Hell Habits

“Habit is a hell to which people cling in an attempt to stop the flow of change”  Caroline Myss

After returning from the Camino in 2012, my neighbor asked, “How does anyone walk that many miles on a daily basis?”

I replied, “With a little practice, you could do it.  Start walking so we can enjoy a real hike this summer.”

A few years prior to my arrival, Bob Barr bought a creek-side home in a quiet Boise community and was preparing to enjoy the slow glide into retirement.  In 1992, I bought the house next door and turned his life upside down.  My housewarming party included a live band and the welcome wagon raged for about twelve hours.  It took several years for the frost to thaw but the friendship seeds survived and we have an incredible bond.  Bob is one of my friends that can be counted on one hand.  We devastated the theory that people are not capable of change.

Last winter, Bob began to experience a shortness of breath while doing his daily exercise routines.  His cardiologist did an EKG and determined that there was not a problem.  Around the same time, Bob attended a local screening of the documentary named:  PGS-Intuition is Your Personal Guidance System.  By relying on his internal guidance, he forced the doctor to perform a stress test.  The next day, a stent was inserted into his massively blocked “widowmaker” artery.

Last Wednesday, I woke up early and made special sandwiches, filled two hydration packs, and loaded the goods into my car.  At 8:00 AM, my soon to be 79 year-old neighbor rang the doorbell and said, “Let’s do this!”  For the sixth year in a row, we drove to Bogus Basin Ski Resort for our annual fall hike.  Our hiking route is 9.5 miles and includes 1,300 feet of elevation gain.  We shared a glorious day together.

Upon arrival, Bob asked, “How many people live in the Treasure Valley?”

I said, “I think we are up to 700,000.”

Bob replied, “With only three cars in this parking lot, I cannot imagine why so many people are stuck in their habits.”

The next day, Bob sent me the following message:  Well for me a stunning day.  Perfect weather.  Fall colors and a deep blue sky.  For me it was a breakthrough experience.  I think down deep I was anxious and concerned about my heart.  But hiking with you and talking and thinking.  Never gave my heart a thought.  Absolutely a perfect day.  And easily the worlds best sandwich.  With basil!  Woke up today a new person.  Love it.  The hell of habits.  Renewed my determination to “step out of the well worn pathway of my life” Thanks for everything.