Sign up to be notified of new posts and comments.
The Strength of My Body
Larry and I have just returned from spending two weeks in our Utopia.
It is very wild and rugged there on the Northern California coast. The mountains literally rise right out of the ocean.
This was our third trip there and each time we explore new areas.
On Saturday we explored a park that we thought just had a lighthouse, but we found a wooden stairway down a cliff to a rocky beach with many tidepools. Wanting to explore more, we went back on Sunday specifically at low tide. This was the first time we actually chose to go to a place at low tide and it felt good to consider the tides, which are so much a part of this place, and plan our outing around what was going on in Nature instead of our human timetable.
We went to this same beach at low tide and there was much more rock and tidepools and beach exposed. The previous day we had walked to the right and now we walked to the left.
The beach soon ended, but it was clear that we could walk around the corner.
When we got to the corner I recognized the land form across the water as being another beach we go to frequently.
I said to Larry, “Oh, I know where we are. The boat launch is just around this corner.”
The boat launch was just around the corner, but pretty far away. And there was no beach, it was all rock. The further we climbed, the more rock there was. Big rocks, small rocks, gravel between the rocks. And they we’re covered with live limpets and turban snails and sea anemones, so I knew this area would be underwater as the tide came in.
It was imperative that we get past these rocks and over to the boat ramp on the next beach.
But this was easier said than done. Larry had no problem navigating the rocks like a mountain goat, but it was more difficult for me. I still hadn’t regained all the strength in my legs after my broken knee last summer and my overall balance still needed improvement. So this was not only difficult for me, it was scary. My body also didn’t have the stamina for this kind of exertion, so we had to stop frequently just of me to catch my breath.
We finally did make it through the rocky area. Exhausted, but we made it. By the time we got back to the car in the parking lot two hours had elapsed.
But it was so worth it.
Most of the way we were literally walking on the floor of the ocean, next to the sea critters that would soon be under water when the tide came in. That itself was amazing.
Then when we got almost to the end there was a rock formation that was stunning. We were standing at the bottom of a large cliff. The land here is mostly a grey basalt with many veins of white quartz. The rocks on the beach have this white quartz in veins but also in odd patterns. Some are splashed with white like a modern art painting. Others…well I found a 1” x 2” pebble with quartz that had a pattern like a face, with two circles and a “nose”. One of the “eyes” even has an eyeball in it. It’s a one-eyed rock, just like my body is one-eyed.
In this particular spot, the cliff was about ten times the height of my 5’5” body. Huge veins of white quartz were running down the side of the side of the cliff like a lava flow or a waterfall. Some veins were the shape of lightning bolts, others were curly. At the bottom of the cliff we were standing on a jagged rock that had it’s own layers at an angle so we could see that it had been pushed up against the cliff as plates collided during an earthquake. It was a powerful place to stand. The energy of the flow of quatz was still there as was the power of the collision between the two land forms. It was just frozen in time in the rock.
Though there were times I thought my body would not be able to climb to the next beach, and at one point I even asked Larry to call the rescue squad, he kept telling me I could do it and encouraged me to persevere. And, in fact, I did make it to the next beach. And it felt so good to find out that my body could do this when I pushed it to be stronger, that I wanted to do more.
I realized that part of the problems I have had with my body have simply been lack of exercise. Once I broke through to pushing my body to a new level of exertion, I could see the strength was there and my body as a whole felt better in every way and I wanted more of this.
I made a decision to no longer do what is easy for my body, but to really push my body through to have more strength and ability.
I’m smiling. After a lifetime of basically sitting at a desk and walking around shopping malls, at age 65 I experiencing the possibilities of my body in an entirely new way.