me :)
Although I started out thinking this overnight trip would be one thing, what happened to me was a blessing.
It reminded me how tough I am.
How resilient I am.
How my mind is so much bigger than me.
When I put my mind to something I can persevere and accomplish what I set out to do.
In January 2019, I choose to invest in me. To follow some dreams I had for myself.
I truly believe it has a lot to do with the experience of breaking my foot.
Had I never gotten out of my comfort zone to go on that trip where would I be today?
Where are you today?
Where do you want to be in 2020?
You don’t need a broken foot to move forward but you do need to get out of your comfort zone.
You do have to do something different than what you’re doing today.
Go do it !!!
Life is short and one step forward can change your entire world.
Love & Connection,