While Covid-19 ebbed and flowed and then raged on, 2021 wasn’t too bad of a year for me when it came to running and hiking! The year started out rough as I battled some heath issues that turned out to be an auto-immune condition called Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). Years of stress and anxiety at taken its toll on me despite my lifestyle of intense physical fitness. I began medication in late February with the hope of putting my condition into remission. The medication allowed me to once again to enjoy full range of motion in my arms, legs, and neck and to run and hike generally pain free.
With this rebirth, I modified my diet and decided to ramp up my activity and do as much as I can—for time is short and my new condition, life during this pandemic and turning 60 in May all reminded me so. The result? I hiked and ran my culo off tallying just under 2300 miles for the year. I began ultra-running again after taking a break from it and have found a new love for endurance hiking and running. And in general I had a blast hitting the trail and moving!
My biggest highlights of the year were doing the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on my 60th birthday—19.5 miles and 8,700 vertical feet over 7 rocky peaks in a day—and in August running around Mount Hood on the Timberline Trail-41 miles and 10,000 vertical feet in a day! I also won my first race- a half marathon cross country trail run- and at age 60! I spent some great time on the trail with family and friends and deeply cherish their company and companionship.
Besides spending a lot of great trail time in Washington’s Cascades, I hit the trail in Oregon, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I went back to California’s Humboldt County—one of my favorite places on the West Coast-after a long absence from running and hiking in the redwoods. And I returned to an area of Vermont where I once lived and knew well and left with much emotional pain 32 years ago. Returning there was cathartic and healing. Instead of remorse and pain I felt nostalgia and contentment. I look forward to returning again—and I look forward to a wonderful 2022. I am ready to face the challenges and obstacles that life will throw at me and continue to hike and run my culo off like there is no tomorrow!
Hope you have a great year, too!