I’m ending the year fighting to recover from a head cold. After 14 months of not even a sniffle (last virus was October 2013), I finally got hit with something. I’m just determined to feel better and not start the new year with this thing.
Last Winter I stalled out. I wasn’t able to exercise much, and I lost traction. I found myself losing ground on training and very frustrated until Spring finally arrived 9 months ago. I made the most I could of Spring, and Summer, and Fall, and when the weather started to turn again, I kept moving as best I could. This time I am determined to keep better momentum and I am finding myself in a better place for it. There was some lag. I’m pulling out of it – in spite of this head cold that decided Christmas Day was a good time to show up. This is one of the hardest things someone with rheumatic autoimmune and neurological conditions has to do.. keep moving when everything in you wants to stop. Winter brings that home to us vividly.
To sum up 2015… Not that any year really is, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I lost a lot of people over the last two years to everything from suicide and illness to accident and terrorist attack. I don’t think there is a way to really process all of that. Sometimes you just have to get back up and keep going. Every year is going to have it’s highs and lows, and it’s just our responsibility to dwell in the positive energy of the better moments and try to coast through the rough patches. That’s the choice I keep making anyway.
I was about to add that I have “lost friends” this year as well. I don’t mean they died. I mean they chose to walk off in a huff. I have to amend that thought however and say that for the reasons they chose (which are sometimes rather mysterious), they were not actually friends. They wanted to act like they were but the lack of sincerity in storming off without communication, blocking in Facebook like I will stalk them or something ridiculous, and all that goes with that behavior tells me otherwise. I am at the point now where I am telling people that do this, it’s your loss. Bye. I don’t have time for games. I don’t have the energy for pretense. I don’t have room in my life for facades. If you don’t actually want a friendship, and you are incapable of communication, don’t bother trying to start with me. Don’t waste anyone’s time. I don’t tolerate dishonesty and I had one person this year lie about leaving Facebook and block me (and at least one other person), which is just childish. Stop it already. Learn to communicate. Did you think I wouldn’t know about it? Please. I ALWAYS find things out. Always. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Be that as it may… be here, or don’t. It’s a choice – just like whether you want some quality of life back or not. As we move forward with various projects, my supporters need other sincere participants beside them as much as I do. The second I see the venues I provide being abused, I will shut the problem down. None of my loyal friends and supporters deserve to be mistreated any more than myself. Even the Facebook pages that I run are provided to be a healthy environment for inspiration, focus, introspection, and contact points with others that have the same forwardly motivated goals of attaining a better quality of life – thriving in spite of the challenges. It’s about learning to live alongside the things you have to adapt to managing, and choosing not to give up on having a life at all. If anyone doesn’t “get” this about me yet, they are not listening. It’s time to start paying attention. This is EVERYTHING TO ME.
You can walk. You do not have to be my friend. You do not have to be my supporter. You do not have to partner with me in any way, shape, or form. It’s a choice. If you are going to be here, I ask that you be sincere. Thank you to those that can and do. I may or may not lose more friends…. “friends”… over this, but I really don’t have a lot of time to handhold at this point. (In no way does that mean I am not available for helping people that are serious. I just mean I don’t have it in me to placate anyone that makes intentional bad choices over and over.) I am halfway through the 4 years set aside to prepare for Half Dome. I was right about how long it would take me, in spite of many people trying to say otherwise. I know what it takes to train with an uncooperative and chronically ill body that has injuries to work around as well. Trust me, it’s going to be 2017. So I have a little less than two years. I am happy to welcome my sweet friend Lisa to my team (barring any disasters between now and then that change her plans), and look forward to having her along on the hike. I have watched her progress and accomplishments and I know that she is not only quite capable, but she is someone that I can trust in a wilderness setting to know her own limits – when to push, when not to. Trust is not something I hand out freely. I am deeply impressed with her as a motivated individual and as a Friend as well. She is among a very few that truly understand at the core what I am doing. This hike started off as a personal goal and a family trip only, about a decade ago. It is now much more important as it has also become part of the awareness campaign for both autoimmune diseases and women’s heart disease. For me to extend the invitation to include someone, they have done something major to earn my respect. Lisa has more than done so.
So this is the part where I tell you that there will be tough love messages in 2016. I don’t like to be off-putting when avoidable, but I did not get to where I am now by dwelling in the dark places or focusing on problems. That is a far too popular bad habit these days. The only focus you should ever place on a problem is a directed beam of problem-solving energy that makes you want to bust through it and find a better path on the other side of it. In martial arts training you learn that you are not striking a surface or an opponent at the point of the impact. Your aim is past that point of contact. If you want quality of life and to stay in motion, that is the type of momentum that you need – your aim has to be beyond the obstacle, not right at the face of it. If you pull up short, you will always be stuck. Not only that; you will probably take quite a beating. Remember this.. because no one has promised that 2016 will be any easier.
If I am blunt, it is because I care. If I did not care about anyone’s well-being, I would not be spending time documenting projects, editing video (VERY time-consuming), writing blogs, posting research on FB pages, sharing what I’ve done successfully for better health, encouraging others to find their path, answering questions when someone has one – and always happy to do so! – or inviting people to not only see what works but the pain I have to walk through for it at times. This is outreach. This is real. Looking ahead I have hopes to exit 2016 with an even stronger base of friendships, a much larger following, and having reached several preliminary goals that I have set. I have hope that the people I am looking at right now are what I believe them to be.
Each new year can be a sort of clean slate. It doesn’t matter if you use markers, pencils, paint, or crayons, mark it up gloriously. Use all of your colors. Make a mess if you want to, as long as it was fun and beautiful in some way. Make efforts. Make mistakes. Fail a few times. Get up and fail again. You’ll figure out which methods don’t work until you find the one that does. Keep aiming past those moments when something didn’t work. Beyond it – I promise – is the one that does.