How did you start “Joan’s hiking buddies”?
When I retired in 1999, I didn’t have enough friends to support retirement. So, I joined hiking groups, but after a few years I realized I wanted more than their scheduled events, so I started my own group, Joan’s hiking buddies. I regularly email a newsletter to about 80 mostly retired women aged 50-90, announcing multi-day camping/hiking trips and local hiking day trips. We always have a yearly trip to the Porcupine Mountains, offering the ability to camp outside or have indoor lodging. I plan the travel/lodging logistics and then someone else plans the hiking because I am “logistically challenged,” I even got lost in the woods once when I was 75 years old, having to spend a night out in the wild. I am now 82 years old.
How many trips do you go on per year?
I usually do three-four smaller trips per year and one major trip. For example, we once went hiking in the Cotswalds in Wales for three weeks. In addition, I am an organizer or a trip leader for canoe trips through Prairie State Canoers, often leading up to 10 canoe trips per year. My trip schedule this year includes two one-week canoe trips in Florida and Michigan and four hiking trips in Iceland, the Smokies, Idaho, and Michigan.
Why did you come to PT at The Manual Touch PT?
I initially came to PT one year ago with hip and knee pain that began after a canoe/hike trip in MO. After a couple of months of therapy, I was pain-free and I continued to do my exercises that Denise taught me. When I first came to PT, I was impatient as I couldn’t do the things I loved to do, such as hike or canoe. Denise understood how important it was for me to continue my interests, telling me, “Of course this is important; you are an athlete.” Denise spent time with me at each session so I felt relaxed, I never felt pushed, and it was fun. I really valued the mental and physical aspects of rehab as I learned about patience, so when a recent injury to my shoulder occurred after a canoe trip, I had more confidence that I would get better and stronger after this current round of PT…and I have.