Well friends, a new era of hiking for this Dawson Gibson lady has begun. I did it! I finally bought new hiking boots and boy did I make my feet happy. (Keens, in case you were curious.) I've always felt like my feet were just barely lady-like enough to dare walk into the women's shoe department. But its official... I can now say that I fully embrace the fact that I've bumped over into men's shoe sizes. Until recently, I'd been a women's 10 for 25+ years. Oh how grateful I was when my feet stopped growing just before I topped the end of line. (For any male friends out there who aren't in the know about ladies foot ware, most shoe companies top out at size 10.) Well, one baby boy later I'm embracing my fate as an 11! So a-shopping I did go in the men's shoe department at Sierra Trading Post to buy me a big ole pair of boots. I'm happy to report, my grande feet and I are quite happy with the purchase.
My little trek on Thursday was the day to break 'em in. Somehow it had slipped my mind that new boots need to log a few hours before they're supper comfy. My thoughtful husband reminded me of this as I went out the door on Thursday morning, and I armed myself with a few bandaids just in case. The 1/2 mile bike ride to the trailhead was chilly and snow was on its way later in the day. I wanted to get up and down in time for my noon yoga class and then home before the weather. With time on my mind a bit and my feet moving pretty quickly, about 100 feet up the incline I began to feel a little rub on my heels. Rub. Rub, rub. Why hadn't I worn softer socks? But I had bandaids - I was ready for this.
As the heat on my heels turned up a bit, I began to wonder about other things I'm "breaking in" right now. Immediately I thought about the online class I just completed through Beyond Abundant. I spent 6 weeks really digging in to what makes me tick, who I am, what I want and how I want to feel, how to get it, and how to really, unabashedly love and choose me. Now, I've got all these totally rad tools to make a life I love, and I'm breaking' em in. And just like my shiny new boots, learning to really use awesome information comes with a rub here and there, aka a little vulnerability and fear. And also some adjustments. You know, loosen the laces here, add some different insoles there. Or... maybe make a plan for the week here, realize you're overcommitting but then adjust and take it all in stride there, kinda thing.
And here's a little vulnerability for ya... My giant realization this week was that I have been micromanaging my family, ummmm, a lot! My greatest teacher, my 4 year old son, has been acting like a mirror for me lately and when I was following him to his room the other day I heard myself say with frustration, "Kiddo, you don't have to tell me how to do every little thing!" And then it hit me... Oh jeez, that would be ME telling HIM how to do every little thing! Now, the old Ali would either...
A. Go into total denial about this realization. He's just a kid, what does he know? What is this mirror thing, I must be imagining it.
B. Let my snarky ego take over and feel like a terrible mother who will never figure this shit out.
or C. Blame my husband.
But what did I do with my new, fresh-off-the-block self-awareness chops? (Is that even a saying?) I owned it. I thought about how glaringly obvious this is in my relationship with my husband too. And then I just sat with this realization about how I can sometimes show up in my family relationships. I didn't particularly like this realization, but my oh my, did it feel good to be honest with myself, and then in turn I was able to be honest with my family and start to think about how I can make changes.
So there you have it! The honest truth about how breaking in my hiking boots helped light the way to knowing myself a little better. And you know, I never did need the bandaids. The boots were the perfect choice and just needed a little walking in. No doubt I'll enjoy them, and no doubt my new found grown-up awareness will serve me well too.
Hi, my name is Ali Dawson Gibson. I'm a healer, a singer and a teacher. This Blog, 52 Weeks of the Ledges, is from 2016 when I hiked this awesome Bristol Ledges trail once and week and shared my experiences. Enjoy!