Hiking the Grand Canyon…

I was working on one of my lectures last week. I usually tweak my lectures before I give them. This time I was working on “How did I get to here from there?!” which is a story of my life with quilts. In the process of tweaking the lecture I came across this photo. 

That’s me with 3 friends. We were all turning 40 that year except for Helen (on the left), who is younger than the rest of us. She’s still younger, as I remind her at her birthday every year. Karen, on the right, had the great idea that we should hike the Grand Canyon in our 40th year. Laurie, 2nd from left, had just had a baby. She and I walked five mornings a week to prepare, often with Margaret in a stroller. We carried backpacks as we got closer to the hike. We were ready! 

Well, I wasn’t as ready as I had hoped. We walked downhill 13 miles from the north rim to Phantom Ranch at the bottom. (FYI – down is really hard on your knees!) I could barely move at the end of the day. We hiked 8 miles uphill the next day which is harder on your lungs but easier on your knees. I made it out alive and am still proud of myself.

This hike showed me that I needed to work my body if I wanted to keep it running. Laurie and I still walk 5 days a week (unless I’m on the road). We walk 3 miles and include the big hill in Sherman in each 1-mile circuit. 

I joined a gym 2 years ago and I strongly recommend that you do the same. No matter what shape you are in, being in better shape will make you feel better. And it will help your quilting! The stronger you are the better your posture will be which is good when you sit and applique. The stronger your upper body is, the better your machine quilting will be.

I’m 52 now and in the best shape of my life. I look back at this photo and I don’t wish myself back there. I was younger and less wrinkled but I was also 10 lbs. heavier a lot softer. Getting older is not all bad!

1 thought on “Hiking the Grand Canyon…

  1. I so totally agree with you. I am turned 43 this year and my mother (73) and my daughter (14) went to Peru and hiked everyday and hiked Machu Picchu! The elevation was tough on the lungs. For months before, I prepared, dropped 13 pounds walked long, brisk walks at every chance I could get. If I hadn’t done that I am not sure I would have made it. I continue to do all that and have never felt better in my life!! My doctor is completely impressed. To top it off, I have had Fibromyalgia for many years and he has taken me off the meds. I like you will never go back and I do feel better when I quilt. Also, a better outlook on life.


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