Vince and I had a week off last week (May 11 to 15).

Our vacation: a backpacking trip – part of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Start at China Beach, camp at Mystic Beach, consider going to Bear Beach for one night and return to Mystic for the next before hiking out.

It was my first backpacking trip in 3+ years (pre-cancer diagnosis).

I wish I could tell you it was perfect. But it wasn’t. It was a little too much, too soon. Although I could hike for up to 3 hours, I hadn’t carried sufficient weight to prepare myself. And therefore, 35 lb pack just about did me in the first day. So much so, that we chose to camp all three nights at Mystic Beach.

That first night I suffered from muscle spasms in both back and legs. It wasn’t comfortable, to say the least.

I was honest with a friend and co-worker about that first day. It was hell. (The return trip was a dream in comparison.) JA basically said (paraphrasing) that I shouldn’t focus on comparing to the me of three years ago, but rather on what I’ve achieved NOW. She reminded me that when I first started seriously walking/hiking again I reported that I could only do 20 minutes. Look how far I have come. She’s so right.

I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m at the level I was at pre-cancer. I’m still working at it. Very hard. I refuse to quit.

So, in hindsight I get to say: “I did it. I gone and done and did it.”