“A Walk in the Woods” vs. COPD Reality

A Walk in the Woods

Have to say that I enjoyed, “A Walk in the Woods” even though I have yet to find a Bill Bryson book that I can enjoy until the end.  I really wanted to like his Australia tale, however, I couldn’t get into it.  so, whike I might have skipped thus story if I’d known he was the author, I’m glad I went.

For about 5 minutes, A Walk in the Woods had me convinced that I could try and walk the Appalachian Trail, until I remembered my 1-time only climb up the South San Francisco hillside to weed…

South San Francisco Hillside 10MAR13

Our company has something called, “A Month of Service”, where they try and get each employee to devote some of their work hours to a charitable activity.  In 2013, the options were building a home with Habitat for Humanity, or weeding a hillside.

How difficult could it be to weed?  I do that in my garden every month or so…

Unfortunately, I thought we’d be bused up the hill, and it turned out to be a forced march for an hour and a half – before we got anywhere near the hillside where they wanted us to weed.


I’m a big fan of the outdoors, and I looked forward to a first chance to brave the grass-covered hillsides with a guide, so that I wouldn’t have to fear running into tarantulas or rattle snakes in unfamiliar surroundings.

However, my inability to hide my lack of breath was very clear as everyone when marching up the hillside, and I simply couldn’t keep up.

Not wanting to be a wimp (yes, I’m very competitive), I kept climbing up the side of the South San Francisco shellmound area, which has a very steep vertical slope. vs. turning back when it was clear that I couldn’t walk and breathe at the same time.

So, it was with that experience in mind that I watched Nick Nolte and Robert Redford tackle the Appalachian trail.  For a minute, I almost convinced myself that I could hike that trail, too.

Fortunately, however, sanity reasserted itself.

Clipping Anise seed pods and pulling the weeds remains a highlight of my lifetime “do it / did it” list.  However, it also served as a timely reminder that I can’t do everything I thought I could, regardless of how willing the spirit may be, and that I can enjoy seeing the Appalachian trail from the comfort of my computer. You’re only going to feel deprived from a physical event if  you allow yourself to wallow in the things you can no longer do, vs. focusing on ways to see what you want to see without exhausting yourself.

And you?  Any takers on “A Walk in the Woods” for the Appalachian trail?

Anything that you’ve done (that saner heads would not have tackled) and which you’re particularly proud of accomplishing?

Inquiring minds would love to hear about your adventures.

4 thoughts on ““A Walk in the Woods” vs. COPD Reality

  1. I’d LOVE to walk the Appalachian Trail and I know that’s a total fantasy. It’d be cool for about four – eight hours MAYBE. I can’t walk across a street and a hundred yards to meet friends at a restaurant in town, I sure couldn’t make it miles and miles. I also am not a fan of camping out. I LOVE the idea, I love nature and being in a wood/forest and the whole EXPERIENCE (did it when I was younger and fitter) but at this age and with my grumbling joints and pain it ain’t gonna happen. If someone drives me to the site and I can wander about in a limited fashion in my own time, I’m happy with that. Sitting around a campfire at night chatting with folks or just star gazing (my favorite part), would be wonderful as long as I could a) stay awake long enough and b) got to go home. Plus peeing in an outhouse is a vastly overrated experience, I need my own bed too thanks. But I’m anticipating going to this movie when it hits our little town (it takes a bit longer for it to get here because we’re so small I guess). It looks really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed.

      That’s why I enjoyed it so much – they actually took breaks to wash laundry, get a shower, hit a hotel room and have a real meal. *That* kind of hiking I might (might) have a chance to do. Maybe. If I took oxygen with me.

      Please let me know what you think of the movie once you get to see it.


  2. Also (I forgot to add this in my comment above)…there is the whole “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” scenario, (I’d recommend it if you like a psychological horror story) by Stephen King (gives you a clue about the nature of the thing…although there is no blood and guts for which he’s famous) That book changed my views on hiking in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually read that one and enjoyed it, especially the obsession with the baseball game to keep her moving and trying. I actually felt that one to be one of his stretches into credibility for certifiable “literature”. Although, IMHO, he achieved that hands down with “Misery” and “Dolores Claiborne”.

      Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by.


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