What have I been doing these past five months? Clearly, I haven't been writing. I was working and hiking and running and backpacking and wedding-ing (my brothers'), and generally doing lots of things that were not writing. I have also been trying to heal. As I alluded to in my last post, my body was in sorry shape, earlier this year. I went to Italy in January, and on my return, everything seemed to spiral out of control for me, health-wise. I started losing weight because I had chronic diarrhea and extreme fatigue. I was falling asleep at my desk at work and Lord knows I couldn't run. By May, I had met with a naturopath and was trying to not eat grains and not eat sugar and slowly get back into exercise and gradually get over my fatigue.
The thing is, my health seems to operate as one of those Whack-a-Mole games. You can only whack one mole at a time, and as soon as you do, there's another mole waiting to be whacked, and another and another and you inevitably miss one or two and then the game is over and you may or may not have hit enough moles to get a few tickets spat out at you that can be redeemed for something Made in China. But I digress. My gut is healing (*Knock Wood!!). It no longer starts bubbling after every single thing I eat. I have gained five or six pounds, so I'm about back to a normal weight. But the moles: my hemoglobin count is falling.
Yesterday, I went for a pretty stout hike, and the mountain nearly broke me. My generation has embraced the notion of collecting experiences versus things, and we share everything cool with everybody who follows us on social media. Don't get me wrong - I do it too. But yesterday, it occurred to me that if I posted the selfie I took after finally making it to the saddle between the mountains, as the sun was setting and the mountains and the plains were both glowing, if I shared that moment with my social media world, it would be wrong. It would be a pretty picture of me almost on top of a mountain seemingly celebrating four miles and 2,500 feet of vert! Totally badass! And yet, that was one of the most brutal hikes I've ever forced myself through. I did it, but only because I would have felt even worse if I had turned back. But for four miles and 2,500 feet, I couldn't breathe; I felt like I could barely move.
I've come a long way since the end of May, but all the sneaky moles that pop up keep reminding me that I am sailing uncharted waters. None of how I feel is normal, and I haven't yet found any sort of precedent for these sicknesses. But it is all I can do to just keep pushing onwards and upwards. Even if I have to take a break to let my heart rate chill out every few minutes; even if I have to remind myself to drink water and stay fueled. I am not ready to turn around or just quit because if I have learned one thing from my years here, the view from up high is Always worth it.
Here's to another five months of living!!