I haven’t left the house other than to walk to my mom’s for some sausage balls and homemade chocolate chip cookies left over from last night’s New Year’s Eve celebration. But not leaving the house on such a dreary, rainy, wonderful day doesn’t mean that I haven’t accomplished anything. I did a lot of thinking. I thought about taking my Christmas tree out today. Since it was, however, so rainy, cold and dreary outside, I decided I could handle looking at the lights for one more day. I’m going to miss that beautiful old tree when it’s gone, but nothing can go on forever and while I love the tree, I have missed the view out the window.
Besides thinking, though, I got many things in the house done. General cleaning, straightening and taking stock of my pantry. It seems that I have some baking soda, a few bottles of spices and a bag of flour. Not conducive to cooking anything of any substance. I’d like to try to get back into cooking, otherwise, I may have to break my cardinal rule and eat a hot pocket.
Besides coming to the conclusion that there is no truly edible food in my house, I’ve been getting my hiking gear oiled and cleaned, ready to get back to weekends in the mountains. I am confident that when I see the Orthopedists in a couple of weeks, he will clear me to get back to the trails and hard places that I love to go. I was complaining a few days ago about the belligerent 9-year old I had to wrestle into submission in order to obtain a flu swab, but I think he did me more good than harm. I actually believe he helped put that pesky, out-of-place bone back where it belongs. Guess I owe the brat a thank you.
I cannot even voice how much I miss nature, the mountains, the rocks and trees, the waterfalls, the arduous climbs and the smell of the earth in every season. So far, I have missed Winter completely, but lucky for me, Winter really only officially began a few days ago. I long for the bare branches of the trees as they stand sentry over a barren earth, biding their time until she blooms again, bringing forth life and a different kind of beauty. She calls to me; Mother Nature, that is. She calls to me as the light changes, shifting over the mountains, shadows forming and dissipating almost in the same moment. I long for the adventure of what I will find at the top of the next hill, around the next turn, behind the thunderous sound of water falling for hundreds of feet. I dream of standing alone with nothing but the glory of nature surrounding me and find myself nearly trembling with anticipation to get back to it.
While I have been out of commission, I have exercised at home, keeping my legs and thighs strong and ready for the hikes and climbs that I so dearly love. Yes, in a couple of weeks, I think I will be able to stop those mind-numbingly boring, in-home routines, strap on my heavy backpack without feeling like my shoulder will detach itself from my person, grab my tripod and head out with my trusty Pentax to see what I’ve missed while I’ve been gone. I wonder if my favorite places have missed me as much as I’ve missed them. I’d like to think so.
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is waking up one morning, brushing my teeth, finishing my morning exercise routine, showering and dressing only then to realize that, for the first time in my entire life (I say entire, but the first three years are pretty fuzzy) my thighs no longer touch when I walk. What an incredible life moment. I think of all the people I could call at six am who would find this interesting and can think of no one. I think of all the people I could text who would find this amazing and again, I can think of no one. Facebook? No, not really the kind of thing people want to read about first thing in the morning. Twitter? Again, TMI at such an early hour. So what do I do? Blog about it, of course.
Unless you have been there, overweight, I mean, there is really no way to find excitement in the fact that you can walk without the “shhhh … shhhh … shhhh” of your legs rubbing together. It’s hard to describe the beauty of the moment when that is no longer an issue. I’ve struggled, as long as I can remember, with my weight. A couple of years ago, though, I decided that enough was enough. I started exercising and going on hikes, which, since I always had my camera along, renamed “trail shoots”. As the weeks and months passed, the trail shoots became more difficult and arduous, requiring strength of body and mind in order to complete. It was better than Sudoku for my brain and made me feel strong and (nearly) invincible.
As the pounds fell away, well, that is really pure nonsense as they didn’t fall away but took effort, a great deal of effort actually, hard work and self-control, I found myself even more motivated. First 25 pounds, then 50, then 80 and, to date, 96 pounds have been shed. Self-control is not my strong suit so implementing that was more work than I anticipated. As I learned to control my physical condition, however, it spilled over into other aspects of my life. It is, after all, one of the fruits of the Spirit and something that I wanted to master. I haven’t mastered it completely but feel that I have, in the words of the old Virginia Slims commercials, “come a long way, baby”.
A recent injury to my shoulder has inhibited my ability to hike to the difficult places I like to go, so I have had to increase my efforts at home. I hate exercise as much as the next person; the repetitions encouraged by the ridiculously toned, way too blonde, much too excited to be doing crunches individual who happens to be on the video I am following, but until I am able to resume the weekend jaunts that leave me feeling strong, toned and energized, I have little choice but to endure them. Yoga has also become a new pursuit. I find that, while I am quite flexible, I have a long way to go before I can fold myself into a box and be happy about it. And Yoga, while it may seem to be a simple form of exercise, is actually quite strenuous and requires a great deal of concentration and focus, neither of which come easy to me. At times, I find my enthusiasm lacks what is required to do it regularly and then I remember just what, once I am able to contort myself into a pretzel, I will be able to accomplish. As I sit here this evening gazing at the lights on my Christmas tree, enjoying the feeling of accomplishment, I think of what is yet to come and all I can think is that, in my heart of hearts I know; I. Can. Do. This.
Posted in blog, choices, dreams, exercise, facebook, from my heart, Hiking, humor, laughter, Life, life experiences, Mountains, muscle tone, Nature Photographer, Photography, strength, strong in body and mind, Time
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