Me Versus Myself
When I wrote my list containing my reasons for hiking the Appalachian Trail, I surprised myself with one of my answers. I was in the zone writing how I would feel if I didn’t make it to Katahdin and I wrote “I will know my body defeated my mind and my spirit.”
I see this journey as a battle of me against myself. I like doing stuff that scares me. I like to challenge myself. But this journey will be a different type of battle.
Latest training hike location: Turquoise Lake, Leadville, CO; ~9,000+ feet elevation, 16.3 miles
There will undoubtedly be times when my body tells me to stop walking. I have no doubts my body will be my first adversary. “My knees ache; My back hurts; My body is bruised.” My mind will probably handle this first act of self-rebellion. I will tell myself to keep going and mentally challenge myself to wake up another day and walk. Until, most likely, my mind also betrays me. And I might not think I can do this. Now it is between mind and body versus heart, will, soul. I will have to inherently know I can finish. I will have to check in to the depths of my will that will push me past my physical and mental limits. I will need my spirit to outlast my legs. I am excited to know that my spirit and willful determination can beat what my tired body and temporarily weakened mind may tell me. When I make it to Katahdin, I will know that the Spirit within me is what makes me strong — That this spirit can not only defeat my circumstances but also my weakening body and mind after weeks on the trail.
The view from my tent – Turquoise Lake
I began thinking about this me versus myself concept more today while training on performance gear for work at REI. I think it also continues in respect to time. I will not feel like walking some days. Maybe most days. Current me will tell me to stop. But future me knows the disappoint and heartbreak in failing to summit Katahdin. I think this will involve the decision of what I want now versus what I ultimately want later. This seems like a simple concept but we are in the age of instant gratification. People often discard a large goal in exchange for something smaller that they can have now. In psychology, we studied this with money and impulse control. “Do you want $20 now or $100 in 4 weeks?” Most people agree to take the lesser deal in order to satisfy their “now-self” and are unwilling to wait to ultimately serve their “future-self” better.
Well, I want the Benjamins. I want Katahdin.
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