Yesterday afternoon we went to take a walk on the Centennial Trail just outside of the Black Hills and accidentally ended up hiking a small mountain. How this happened: the trail went either straight through fields of grass or up through a forest. I love trees and am allergic to grass.

We quickly realized we weren’t on a walk and that we were completely unprepared to hike a mountain (wrong shoes, no water, only minimal weaponry in bear country). But we’re stubborn and the sun was shining, so we kept going. And going. And going. And then a while later we crested the mountain – it was covered in long grass <emoji>. As my insides slowly tortured me alive, suddenly I felt lighter. Happier. Proud. It’s not a feeling I feel often anymore, especially as a spoonie. Usually my wins are much smaller, and in the grand scheme of things even this feels small. The reality is that I haven’t been able to even entertain the idea of hiking until recently. I used to hike and backpack all the time, but once my body started to deteriorate, along with it went my hope. Then this year I decided to start walking every day (or as close to it as I could) for my well being and for my dog Moose who has a degenerative spinal condition. Then by happenstance I was able to take a hike yesterday. I’m exhausted (as is Moose, but he bounces back faster) and I hurt but I am so encouraged. It really goes to show that when we do the work and we are diligent, we can still do things that bring us joy and achievement. Don’t stop believing in yourself and the things you want to do.