Keeping Things In Perspective
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I lost my brand new digital camera today while hiking to Willow Lake. I got to the top and reached into my pocket where the camera was stowed and found it disturbingly flat. I never even sat down to enjoy the view, eager to search the trail for my camera.
It was brand new, I had yet to take my first photo with it. It was red and should be a little easier to spot, but no luck. I had crossed 15 fallen trees on the trail and moved another and figured it would be on the ground at one of them. Obviously the trail is not well maintained and doesn't get as much traffic as many nearby as evinced by the narrowness of the trail through some nearly hip high foliage. It must have been drawn up to the top of the pocket at a tree crossing, then held off to some of the tall foliage to fall off where it wouldn't be detected.
A fellow at the lake took my photo so I could commemorate the climb (and if I could just figure out where the photo is saved on my computer I'll attach it)
The day started when the doorbell rang and my very first new computer (not a hand-me-down) arrived. A week ago I discovered a check in the mail for just over $1500, an unexpected refund of money from my escrow account when I refinanced my house in August, so I'd decided to get a few things to make life easier and less frustrating: the new computer (so I can get non dialup internet), a hydration bladder, new trekking poles, a replacement for my lost heart rate monitor watch, an mp3 player (so I can listen to tunes and audio books while working out), a new set of hiking boots (the old ones, though in great condition, are too thin-soled in the ball of the foot and one can feel the stones), and a new swimsuit to replace the one dieing prematurely of chlorine exposure (only $3!), and two new pairs of shorts and pants for working out. Items on the list to acquire: a headlamp for hiking, a new winter coat (the old one doesn't fit, I've lost 79 pounds!), a new pair of workout shoes, a couple pairs of wool socks for hiking, (hopefully) the foundation for the shed I want to build, possibly some funds set aside for my celebratory trip to Disneyland when I get down to 140 pounds, and, alas, another camera.
So I lost a $45 dollar camera, I'm still over $1300 ahead.
What did I get from the experience?
I learned from my new hrm watch that I hike at 75-85% of my maximum heart rate going uphill. My calorie burn while hiking has been problematic. My GoWear Fit fitness monitor tells me I burn more calories a minute walking to the grocery store, though I scarcely notice the effort. Going up a significant chunk of elevation on an uneven trail, huffing and puffing, I KNOW I'm working hard, but the calorie burn is lower. My walk around the neighborhood had my heart rate at 65-70%. Also, my new watch tells me I burned .23 pound of fat on the hike, a totally unexpected feature.
I discovered that the tip of one of my new trekking poles was completely blown out from the descent from last week's hike of Lake Blanche, 2700' elevation in 2.9 miles (I KNEW that was a tough hike, and now I have empiric evidence!)
I have a photo of me at Willow Lake taken by a fellow hiker and kindly emailed (alas, with my dialup internet, I can't upload it).
I found my lip balm mini carabiner which I can attach to my pack strap so it is always at hand. I also concluded I could attach the camera in a similar fashion, I had it in my pocket so I wouldn't have to stop, remove my pack and get the camera (my way worked really well!), so I figured out how to prevent the same problem again.
I saw some lovely scenery and got a good calorie burn.
It is almost the 10 year anniversary of 911. That day, the sale of my condo fell through. I told myself "that's okay, in the grand scheme of things it is insignificant." To me, it seems we could all benefit from reflecting upon our mishaps in the grand scheme of things. Certainly the catastrophic and world changing events of a decade ago far exceed almost all of our personal troubles. Though it may be unpleasant, we will get through our difficulties, perhaps not easily or quickly, but we will come out on the other side eventually. I doubt one person affected directly by 911 would say "my employment and way have life have been destroyed, my friends and loved ones are missing or can't be reached to know they are all right, the world has changed irrevocably, but I still have my digital camera!"
As it happens, a good friend had an appointment at the pentagon about an hour after it was hit. He received a phone call telling him not to come. That friend died a year ago and, while sad, we had nine years to enjoy his presence if his appointment had been earlier.