Day 47-August 11, 2001
Today I hiked with Jack and Henny, a very fit and active couple from the Netherlands.
My time with this nice couple allowed me to ask questions about their lives in The Netherlands. Henny works part time and engages in physical activity as much as she can. Both she and Jack are into biking. I got the feeling this is the norm for a lot of Europeans.
I did, however, feel inadequate being with them and found myself over compensating and competing. I’m a sluggish American compared to them. I felt an uneasiness and some resentment, something I knew had childhood roots. This is a fault of mine that always takes away my peace and causes me to fear excellence in others.
At one point the path was a very thin ledge. At other times, all three of us needed to silently focus on the trail. In the quietness, I thought about how I should be thinner and more fit and that Jack and Henny were excellent role models for me. I may not be on their physical level but I’m still a good person. One goal of this trip is to learn and live a life of acceptance. I am who I am and that’s pretty darn good. I made it to The Tea House and maybe another step to a lasting insight.
When we reached the bottom of the mountain again, Jack and Henny asked if I wanted to hike the next day. They were going to try a higher climb. I believe in squeezing the life out of everyday but was I pushing myself too hard? I was exhausted. I decided to listen to my instincts, that music in my soul that makes me who I am. I had mixed with the beautiful spirit of two wonderful people from the Netherlands but now it was time to become centered in my own rhythm, my own tempo. I needed to be still and find my direction again because I can’t be all things. I’m me and that is good enough.
I thanked Jack and Henny for their kindness and for sharing a great experience with me. I told them I would never forget them and this day. (Author’s note-August 27, 2018- I never have.)