"After a year of getting knocked on my butt, I’m not done getting back up."

Escaping the slump, a return to the trails

To be honest, this year hasn’t turned out quite how I might have liked. Many of my trips, upgrades and personal goals have been put on hold for one reason or another.

I’d like to make excuses for all of these things, but life is full of changes, and sometimes they can knock you on your butt. I didn’t plan on my Jeep needing an engine replacement, Niecie’s car getting totaled or moving. Yes, this year has been fraught with challenges.

Work has been one of my biggest yet. As the only full-time staff reporter for a weekly paper, I write a lot. Unfortunately, means by the end of the day I’m not always eager to sit back down at my keyboard to write a blog post. Or… get… or stay active.

This spring I started hiking again. I racked up a few dozen miles by mid-May, but not long after that, things got complicated. As the summer temperatures rose, I took a break from one of my favorite hobbies. That break, intended to last just a few weeks at most, has become more of a hiatus.

Niecie hikes alongside my mother and my stepfather Mark during a visit in July to one of our favorite hiking spots, Jay Cooke State Park.

Now, I’m left this burning desire to hit the trails once again. I miss the feeling of the soft yet firm ground under my feet and the warm glow of the mid-day sun on my back.

I’ve committed to making the most of these short days and fitting a hike in at least once a week. As always I’ll bring my camera along and do my best to share with you the small discoveries I make on these walks in the woods.

I’ll also share details from my hikes including the location, weather, altitude, the distance traveled along with a detailed GPS map of my route. I’ll have a post on how to share your GPS tracking data online too.

After a year of getting knocked on my butt, I’m not done getting back up. This year may not have turned out the way I’d hoped, but it’s far from over and time to make the most of it. And, if I’m going to reach my goal by the end of the year, I’d better get started.

Niecie and I hiking in Jay Cooke State Park back in July.

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  • Cary

    We’ve all been there. I’m in a similar place now myself. Life keeps you so busy there’s absolutely nothing left in the emotional tank for your blogging or anything else! And, I think every current or former journalist would recognize him/herself in this, too. That part is only going to get worse before it improves as the industry transforms or dies (depending on your personal prognostications). My last paper had a reporting staff more than 20 strong when I started there in 2010. In September, I ran into a former colleague who shared they were down to two and that the publisher had asked a sister paper two hours away to loan some reporters to help them get by.

    I’d expected things to slow down here once our annual rodeo, our signature public event, was completed. Instead, my team and I have remained just as busy, leaving very little time or energy for anything outdoors or off-road related. I have a brand new set of rock sliders sitting in my living room drawing questionable looks from my wife, but I’ve not even pulled off my old steps to test fit them yet.

    Enjoy your excursions wherever you can, and always treasure those special people in your life, Then, just hang on. It’ll all get better in time.

    Hope you have a great week!

    October 24, 2017 - 9:48 am Reply
    • tobiasmann

      Sorry for the late reply. It’s been a busy few weeks. You have no idea how nice it was to see your comment. I can understand why you would say transform or die. At the moment I am convinced that the people running many newspapers don’t understand what they are selling and why they are selling it. I’ve heard better things about family owned newspapers.

      We’ll keep enjoying our adventures where we can and hope for a better 2018. I hope you get those rock sliders installed soon. I’ll be looking for an install guide.


      November 5, 2017 - 9:45 am Reply
      • Cary

        It’s funny you mention the folks running things. I recall hearing from multiple editors in my first few years in the business that the Internet was “just a fad” and that we only had a website “because we have to”. They predicted the Web would blow over within a decade. They laughed when I said I thought newspapers could be dead in 20 to 25 years. That was about 20 years ago.

        The best advice I ever received was to always be flexible. The days of working for one company, or even in one industry, for 30 years and collecting your gold watch are long over. Especially in the news business, the folks who survive will be those who embrace the change readers are pushing for and who give audiences all sides of an issue, delivered in the way(s) that are convenient to them.

        I hope you guys are well. Happy adventuring!

        November 5, 2017 - 1:46 pm Reply

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