Thursday, July 5, 2007
The Shays Rebellion monument, one of many intriguing spots along the 2,157-mile Appalachian Trail.
I am back from four days of hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and despite a mild head cold, my body feels great.
My old roommate and I hiked about 35 miles, and decided to call off the second leg of our excursion due to my congestion and his achy knees and ankles. While I missed many of the creature comforts of civilized life (ice cream, sandwiches on toasted rolls, the Red Sox on my 46-inch HD DLP TV), I appreciated the calmness of nature.
On our first night we camped under a full moon. The site we stayed at had an incredible view into a pine valley. As we watched the moon rise through the clouds we could hear the eerie call of an owl in search of a mate. In the morning we awoke to the sound of birds chirping and chipmunks skittering.
While it was difficult - and at times strenuous - carrying my 45-pound pack up and down the Berkshire mountains, it was also exhilarating and sustaining, as I could tell my body was grateful not to be sedentary.
I definitely plan to go out again this summer, perhaps with two additional friends. Now is the time to do it. In a few months I'll once again be wrapped up in the duties and trappings of my profession. Hopefully, by the time summer ends, I'll have devised a way to schedule sufficient time for myself during the school year. I know that living a well-rounded, healthy life will make me a stronger, clearer, more satisfied, more effective teacher.
If any of you have a story about how you've been able to strike a balance (or not) between career, family, and personal well-being, please feel free to share.