Sunday, December 26, 2010

{on the eve of our 8th anniversary} the story of the rock heart.

eight and a half years ago.....

a younger, less-stressed version of ben strader was dating a girl.  she was awesome. 

ben was {is still} an outdoors-y fella, and was very much so in the throes of being at-one-with-nature at the time of this story.  

they had been dating for about 7 or 8 months when ben decided it would be a good idea to invite that awesome girl on a backpacking trip through escalante, down into a canyon for a 3 day, 26 mile hike.

the girl, you know, the awesome one?  well even though she was in good shape & exercised a lot....was more of an indoors-y girl.  treadmills at the gym and pilates work-outs and such.

but the awesome girl wanted to give it a try.  she wanted ben to know that even if she was more of an indoors girl, she was willing to dive into his hobbies and be flexible.  she made her voice sound excited during the planning of this trip, even shopping with ben for some "real" hiking boots specifically for these upcoming 3 days.

but deep down, the awesome girl was nervous.  scared out of her mind, actually.  

how do i know this?

because she is me, and i am/was her.  

i know, i had you all fooled.

so yes i was completely scared to go on this backpacking trip.  i had never done anything like this before....aside from the occasional hour long hike on a date or whatever....but that was nothing like i was preparing myself for.   

also, i was going with a group of experienced hikers.  ben's siblings loved backpacking as much as he did.  they all had the gear, the lingo, the shoes, the mole you even know what mole skin is?  well before that trip, i didn't.  i thought they were literally referring to the skin off of a mole.  and i thought they were all a little nuts to own a mole's skin, let alone to bring that backpacking. 

as the trip drew closer i became more anxious.  one thing i was particularly concerned about was my knees.  i have had awful knee problems ever since i can remember.  the un-medical term for it is water on the knee....and it's on both of mine.  i used to have to come home after my ballet class and ice both of my knees for a couple of hours to bring down the swelling.  i finally had to quit dance because of it, and instead tried the swim team, which seemed to help.  i had knee braces, but i had always been leery of big hikes because of my knees.  hiking seemed to make the pain & swelling worse.

so anyway.

i became so nervous about this trip that the night before i left, i asked my dad to give me a father's blessing, so that i could feel some comfort.

i remember thinking that he would bless me with strength and abilities to have my body cooperate on this trip.  or something along those lines.

however, the blessing said absolutely nothing about my body's endurance or strength.

the words my father spoke only mentioned ben.  he said to watch ben carefully on this he treated me.  whether it was with patience and kindness and respect, because this trip would mirror the way that he would treat me the rest of my life.

now at this point in the story, neither ben nor i had mentioned the big M word.  we were both pretty commitment-phobic, and even though we'd been dating much longer than most in our culture, we were a-okay with where we were at in the present time and not really talking too much about a future together.

so when my dad said that to me, i remember peeking up at him, turning my head to the side and furrowing my eyebrows as if to say without saying, "HUH?"  but i kept quiet.  my dad hugged me after the blessing was finished and told me that he felt impressed to say what he did.  

i wondered if i should mention it to ben, but decided not to tell him anything, and just watch him instead.  he had no idea, but he had just been put under a microscope for our 3 days in the wilderness together.


and just for fun, here is one of our "songs" while we were dating. whoever made this video was clearly into doing things up sappy, but it was the best recording of it.  enjoy.

No comments: