When I was 21 years old, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, skipping much of the way down, despite the whole cabbage I carried in my backpack, enjoying the lightened load during the next day’s ascent.  I’d spend the previous six months working as a National Park Ranger, hiking trails and fighting forest fires for minimum wage, and sopping up every blessed second of the experience. I was young, and fearless, and fit.

I’m older now, with a prosthetic hip and another that’s so ravaged by arthritis I can sleep in snatches of a few hours at the most. My back aches and I imagine x-rays of my neck resemble those of a camel’s.

When my physical therapist, who’s as young and lithe as I once was, encourages me to walk, “on a level surface,” outside, or on a treadmill, I can’t bring myself to tell her how hard it’s become to imagine walking to Machu Picchu, or even to recall the trails I once ran with my boisterous hounds tugging at their tethers, up slippery wet rocks.


About Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, was a trial attorney for 25 years and has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy on numerous occasions. She was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University for several years and served as an Interim Associate Professor of Law in the clinical program at Case Law School. In 2009, she returned to the small southwestern Michigan community where she was raised, and wrote a novel.
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6 Responses to Walking

  1. evanatiello says:

    Is PT helping at all? Will you need to replace the other hip? The Grand Canyon must have been a magnificent experience. You glossed over the cabbage . . .??

  2. klh048 says:

    Oh to be young again! I finally got an app for my phone that counts my steps. It helps keep me going…if I’m low one day I try to a little more the next. Today was my record but it will be a struggle tomorrow.

  3. Sue Glasco says:

    Wonderful memories! Yeah, I want to know about the cabbage. You were fearless to fight fires! I am so concerned for those doing it right now.

  4. Ron. says:

    Pretty much all my hinges hurt, these days. I could use a few joints…

  5. One step at a time, Jane…

  6. sammee44 says:

    As Nan says, take it one step at a time, Jane. We all had more stamina and agility “back then” but at least, we’re still moving 🙂 Hey, what’s with the cabbage???

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