Shame is a Heavy Burden


Shame is a heavy burden. It can lighten only when brought to the light.

The worst shame is the one you carry alone, even when your friends and those who support you already know what you are going to say. The worst shame is the one you never needed to carry in the first place.

Tonight, Kris and I had a very similar talk that Andy and I had had on Sunday night. I told him what I had been doing for the last eight years. I filled in gaps when he asked questions, which wasn't often but also wasn't zero. He told me that, yeah, he knew much of what I told him. He asked what was going to happen going forward.

The irony of the timing was not lost on me, but I told him the best I could predict and commit to. I let him know that unless he tells me otherwise, our plans after Vinson are the plans as I understand them.

In not wanting to hurt anyone, I hurt a lot of people. I made a lot of mistakes. In many of the 12 step programs you hear about, admitting what you did to those you harmed, and then making the amends you can, are two of the biggest, hardest steps you can do. Well, I'm not in a 12 step program, but I see the benefit, beauty, release, and betterment of those two steps, so I did them. I'm working hard to be more upfront and honest with people, and to keep my boundaries. That seems to be a thing these last 2-3 years: boundaries, and people learning to set and keep them.

This upcoming year, this training, this mountain, all of it is part of my year of healing. The Year of Healing™ was supposed to be 2022.

It starts tomorrow instead.

Up Lookout Trail

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Went for a recovery hike today on Lookout Trail, starting at the Madrone campsite in the Steven Creek Reservoir area. This is one of the hikes I did a lot last year when I was training locally, with the hill going up Lookout Trail being somewhat tiring. Today I went up the hill, and up the hill, and up the hill, and either wasn't going fast enough or it wasn't as steep as I remember. What threw me off was that this view kept happening. I kept thinking I was nearing the top of the hill, as this view of the trail going up, with sky visible through the trees clearly meant I was near the top. I was not. I saw this view three times before I was at the top. Cracked me up. Had to loop around a new trail for me to hike the full 45 minutes of the walk. Getting stronger!

Annual Physical Time

Me having blood drawn

I went to the doctor today for my annual physical. I have to say, our medical system is really not conducive to receiving care quickly.

Today's appointment was for referrals for the doctors I actually want to see. While I am happy that I was able to schedule all the tests that I wanted, and receive all the referrals that I also wanted, I'm less happy that it is colonoscopy time. When asked, "Do I want a referral [for the colonoscopy]?" my answer was "No, I don't want one, but I understand that I need one, so yes, I will take a referral." The provider laughed.

I managed to scandalize him again later in the physical, when I let him know that I actively take 1-2 grams of sodium a day. I could see his eyes go from my eyes, to the blood pressure monitor reading, back to my eyes, back to the blood pressure reading, back to my eyes. "Have you always had low blood pressure?" I laughed. "Actually, that's higher than normal," I responded. It was 98/67. Not exactly "high."

I managed five referrals, three tests scheduled, and a whole lot of feeling better about my health. I still weigh too much.

Andy's Trees Doing Well!


I went over to Andy's place today. We continue to talk about things, which is good. Was lovely to hear about his trees, and how they are doing.

Hazelnuts on the tree

At one point, Andy said his hazelnut tree has ten new nuts, could I find them. Finding the ones he did took him a good fifteen minutes. So, I looked up. After a few minutes, Andy let me know that the partner hazelnut tree was likely in that direction, which told me which side of the tree to look on. Eventually, I found a pair of nuts and pointed them out. Andy laughed, and said those were new ones.

Figs on the tree

Andy's fig tree is doing well.

I really dislike figs.

Fig in Andy's hands

Andy likes them.

Mountain Hugs

View from the start of the Mission Peak hike

Today's workout was supposed to be a muscle endurance workout. "Supposed to be" is the key phrase here. The workout is nominally carrying ⅓ my body weight (which is 47 pounds, btw) up a steep hill for an hour, then turning around and carrying it back down. Forty seven pounds is a lot a weight for me. I can't lift 47 pounds. I nearly fall over backward when trying to adjust the 47 pound backpack on my back. Lunch time was the only time I had to go on this hike, so I went at noon. My car's thermometer read 38˚C when I exited my car, which would be 100˚F.

I was okay for the first 20 minutes of going up, but not really. Forty seven pounds is a lot of weight for me, did I mention? The next 10 minutes were all grit, but I couldn't go a full hour.

Turning around on a mountain is some kind of skill, I'm told. Knowng one's limits is crucial to surviving some of these mountains.

I turned around.

As I turned around, a wind started up. The wind was hot, intense, and surprisingly strong. At first, I thought the mountain was telling me to go back up, keep trying, keep going. A few more steps, and I realized, no, the mountain wasn't telling me to turn around and keep going. No, it was hugging me, telling me that going down was okay, telling me that it'll be here when I'm ready, more rested, stronger.

Next time.

Dried thistles and a view of dry Mission Peak Regional Park hills
View back down the hill at Mission Peak Regional Park

When Moazam Calls...

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When the person who is always willing to help you, calls and asks if you can pick him up from the car repair shop and hang for a bit, the answer is always yes.