In Denali but not Denial

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been quiet. I guess I felt either not much to say or didn’t have time to organize my thoughts. I was working a lot of overtime all summer. It kept me busy and sober. And helped my bank account.

But I am now on a life-dream trip of Alaska! I have always wanted to visit Denali National Park. I have dreamt of camping up here and seeing a lot of wildlife. And I am so glad I am healthy enough to do it. I actually stepped up my plans and did a backpacking trip into the back country of the park. BY MYSELF! I don’t think it is something I would have had the stamina for if I was still in my active alcoholic days.

That doesn’t mean being sober has been easy yet. I am grateful and kept reminding myself how much better it is to hike than to be hungover. Though there were moments I thought “when I am done I want to reward myself with a beer!” And I kept thinking “I promise just one beer. A nice Alaskan micro brew.” I think the fact that most places I stopped to eat at were breweries fueled those ideas.

Then I would think of my drunk stories.  One in particular kept flashing in my mind of a party where I had sex with to different guys in one night. The fact that the two guys hated each other made it sort of exciting. It is disgusting to think of some the risks I took while intoxicated .

And now I was hiking alone with 40 pounds on my back in grizzly country. This was a much more dangerous risk but more enlightening. More character building. More respectful. I started to think if I had the courage to do this, I could do almost anything. If I could survive, I could survive a lot of situations. I thought of my muscles that were carrying me over those miles; part of a body that I almost destroyed with alcohol. I did a lot of thinking of how lonely I feel back home surrounded by people but I felt perfectly content miles from society by myself.

I did reward myself when I got back to civilization.  I had an Alaskan brewed root beer and a big burger.

I turned 40 while on that hike. I made a new decade resolution.  I plan to spend the next ten years focusing on my body, mind, and spiritual growth. And that is all included with remaining sober.

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2 thoughts on “In Denali but not Denial

  1. I made a commitment on turning 40 to make yoga a daily practice (which is way harder than I thought – I am doing a class four/five times a week but daily is still on the horizon) and to do half marathons – I am up for my second in just a weeks time.
    I read that making big ambitious goals, having a life purpose and simply knowing what you want from life can make all things so much more achievable. Also a huge factor is simply studying success – so instead of reading fiction etc I make a point of reading biographies and real life stories of other people who have overcome adversity.
    Your lone hike sounds like one of those pure and powerful life changing moments.. Well done and stick with it.

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