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Taking the Trail | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Taking the Trail

The Biever Bunch could beat Duck Dynasty for real life adventures and entertainment.

We’ve taken up more trail walking in my post cardiac life. Today, as a getaway during my daughter’s college spring break, we tried a new trail. When we planned our hike, we hadn’t anticipated a storm front would come in today, the temperatures would drop, and the wind would be fierce.

To take the trail or not to take it? We’re tough. A little wind wouldn’t stop us. The trail we took ended up being 4 1/2 miles. We didn’t know until the first mile was over that it was a more challenging trail than I have ever done. I’m afraid of heights, and going up or down steep surfaces makes me nervous. Combine with that that it rained early this morning, so the trail was just a little slick.

If you take a trail with teen-aged siblings, they just might spend part of the journey showing who can walk faster in tough terrain.

If you take a trail with your teen-aged son, he’s going to try different experiments to make the day more interesting. What did he discover?

  • If you fart while walking on a trail, how far ahead can you be of everyone else and make sure they can still smell it? (20 feet)
  • If you race down the trail and swing yourself on a small tree, what could possibly happen? (Your mom could walk under that tree 10 feet behind you and get hit in the head by a baby branch that falls off of it.)
  • If you stand on a bridge and ask your mother for a password, will she give it? (No.) Will she recognize you’re quoting lines from Monty Python? (No)
  • If you race ahead of your parents and sister and hide yourself behind a fallen tree, burying yourself in leaves, will you surprise them? (Not if they saw you first.)
  • If you race ahead and go to the edge of a mountain bluff and tell your mom the trail ahead has you take steps down the mountain, will she believe you? (No.)
  • If you race ahead and tell your mom a sign says the trail has ended, will she believe you or read the sign herself? (She reads it.)
  • If you race too close to a precipice, what will happen? (Your mother will scream and cuss at you to get away from the edge before you give her a heart attack.)

All of those antics made it easier as I stressed heading up and down the hills.  The most common thing my kids and husband said to me?

“You can do it mom.”

At times as we worked our way up and down the trail, they took turns helping me and encouraging me as we walked across rocks at a stream. We did okay. I don’t know why I bothered to blow-dry my hair because the wind blew it every direction.

The trail wasn’t always easy, and I had to stop and rest. My new watch can monitor my heart rate, and I watched it carefully. I had nitro pills in one back pocket and a bottle of water. At times as we rested, I realized how lucky I am.

Fifteen months ago, I had a heart attack and had a stent placed in an artery blockage. Seven months ago, I had hernia surgery.

But here I am, with my family, tackling the toughest trail of my life on a cold, windy day. My biggest complaint?

The lack of bathrooms. If trail makers want middle-aged women to walk them, they would make sure there is access to bathrooms. I threatened my family that if we didn’t finish soon I was going to station them on different sides of the trail so I could go behind a bush. That didn’t happen.

I choose to think it’s a coincidence that my kids then began singing Rawhide in unison.

The older I get, the more I think I have in common with Clark Griswold.

We have choices in life. If we want to take a trail, some obstacles may present themselves. But if we persevere, and if we work together, we can make it through the tough trails. And we just might have some fun along the way.


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