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The Urban Wilderness

August 20, 2013

This past weekend, I packed up my things for a move back to my hometown.  The situation for my first attempt to move to the city ended up being less than ideal.  However, it did give me a chance to use some of my skills for dealing with anxiety that I have developed over the years  1.  Deal with the situation as is NOT how I fear it will be or in this case wish it were.  2.  Recognize behavior patterns and actions of others & make a rational  decision for my actions  & NOT analyze or try to “fix” anyone else’s behavior but my own.

I think I did the best I’ve ever done at following those rules.  This is not the end of me making it in a new location.  I’m thinking of this more as a strategic withdrawal to make a new plan and establish firmer goals for my next attempt.

During my time in the city, I worked on training for my upcoming backpacking trip.  I will be traveling 10 miles per day with several very strong hikers.  I am determined to strengthen my body beforehand in the hopes of keeping up.  As funds were tight, I didn’t join a gym.  I instead mapped out a hiking/ running route.  Part of it was a bike trail that curves along a dried river bed giving me a small homesick jolt of being back in the country.  The view along the route -especially the morning sunrise- was stunning.  Also on the city running loops, there is that same sense of camaraderie and friendly competitiveness that can be found in the woods.  Men with buzz-cut hair wound up passing me multiple times on the loop but were never too winded to say “hi”.  Speed-walking women with yoga pants and tiny, yappy dogs on leashes would smile regally at me while sweaty women in bright gym shorts zipped by us with cheerful greetings.

Once a great dane stuck his face right in mine in friendly greeting.  “I’m so sorry,” said his owner, yanking helplessly at his leash.  “He’s really a total softie.”

“Hi sweetie,” I said to the dog as he hurried to keep up with his mistress.  I’ve heard that dogs don’t really know their size in relation to other animals.  I can believe it as my 65 lb. black lab’s favorite place to be is snuggled up in my lap or standing on my feet.

I learned the hard way not to leave the paths I had pre-mapped.  I would find myself lost in a sea of identical beige homes and names of streets named after flowers or women’s names; sometimes wandering for hours trying to get back home as sparkling white SUVs went by and gardeners manicured lawns that already looked perfect and identical to the front yards of every other house on the street.  In my yoga pants and New Balance running shoes, I looked sort of like the other exercising neighbor women.  I would try to appear like I knew where I was going as I tried to remember if I’d been to Daffodil Circle before or if Chrysanthemum Drive would be better to try in terms of getting back home.  I once broke down my resolve to rely on my own internal map (hah!) and used my phone to get back.  My phone informed me that continuing on the way I was going it would be 5 miles before I would get home but if I turned around and went the opposite way, it would be 2 miles.  I opted for the 2 miles as I had a coffee date with a friend that I wanted to clean up for.

One difference when I’m actually backpacking is that there will be no Starbucks or cupcake shops every block or so.   I shall return from my trip in a month or so all thin & enlightened from communing with nature & eating only what I can carry on my back.  Then I’ll be ready to take on whatever adventure calls once i’m home.  Well now I’m off to the gym back at home to get my body ready for the demands.

© beckyofmoonlitoaks, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to beckyofmoonlitoaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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