I Never Knew There Would Be So Much Pain
Alright. So before I get into my main point of this post, I just really wanna try to caption exactly what I do everyday for the non hikers out there.
So imagine waking up, like you do every morning. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, and be out the door by 8:30 to get to work, or school, or whatever.
But instead of imagining yourself driving, sitting in traffic, working, or studying, I want you to imagine that all you do, all day, until about 5 o’clock, is walk.
That is what thru-hikers do. Every day. They just walk.
It’s kind of bizarre if you really think about it. I think everyone out here is a little bit crazy, because thru-hiking is crazy. I’ve always known that it’s insane, so I knew from the beginning I needed to prepare myself.
I read a lot about thru-hiking before I started; books, blogs, forums, website articles. I read anything I could get my eyes on. I read about the weather, about the elevation. I read about hiker hunger and how bad I would smell. I thought I was pretty well prepared.
But after 250 miles I discovered something that no one ever prepared me for.
There is pain everywhere on the trail. There is pain in your feet, your ankles, your legs, your back, your hips, your collarbones. There is pain in your fingertips when they are frozen from taking down your tent in the morning, and there is pain in your stomach as you wait for your ramen to cook at the end of the day.
I knew all about this pain. I read about how my calf muscles would scream, and how my arches would sting, and I was ready for it.
I knew that hiking was going to be painful, but I had no idea that there would be so much pain when I slept.
At first, I thought it was just me. I would wake up in the middle of the night to my feet falling asleep or from the pain in my knees. I would have to change positions almost every hour because my hips wouldn’t be able to handle my weight. Flipping over from one side, to the other, to my back, to my stomach.
I was so confused at first. I slept like a baby on my sleep system all last summer as I dirt bagged about the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t understand why I was having so much trouble sleeping on it now.
“Well, yeah, of course we are in pain as we sleep. I mean, look at what we are doing all day,” my fellow thru-hiker Bumblebee told me after I asked her if she was also feeling pain as she slept.
After asking the other hikers in my tramily, it was pretty much confirmed that all of them were going through the same thing.
I knew there would be pain when I hiked, but I had no idea there would be so much pain when I slept.
My one friend told me that she thought it was implied, but I had no idea. So for all those future hikers out there, get ready for the pain, day and night.
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