Friday, January 13, 2012

Prepare for the Mighty Roller Skater

I went roller skating last night. Much fun and quite the workout for the two hours I went around the rink. I waited all night for a “couples skate in the reverse direction” but they never called it out.

Roller-skating is a great ‘quiet’ workout for the legs and core. It is also very social. I could easily see myself adding this to my weekly options of activity.


My hiking partner and his wife have a great hike lined up for Sunday morning. I never know where we are going until that morning. It’s wonderful not needing to plan for any of the hikes.  I carry a nicely filled backpack that has a little bit of everything so I can make a fire, create a small shelter, and cover myself from the elements, so I feel pretty safe in the woods. It’s always good to be prepared.

I realize none of us are prepared for a partner’s death, but when my wife died, I felt so helpless and lost that I wanted to become prepared for anything. I found myself reading up on ‘preparedness’ and ‘preppers’. These are the new code words for the old-school term of ‘survivalists’. I’m sure there are a great many differences between the two groups, but in my early grief, I clumped the terms all together.

I found myself stockpiling food. I searched out more camping equipment. I upgraded my old camping water filtration items. I bought wilderness survival books like the US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76.
My wife and I would sleep in the back of the mini-van for weeks at a time, so I started keeping all of my sleeping materials in the back.  I created a safety “Bug Out Bag” that I kept in my mini-van at all times. There were solar rechargeable flashlights stuck on my dashboard, always charged. I kept my entire camping setup in the storage compartments of the van. Everything from tent and tarps, to hatchets and 550 paracord. From hiking shoes and poles, to cooking equipment. I shoved as much as possible into the mini-van. I had travelled and memorized the back roads out of town. I could get myself away from the city and up in the hills with enough provisions to last 3-4 weeks.

I wanted to be ready. I wanted to prepare for the worst possible thing I could see myself facing. 

I wasn’t going to be caught unprepared, No Sir! I would be able to tackle Anything!

I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to realize the shit had already hit the fan the night my wife died.

I’ve spent the last three years working through the thoughts that lead me to stock the mini-van.

I can still go for an over-night camping trip with just a moment’s notice…but I’m getting better. 


  1. It is really interesting to me how heavy grief can make us a little bit crazy. After my brother died I really juttered off the rails for a while. My poor husband really took the brunt of my rage. He was a rock though, and for that I am very thankful. ~ T.

    1. I would imagine that kind of loss would make one feel Very vulnerable. It's certainly understandable, that you would over prepare for any possibility. We all do things that give us a feeling of security. The key, of course, is to not let it become our prison. You're really self-aware, and that's Huge, as they say.