Hoping my way out of limbo…

Following my previous two posts, here continues the saga of my rebellious left leg. I have now been off the Trail for six days.  My leg/hip/back progressed from staggering pain to random aches and spasms to now: it doesn’t really hurt but it doesn’t feel 100% either.

In limbo, in Virginia…

Last time I wrote, I was resting at a hostel in Virginia. After Day 3 of this, I was something of an emotional wreck.  My leg felt the same, which was not better.  Stuck in limbo, I could see my finish date drifting farther into the future.  Questions about the possibility of finishing also plagued my thoughts.  I put off calling my parents to give them an update because I didn’t want to face decisions.  Do I stay here and continue to rest?  Do I go home and rest?  Do I try to hike?

Finally, I have to climb out of the gridlock. I call my dad and break down, but come to a decision: I’ll head home for a few days, see a doctor, rest and try to figure this out.  An hour later, my dad is on his way to Virginia to pick me up.  Dad of the Year award.  He gets in around midnight and we leave the next morning.

Home again, home again

I have since sought medical help. In a period of 36 hours, I have seen my regular doctor, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor. My regular doc diagnosed pain in my lower back which the chiropractor adjusted, saying the problem was with my pelvis. The physical therapist told me the issue was with my left hip and gave me some exercises to do, as well as a couple more sessions of therapy before I hit the Trail again. Basically, my body is complaining about the fact that I have hiked 1200 miles. I am hoping we can come to an agreement, because we still have about 950 to go…

My hopes of getting back on the Trail next week have been bolstered. I do not know what will happen when I do, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  For now, the hope is enough, because I have been stressing about this whole issue. Even my appetite disappeared, which is pretty serious business when you’re a thruhiker.

Trust exercises again

God tested my trust while I hiked from West Virginia to Maine. I expected the same for the second half of my hike, but I did not expect this.  I never expected that, after getting through some of the toughest parts of the Trail up north, I would get to Virginia and wonder if my body is up for this.

I know there must be a reason for this delay and I am trying to trust. The extra time at home with my family and my dogs had been nice. I visited work to hang out with Elliott and meet some of our new birds, including a juvenile American kestrel who has already stolen my heart. The time off has increased my drive to finish this thruhike, but it has also reminded me of what I am blessed to come home to.

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Comments 7

  • Roo (Deane) : Aug 11th

    Hi, Mary! I knew you had it in you to finish when I met you at the ATI last fall. I’m 1200 miles in, too, and lots of things hurt lots of the time. I went home for 2 weeks after just 400 miles (what is it about Virginia?). Rest well and be gentle on yourself for listening to your body and taking a needed break. When I got back on the trail, I decided the most important thing (for me) was to stay healthy and to stay on the trail. I slowed down, took lots of Advil and eventually the hip issue I had resolved. I’m rooting for you… you’ve got this!

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 12th

      Thanks, Roo! I have been enjoying your updates! Thanks for the encouragement! I admire your ability to listen to your body and slow down; Hoping I will have the discipline and right frame of mind to do so if my body needs it. Keep trekking!

  • Ruth Morley : Aug 12th

    You’ve got your head together, girl. And your body is going to cooperate eventually. The previous persons post and advice is good. Get back out there and start slowly.

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 12th

      Thanks, Chocoholic!

  • Judy and Michael White : Aug 12th

    We have been following your journey and are impressed with your courage, good sense and faith as you make these tough decisions. Just wanted you to know two more people are rooting for you, no matter what decision you make.

    • Mary Meixner : Aug 12th

      Thank you for your support and encouragement!

  • Ruth Morley : Aug 19th

    I’m still waiting to hear good news about healing. But remember, you just can’t rush it. The trail will wait for many a year. It’ll be here.


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