Wednesday, October 16, 2013

78 is the new 78

Did you ever start up a mountain trail  you'd never climbed before? Friends challenged this acrophobia-fearing guy to climb up to the top of Mt. LeConte in the Smokies which is  a long way up--emphasis on the up. I finally got talked into the trek against my better judgment. Yep--it was scary and there were moments I couldn't look down. You could hardly see the bottom of the ravine. My heart kept pounding--but I made it. Getting out of your comfort zone is sometimes a very scary experience.

Well-- that's how I feel on my 78th birthday. 78--seventy-eight--I've never been here before. And  so I stand wondering how this new mountain trail will be like. After all I've never been here before. Yep-- there are signs. My hearing has just about tanked. My feet and the Doctor--not to speak of my wife--tell me that my jogging days are over. Is a walker or depends very far behind.? And I get tired-er at the wierdest times. So like that mountain climb which I dreaded--I do wonder where this up-hill slippery trail will lead. Some friends sidle up and say, "Consider the alternative." I don't WANT to consider the alternative!

Back to that early scary morning I remember some of the deep foreboding in the pit of my stomach. What if...and I thought of a zillion reasons to head back to the comfort of my cabin and feign illness of some serious sort. But I didn't do that. Step by slippery step I made my way up the mountain. There were places where you could put one down at a time. Finally--I made it. And I looked out over a rock ledge at a vista that took my breath away. And the air--Lord, but the air was pure and smelled so good. Now feeling sort of superior, I was glad I swallowed my phobias and took the trip.

Every once in a while I remember that mountain and my fears. But I smile and remember how it was up on top of that mountain that special day. You know where this is going. No, I've never been on this 78 trail before. But maybe, just maybe I will one day look back at my fears on this day and smile. No--I will not have considered the alternative--but even here I will discover some things I never even dreamed of before.

  --by Roger Lovette,

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