Here’s the routine. Up at 5 AM, on the road by 6. The drive to the start point for the day varies depending on where I stopped the night before. Sometimes it is an hour. At times more. I talk to myself, “Not to worry. In another two hours [plus a drive] there is a hot dinner and hopefully a warm bed”
It’s out of the car quickly. I walk for over two hours. Alas, then I search for a hot, home cooked, breakfast at a restaurant [should there be any reasonably nearby] More than half of the time I succeed, after more driving. If not, it s a peanut butter sandwich!
Then it is back to the work site, walking for another two hours. After this “stage” of the day well, I am tired. It is about now that the little things begin to hurt. Crotch chafing, sore toes, hamstring pain, tight muscles. Occasionally, I am also nauseous
The mind needs to be conquered now. But, the aches are real. “I will get injured if I don’t stop”, the subconscious hollers. Just then, depending on the day, the bears show themselves, wolfs howl or a renegade moose runs by. Finally, after deploying every walking and mind trick in the book I trudge on praying for my stopwatch to signal that the second hour has arrived.
Today for the very first time I close my eyes long enough to visualize my ultimate arrival in Key West. There they were Matt negotiating, Steve, wearing a NY Rangers tee shirt, smiling, mt ever elegant daughters Vanessa and Melissa, Granddaughter Maya running alongside me while Isabella points “Papa Two” from her bicycle. And of course there is the love of my life Doris shouting “Good job Munie”