Scoutmaster Musings - 3-1


> > > Triple Prizes < < < 

Scoutmaster Musings

3-1
End of Trail
I think a good question to ask yourself when you are participating in a recreational activity, such as a long hike, is: "Is the effort I'm expending worth the enjoyment I'm receiving?"

Most outdoor activities include some strenuous effort that result in rewards. For example, hiking to a mountain top, or paddling across a lake, or climbing up a cliff. Parts of the activity are grueling work, but the rewards of beautiful views, exciting rapids, or new terrain are worth the expected work.

When the answer to the question is "No, the effort is more than the rewards," then it's no longer recreational. And, I feel, it's time to stop. That happened to me earlier this week, for the first time on my long hikes.

My left knee became painful the second evening of my hike, most likely because I was pushing too hard on very rough, very steep, downhill portions of the trail. The next day, the discomfort grew until it hurt on every step - up, down, or level. For 3 more days, I continued on with the hope it would eventually work itself out but it maintained a fairly consistent irritation.

So, when I arrived in Duncannon, PA on Sunday night, I had a plan to visit a doctor in the morning and then make a decision. If the knee should feel better in 2 days or less, I would continue. If it would take longer than that, I could not afford to sit in a town for 3 days or more because I would miss my already small window of completing the trail before winter weather.

Monday morning, the doctor checked me out and said it looked solid with no major tearing and I could continue to walk on it - but recommended slower pace and even terrain. She said continuing my hike on the trail would most likely not make it worse, but it would not get a chance to heal and the pain could take a long time to abate.

This is when the question came up. A 2 hour debate with myself and I concluded: "No, I'm not enjoying this." The ongoing discomfort from the past 4 days would continue for the near future and I would not have fun.

I arranged a 20-mile shuttle to Hamburg, PA where I caught a 1,106-mile greyhound bus ride home. Late Tuesday night, after 24+ hours touring the country, I was home. I took yesterday to rest and come to grips in my head with my first long distance hiking failure.

Failure is the description that I keep coming back to for this hike. I had a goal to walk a certain distance in a certain time and reach the trail end. I failed to do that, actually didn't even come close. So, my trail record is now 3 wins and 1 lose. I completed the AZT, SHT, and IAT. I didn't complete my first effort with the AT.

It's pretty easy to start coming up with better ways to look at failed goals to make them not seem so bad. I hiked 123 miles in 5 days. I walked in 3 states - WV, MD, and PA. I learned a lot for future hikes. I met some interesting people. But, for now, I'm just sticking with 3-1 and admitting to myself that, however I look at it, I didn't reach my goal.

I'll share tomorrow some of the things I learned on this short trek and my plans for some shorter hikes the rest of this year.

PS: This picture is the last one I took on my hike. I am resting on a mountain before the final 600-foot steep, rocky, drop into Duncannon.
Posted: 9:50 08-21-2014 1109
    Previous Post     Next Post        archives:   2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005      Scoutmaster Musings - RSS Feed

Site Disclosure Statement



Comments:
 Aug 23, 2014 - John
Discretion is the better part of valor.  Better to heal now than suffer later.
Hope you get better soon

John
Troop 933
N Lawrence, OH
Committee Member
Aug 26, 2014 - SM Ron
If one of your boy's was injured during a hike, would you have said the word failure? No.  This was a learning experience.  You knee is telling you have gone past what you should expect.  For your next attempt: (1) Maybe your hike planning should be adjusted to shorter amounts on rockier terrain. (2)Maybe you need to plan rest days or light days after rigorous days (3) Maybe you needed a different training regiment before taking on the AT (4) Maybe you needs need some form of rehab.  etc.   Are you disappointed, sure, but this was not a failure, it was a first attempt.

Follow Me, Boys


Recent Comments
Knuteson Simpkin on Popeye song
 
Jules Hannah on Hornaday Award
 
Joe on Eagle Scouts
 
Ian Stuart on Eagle Scouts
 
Donald Stockley on Christmas Family skit
 
Scouter Paul on Eagle Scouts
 
Ian Stuart on Eagle Scouts
 
John on Square Knots
 
John on Square Knots
 
Gregory Manov on Square Knots
 
More Comments...


Contest   -   Ask a Question   -   Add Content   -   scout software

This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
listeria testingscout software
Boy Scouts  
Boy Scout Trail
Cub Scouts
Webelos
Boy Scouts
My Blog

Activities
Advancements
Awards
Ceremonies
Group Games
Graces
Jokes
Merit Badges
Projects
Recipes
Skits
Songs
SM Minutes
Stories
Uniforms
Pen Pals

Library
Online Tests
Our Schedule
Our Progress


Supporters





Shop 4 Stuff
Links
Privacy Policy
ICRA labeled

 
Find more Scouting Resources at www.BoyScoutTrail.com
This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Trail Home Bobcat Tiger Cub Scout Wolf Cub Scout Bear Cub Scout Webelos Boy Scout Tenderfoot Scout 2nd Class Scout 1st Class Scout Star Scout Life Scout Eagle Scout