This weekend we had plans with friends to stay at a yurt. It seemed like a great idea after a few drinks while talking with Tom and Lisa at our daughter’s wedding. It still seemed like a good idea when Lisa booked the trip in February the next day.
The yurt is located in the middle of nowhere in some state park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was going to take a couple hours to drive there. Apparently it does not have electricity nor does it have running water. Winter camping at its finest with a vault toilet nearby. The only amenities are a couple bunk beds, a table, and a wood stove with wood to keep a fire going so nobody freezes to death.
Freezing to death…it’s been a cold week here in Wisconsin. I’ve heard of several reports of people freezing to death within this past week. Will, without a car, was still planning on riding his bike to work. Not only is it cold, it is icy because salt doesn’t melt ice well when it’s 20 below. I don’t think I could live with myself if I saw a picture of him dead on the morning news. So I let my daughter borrow my car so he would have a way to work.
I gave my friend Lisa a call this week to plan the trip to the yurt. Lisa said their snowmobile wasn’t working. They ordered parts they thought might fix it which were supposed to show up on Tuesday but didn’t arrive until Wednesday. To get to the yurt, we would need to hike almost 5 miles on a snow covered path or breeze in on a snowmobile.
I reminded myself of the not so fond memory of the last time I ‘ran’ 5 miles over a year ago. It was the last race I ever did. I almost didn’t finish. Not too long before that, I finished my first 50k. Yes, a 50k! It was at that point I knew something was wrong. I ran about half the race then I had this horrible pain in my ankle where I could barely walk. I found out later that under exertion I have a bone spur which hits a nerve. At times I can barely walk and the next minute it’s fine. I also had a terrible backache.
Back in the day, Lisa and I used to run together. That was before her daughter died, before she moved away. Those days were some of the best times in my life. We trained together. She was a better runner than me but she kept me on my toes. Between the two of us, we could place in almost every small town race. I typically placed in the top 10% of my age group in 10k’s and half-marathons. I was finally able to achieve at a sport after always being picked last as a kid for teams in gym class. I even had to do extra credit in middle school to pass gym class. Turns out I was better at writing book reports than doing any kind of sport. But running I guess you could say I ran with it.
Now my daughter Angel is training for her first half-marathon. At times I see her hard on herself if she has a bad run. I too was very hard on myself on bad running days. Recently I told her that even a bad run, she is still able to run. What I wouldn’t give now for a bad run. These are things you can say once it’s gone. But it is truly not gone because I am able to enjoy the process through her.
The part for the snowmobile came in and it didn’t fix the problem. Today Tom bought a new battery and it still didn’t work. Now they are thinking the starter on the snowmobile needs fixing and they will need to take it in somewhere to be fixed.
Today I made the decision to not go to the yurt if the snowmobile wasn’t working. The high for tomorrow is 3 with lows below zero. Maybe I would’ve gone if I didn’t have to walk 5 miles through the snow in subzero temperatures with all our gear and try to get there before dark. A couple years ago nothing would’ve stopped me. But now I can’t even trust myself anymore. With spotty phone coverage, who knows? I might end up on the news and not in a good way. Although I’m a planner, I haven’t given too much thought to my funeral yet.
I feel bad for wimping out. But I also know my limitations. All the self-discipline in the world won’t change a thing when my body doesn’t listen to my mind anymore. Looks like I’ll have some time to take Arabella car shopping after all.