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The Bluebird of Healthiness

Monday, April 15, 2013

My husband and I enjoy an activity called Orienteering, where you race through the deep woods, using a topographical map and a compass to find checkpoints that have been previously installed and temporarily marked with bright nylon flags. The two of us proceed at a fast walk, although most are actually RUNNING on the course while navigating and pacing distances.

I prefer these early spring events when the vegetation hasn't sprung up yet; many areas are quite thorny later in the season!

This past weekend we hiked and navigated over ten miles over very rough, steep terrain to find twelve "controls" that day. It was so much fun, although for the first hour "partly cloudy" turned out to be tiny spherical ice pellets falling steadily. By God's mercy it was in the upper twenties, so we didn't get wet at all. And our heavy-tread insulated hiking boots kept our feet comfy and safe.

An exciting bonus for me was seeing a bluebird. In the entirely brown woods it appeared almost impossibly bright. I was elated and stood to listen to the bright song until it flew away. Then I jogged a bit to catch up with the handsome "human GPS" who strode ahead in competition mode.

[photo from

I emphasized to myself, "This is the kind of bonus you can enjoy when you are going out of your comfort zone to pursue healthy activities." I'm making a mental note to remember The Bluebird of Healthiness!

I also felt elated that we were able to accomplish this distance plus the climbing exertion. When I knew we still had an hour to go, I felt like bailing out and cutting across to sit in the car while dh finished. But I decided to "gird up my loins" and complete the challenge. I showed myself, I can do more than I think I can.

I am also grateful that I'm not in agony today; just a little calf soreness. Ready for strength-training class tonight!
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