I’ve been awake most of the night…remembering and thinking ahead.
It was at 4:16 a.m. on January 9, 2014, that I woke up with horrible pain in my legs and found myself unable to walk. I’ve written about this in previous posts, so I don’t intend to revisit that moment and all that followed in the process of getting worse before I finally got better. If you care to read about that experience, then go to: https://highdeserthunter.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/i-cannot-walk/
So I will call this my “new year” celebration. These days I am walking, hiking, running and weight training. I do not need a wheelchair or a cane to get across a room. At sunrise, I will head into the mountains as my way of giving thanks to God for the healing in my legs. This new year finds me hopeful and forward looking. In June, I will be heading to Colorado to compete in the “Train to Hunt” challenge in the Super Master’s Division.
The Super Master’s division is for men who are 50 years of age and older. I’m already wondering if they will add another division for those who are 60 years old and beyond when I reach that age in 2017. Perhaps they could call it the Senior Master’s division. If you want to see what this is like, check out this video: http://vimeo.com/115646276
I am training hard for this event. I am pushing myself like never before…and it is fun.
Having been immobilized one year ago today, I have no intention of slowing down or standing still. I do not say this out of pride, but out of overwhelming gratitude. It was only when I could not walk that I learned to take each step…each hike…with joy and thanksgiving. One year ago I wondered if I would ever climb a mountain again or head out on a hunting trip.
Even though the odds of being drawn for big game hunting with my bow are stacked against me in New Mexico Department of Game and Fish annual quota system (http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/applications-and-draw-information/how-new-mexico-draw-works/), I am already excited about applying. I will apply to hunt for elk, deer, ibex, oryx, pronghorn, bear and aoudad. Even if I only succeed in being drawn for one of these hunts, then I will be thankful. For if I am drawn, then I will be able to feel the sweat rolling down my back and the burn in my legs as I carry my pack through the mountains in pursuit my quarry…and it will be wonderful.
Several people have inspired me during this past year. They keep me motivated to train hard and stay strong. So I want to give a tip of my hat to the following people:
Zac Griffith: http://www.zacgriffith.com
Cameron Hanes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb4237VcObo
Matthew Ament: http://www.noregretsoutdoors.com
Kenton Clairmont: http://www.traintohunt.com
Most of all, I thank the Lord for my wife, Kirsten. She supports me and cheers me on. She never complains about my training for hunting or the time I spend away from her in the mountains. In fact, she rejoices when I bring home venison for our family to enjoy. So thanks, Kirsten. Here’s to you!