In the last week I have tried three new things:
- Cross country skiing
- Bell ringing
Skiing, it turns out, might not be for me. I grew up in the sub-tropics, by the beach, and never saw snow until I was 30. I've hiked in it a few times and earlier this year I went snow shoeing, but this was my first time on skis. It ended in a melt-down of tears. Partly, existing knee and ankle injuries make technique difficult and gave me the fear (of serious further injury). The rest? I'd been sick with some awful virus for 6 weeks, working too much, and very low on emotional resilience after a few rapid-succession hits in what's already been quite a challenging year.
On day 2 of the trip I waved my friends off and took myself for a walk in the snow. I'd like to try cross-country again one day - it opens up all the back-country for winter camping - though it will be a time when I have physical and emotional reserves in spades, and even then the dodgy joints might mean it's just not possible
Bell-ringing, however, is more my cup of tea. Wonderful new friends invited me along, and although we lowered the median age by a few decades, the people were kind and noise-making was fun. When you get a good ring going the whole tower shakes most delightfully. Thank you H & L.
Today I went bouldering, using a date as an excuse to get out and do some work on my climbing skills. I'm internet dating, here and there, as I continue rebuilding my sense of self and recovering from a relationship that went badly wrong. The climbing part of the whole affair was a lot of fun, particularly as absence from the gym due to work and sickness these last two months means my stamina for wall climbing is currently shot to pieces, and bouldering is short-burst stuff. The rest of the date? Man, some people really can just talk about themselves, can't they? Still, I got to try something new and it's good for me to get out and meet people, make some friends and have a few adventures.
Gently does it though. I've been rather run down and an angsty and subdued version of myself of late. This year hasn't been the easiest and there's much I need to sort through and settle out yet. The stupid marriage equality postal survey has me quite worked up recently: I've come out as bi at work and to the extended family in an effort to sway votes and it's left me feeling quite vulnerable. Then there's learning how many people hate you for simply existing. Coming home from a long day at work to find homophobic hate materials in your letterbox is pretty confronting. Why the hell should I have to draw attention to and defend an aspect of myself that is as much a choice or achievement as my damn hair colour?
It's one more stressor in a year of many and it's getting me down but it won't keep me there. Like skiing, the fight will keep until I have the energy for it. In the interim I've a life to get into order and more adventures to plan and enjoy. Warm, sunny weather is returning at last and I'm making sure I have time and capacity to enjoy it.