An Ode to My First Thru-Hiking Stress Dream

In t-minus 21 days, I’ll arrive at the southern terminus of the Long Trail to attempt my first thru-hike. While my conscious mind is still pretty occupied with mundane everyday tasks, like work and grocery shopping, the upcoming adventure has certainly lodged itself in my subconscious – as evidenced by last night’s stress dream. The dream probably stemmed from the pretty pervasive feeling that I’m not doing enough to prepare or train, which likely has some veracity to it. On the other hand, I think that an adventure of this sort will always have plans of its own, no matter how much one prepares. I probably need to accept that, on a certain level, I’ll never feel ready no matter what I do!

In any event, here’s an ode to last night’s dream:

It’s time to begin a long walk,
Here’s hoping that I do not balk,
For the trail will be rough,
So I’ve got to be tough,
Or else I’m in for a shock.

I wake up early in the morn’,
My hiking attire adorned,
But I can’t shake the thought,
That I’ve forgotten a lot,
In the back of my brain like a thorn.

I shove things into my bag,
But the feeling continues to nag,
Oh well, I must go,
So tally-ho,
I cannot continue to lag.

As I shoulder my pack,
It’s water I lack!
Not a singular splash,
Have I got in my stash,
And I give my forehead a smack.

Bottles? I’ve naught,
Filter’s also forgot,
My throat’s going dry,
Feel like I could cry,
My odds of success are shot.

But my ego won’t let me go back,
‘Cuz I can’t stand the thought of the flack,
That I’d get from my peers,
Nearly brings me to tears,
Can’t believe I’ve got so little tact.

There’s really no redeeming,
Internally I feel like screaming,
But I continue to hike,
As anxiety spikes,
If only I knew I was dreaming!

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