New Year’s Eve


My training plan began on Dec 30 with the first day being a rest day. I’m good with that.

The second day was to be a progression run but I had been invited on a hike on a loop attached to the Musquodoboit Trailway. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time but too prudent/chicken to do it on my own, so how could I pass up such a perfect invitation. Besides, I can always call it cross-training.

I’ve really never hiked before. I’ve taken walks down logging roads but even that was a long time ago. But, typical me, I had watched too many YouTube videos and read more than necessary so I put the pack together with gear I’ve bought but hadn’t yet had the chance to use. Picked out sensible clothing and chose Salomon Speedcross to wear on my feet.

Walked the .75 km to the trailhead and met my buddies at the trailhead in the morning. Weather forecast predicted sleet and rain around 2pm so we were getting it done ahead of time. So far it was just windy and a little below zero, and once we were in the bush there wasn’t even much wind.

There was, however, quite a bit of ice and snow. The word of the day was “mindful.” Be mindful of your footing. Each foot placement is a puzzle. What’s the geometry? What does it feel like when I put my foot down—will I slip or will my amazing shoes hold?

And there was that other kind of mindful. Mindful of the year to come. How will I make the best of it? Can I crank up the discipline quotient? Can I focus better on what I’d like to do, both in my running and in my life? I’ll sit down and make a list (not too long) so that I have specific goals. Boston is one goal and I have a specific plan for that. How about the other things I’d like to accomplish?

I hike along following my buddies’ footsteps feeling immensely grateful. Grateful for the fitness I’ve acquired so that I can actually do this thing, climbing over roots and rocks. Grateful for this beautiful place that is so close by and still not overrun by tourists. Grateful for the volunteers who maintain the trail. Grateful for my gear and the clever people who have designed it. Grateful for the women who’ve invited me, and whom I trust.

And then we are climbing carefully down the last few meters of the trail onto the gravel pathway, then walking back to the cars, hugs all around not only for the hike but for the year to come. I walked back home and just as I turn the last corner to my house it begins to snow.


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