Well I have two weeks left until I start my thru hike and I’m totally shitting my pants. I have a dedicated hamper that is sealed air tight to keep all of my soiled garments. Every single day I think about how more and more real this whole thing is becoming. Sometimes I say, “Holy balls I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this.” Other times it’s more along the lines of “Yeah, so I’m leaving everything I’ve ever known and loved and going to live in the woods for six months. No big deal. Happens all the time!” Still other times I simply find myself too excited to sit still.
So how do I deal with pants shitting nerves?
There are a million ways of dealing with stress during the day, but I only really have two. I think a lot of people focus on their gear. Tweaking and jimmying and dropping pack weight and figuring out the exact best order to fit everything. They might blow up the crash pad and pitch the tent and test their rain gear. That’s not really for me though. While I believe preparation is important, I also think over planning and over thinking every little detail might take away from the overall adventure. That’s just me. I tend to live in the moment. I don’t look at my gear and get that warm comfy feeling that some people get. My gear only reminds me of what I’m about to undertake, and plunges me further into the nervousness.
I go outside.
Taking a nice walk in the woods serves to reminds me of the truth about why I’m doing this. To disconnect from the electronic world around me and reset my body, mind, and spirit. I’ve always felt a deep connection with nature and it’s really easy to lose that connection sitting indoors in front of a compute all the time. I can, and have, spent entire days binge watching full seasons of shows on Netflix. That’s merely a distraction. I might as well sleep all day.
It doesn’t have to be a big hike with full gear, it just has to be spending time outdoors. It usually doesn’t take a lot of time for me to put the nerves aside and just start smiling.
Nothing quite like drinking with friends to take the edge off. Although sometimes closing the bar on Saturday night leads directly to binge watching full episodes on Netflix on Sunday.
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