Sunday, August 7, 2011


This past week I was supposed to be hiking in the White Mountains with my campers. All the preparations were made, the group of 24 was split into three, and we set off. But during staff week I had tweaked my right knee just a little, and about an hour into the trip it started bothering me. By halfway through the first day I was wearing two braces and leaning heavily on the trekking poles that George Bowling let me borrow. We got in camp a little late and found that our water source was a stagnant pond. Beth (trip staff) and I decided that her, Paul, and Scott would go back down the trail to get clean water for the group, and they headed off. While they were doing that I was sitting on the ground with my leg resting on a log. A wet bandanna was wrapped around my knee as the only way to "ice" it. After Beth got back we talked about my options and figured that I would at least need to continue on the next day to get to the best possible evac site.

In the middle of the next day Beth made the call to camp and the evac was set up. Christian would come in, hand the keys to a jeep off to me, and I'd hike myself out. We camped that night about two and a half miles away from our meet up and made really good time getting there the next day. The hand-off went off without a hitch, and Christian took my place with my campers. And I walked two miles out of the White Mountains to a parking lot and civilization.

What have I learned from this? Well, I think it's too early to decide on that to be honest. But I can tell you what I was/am feeling because of it.

  • I feel like a failure. Like I failed my campers, I failed camp itself, and mostly that I failed Beth. I feel like I should have known that my knee was going to give out. That I should have just said that I couldn't go. I feel like I was too prideful and that if I wasn't so much I would have not gone and put the campers and Beth in the position I did. 
  • This is the first time in my life that I've not been able to do something because of my body. I wanted to finish that trip. I wanted to grit my teeth and bear down and keep going. But I couldn't. I can barely make it around camp, much less up and down mountains.
  • I'm incredibly grateful for my camp family. My co-counselers have been great. They have lifted me up, they've helped me get out of the funk I was in, and they've made sure that I am making it. I missed out on the hike experence, but I'm not missing out on the rest of camp thanks to them.

I'll be going into the hospital on Thursday to get it checked out, and we'll see what happens. I pray it's nothing too bad, but I also hope that it is. I don't think I could bear it if it wasn't anything big and I was just being a pansy.

Thanks for your prayers, and contrary to the tone of this post I'm really doing well. It's hard, but it's good. Can't wait to see you when I see you.


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