I think peoples approach to things in life is most interesting, and telling about who they are.  What any of us speak is a direct reflection on how we think, the lens in which we view absolutely everything.
I spend most of my day talking with people.  That makes me privy to seeing how different people respond with words to questions I ask.  It gives me a window straight into their lives to some degree.  And, it is fascinating.  For whatever reason still not fully known to me, people will open up and expose themselves quite freely to me with just a couple of nonchalant questions.  When people's guards are down, with a bit of truth serum ingested, they divulge and momentarily forget they normally filter their thoughts and feelings.  It is interesting, heavy at times, but a treasure to me.
My absolute favorite people in the world are those, that despite the weather, their pain, their lack, the ordinary-ness of the day, the mundaneness of life, a job they don't like, or tiredness speak everything they say through hope, joy, happiness, laughter, humor, realness and presentness.  They are contagious and I want to catch whatever it is they have.  
To top off my birthday weekend, my wish was to walk the entire 21 mile loop around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  I'm not one for mapping, planning, or preparing [right now some of you are shaking your head and scoffing] but literally hitting the trail with no preconceived ideas.  That we did.  Doug and I literally began at the water's edge and started walking with no map or information.  And, we walked for 21 straight miles [we peed once and stopped to eat our pbj sandwich and an apricot].  There is something wild and free about that method and it nestled well in my soul and spirit.
The 21 miles consisted of paths, trails, hills, a walk through the edge of a golf course, across people's lakeside yards, over rickety boards, on narrow rutted edges of banks, and utilizing tree roots as steps at times.  Occasionally you'd pass someone walking in the opposite direction or a homeowner out on their property.  The loop took you through two small towns, Williams Bay and Fontana. 

Those people moments prompted questions, conversations about how far we were going and ended with how much farther it was to where we were trying to get to - back to the town of Lake Geneva where the car was parked.  We relied on those people to be our human MapQuest mileage predictors.  Their delivery of miles still to go was quite interesting and diverse.
At what felt to me like about the 10 mile mark [didn't use phones or a Garman], we met up with two men walking in the opposite direction.  We told them we were going the full 21 miles and asked if they knew how many more miles we had.  The one man, in all his pessimistic dooms day saying way replied, "Oh, you have at least 15 miles or more to go."  Though I had told him where we started, how long we had been walking, he still emphatically predicted a long way to go!
I hate sail deflators.  They suck wind, hope and light from everything they come in contact with.  He was one of those people.
[I wanted to argue with him that he was wrong.  Though I had no real proof, my internal gauge of time and space knew he was off!  I wanted to hit him for dredging his negative slant across my canvas of excitability and nature.  Curses to him for smudging up hope and beauty!  I had to cast away his vibe and words before they cast a shadow on my know and view!  BTW, later I found evidence of his erroneous miscalculation.]

As we walked into Fontana, we stopped to speak with a 30ish year old man manning a parking booth by the lake.  When we asked him where we were in relationship to downtown Lake Geneva he quickly asked, "Are you walking the 21 miles?  You have approximately 11 miles to go.  There are some rough spots ahead, but you can do it.  I teach middle school math and every year we take a group of students on the 21 mile walking loop. "  He went on to share how the kids did, what to look out for, how far it would be once we hit big foot beach, the slanted part we would encounter.  Then he urged us on saying, "When you lay down tonight you are going to feel like you really did something.  It's a great way to go to sleep!"
His love of the outdoors high fived against my own.  I loved his words which showed adventure, hope, and a positive anything-can-be-done way of thinking.  They ignore the magnitude ahead and focus on the know-it-can-be-done belief.  That was my language.
I was no worse for the wear having trekked 21 miles in roughly 5.6 hours, other than a blister between my left ring and pinkie toe and tired feet.  I feel into bed just like the man at the booth predicted - like I had really done something.  I was oh so grateful for the time in nature, that I got to be with the one I love doing something I love, completely and fully satisfied that I did it, and ready to beat my time next time around.

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