The hardest thing in my hiking as I age is change.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV
My desire to hike long distances above four miles at a time is almost non-existent. So this means many Alpine lakes and “Fourteeners – 14,000 feet peaks in Colorado” are not accessible anymore.
I used to hike a 16-minute mile and now it is 20 minutes. So I set a slower pace which fits my body better.
Past injuries have limited my flexibility – a sprained ankle, biceps tear and a broken back. So stretching is mandatory before and after a hike.
Climbing 400 feet or more in a short distance at high altitude increases my heart rate to a scary level – over 150 beats per minute. So I wear a heart rate monitor watch and still climb – but take rest breaks and more slowly.
Locating and walking accessible long distance trail segments of 10 miles or more are challenging. So I limit my distance or do out and back on segmented trails.
Competing with others or myself for how fast I can hike a particular trail is not important now. So I hike for the journey, not for the destination and not to win.
Exhaustion from the ‘push through the pain’ when I was younger was exhilarating. So pain requires Advil PM in order to sleep following a hike.
Sweating is not my favorite activity. So maybe my nose does not work as well or my vanity is decreasing, but I don’t care if we smell bad throughout the day or evening.
High altitude climbs were part of any vacation plans in the mountains – Alps, Smokies, or the Rockies. Who I have been in the past decades seems like a distance memory. But I plan to hike everyday and enjoy my life in every way.
Give yourself permission to Change. We are meant to move.
Keep walking and hiking as long as you can.
What things have changed for you in your climbing and hiking? Do you try to make sure nothing changes and work harder each year? Have you thanked God for what you can do and not for what you cannot do?