It is official. The Summer of the Teenager is upon me. I will be both attending our annual church Girls Camp (as the congregation "ward" leader), AND as an assistant on the Youth Trek.
Let's talk Trek first. Every few years or so it is tradition that for the summer youth conference that the youth re-enact the trek west of our pioneer forefathers. Back in the 1840s (and then some) our pioneer Mormon ancestors were forced from their homes in Illinois (and Missouri- where an actual extermination order was put upon them), and they took both covered Conestoga wagons (if they had that sort of money) and teams of oxen or horses, OR they pushed handcarts. Most pushed handcarts all the way from the Mississippi River to Utah. That's a little over 1,000 miles, and not over the nicest terrain.
And now, in honor of our ancestors, and to learn more about them, every few years or so our church youth reenact a small version of the pioneer trek. We dress like pioneers, push handcarts, sleep under the stars, and cook over a fire.
The truth is, I missed out on my chance to do this as a teenager myself. I always wanted to do it when I was younger, but the opportunity didn't present itself. So when asked to go along as a helper this week, I said yes.
This is going to require some serious physical preparations. We'll be pushing handcarts in late June, in Virginia heat and humidity, in pioneer skirts, bloomers, and bonnets, across and up a mountain. I need to up my strength and endurance!
So my goal, starting today, is 5 miles a day either outside or on my treadmill. And maybe in a few weeks adding ankle weights. And then adding a few more miles a day.
Ay yi yi.
I got some work to do!