The Little Camelbak Who Could

Two of the four of us are slightly under the weather today, but that’s not stopping me for preparing for our weekend backpacking trip. Bringing the kids along with us as we section hike the Appalachian Trail creates more logistics and also more expenses. They each got backpacking sleeping bags, long underwear and sleeping mats. Luckily I was able to borrow a medium sized womens pack from a friend for James (11) and Charlie will be carrying the largest daypack I own.

I bought the little light blue Camelbak about 15 years ago from a store in the Annapolis mall that no longer exists. Having Type 1 diabetes means pretty much bringing a pharmacy of supplies with me whenever I exercise outdoors. When I bought it, it was used for long bike rides. Prior to having kids, I was a smoker. I used bike riding to help me quit smoking and get more into fitness.

Fifteen years ago I never would have imagined having children, let alone backpacking with them. For years the little Camelbak sat unused in a closet while I worked out in gyms, ran half marathons and made my way into a CrossFit gym. 24 year old me liked camping, because that involved lots of Miller Lites & Parliament lights. I did some light hiking, but I never would have gone out into the woods for days without a shower. I never would have thought I’d have kids- I believed I couldn’t because of my diabetes. Younger me had different goals and priorities but she also sold her future self short.

Watching Charlie climb up the stairs with my little Camelbak is a good reminder on a dreary day not to sell my future self short.

I’m hoping we make it out to the trail this weekend. Fingers crossed we all feel well enough by tomorrow, stay tuned!

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