Rogue Waves and Pokemon – Pre Hike Thoughts

As the Pats Peak ski season came to a close on Sunday, I clocked out of work for the last time. I did not feel liberated, or relieved. I didn’t feel much of anything at all. The *ding* of the time clock as it registered my fingerprint didn’t sound any different. It was just another normal day, and I won’t look back on it with any special emotions. I felt as if I was completely prepared for what lies ahead (Spoiler alert: I’m not). I hung around to chat with co workers for a few minutes and then I left.

In the days following the end of our season, I got the chance to go to Jay Peak with a great group of patrollers from Pats. Shout out to those guys for inviting me on that incredible trip! We skied some amazing terrain, and the giant indoor water park was pretty awesome too. I could not have asked for a better end to the season. However all good things must come to an end, and I returned home to an enormous wake up call.

Top tram house

Top tram house


Summit bench, this was the day with the best visibility.


Straight chillin

Apprehension and Doubt

When I arrived back at my little apartment, there was nothing for me to do except pack my things to move into storage. So that’s exactly what I started doing, and all at once it hit me like a rogue wave. The fear of what I’m about to do and the uncertainty of what I’m going to do after the AT was so immensely overwhelming that I actually started crying. I’m afraid that I won’t make it. I’m afraid that I’m going to be alone and I’m afraid that I already am. I’m terrified that once I finish I’ll be just as lost as I am now. What if what I want to do with my life isn’t the same as what I need to do to survive? How do you choose between something you can make a living on and something you love?

I have always loved being outside, but making a living on it seems so impossible when I talk to people about it. Most people are expecting me to go to grad school for physical therapy, but I don’t believe that it’s right for me anymore. I could make all kinds of money, and I could go anywhere, but the truth is that I don’t want to. The debt I would be in for a career that I don’t see myself enjoying is not worth it. I refuse to spend my life chasing money. I refuse to stay on a track I don’t like just because I’m expected to.

If one thing is for sure, these next few days will be a roller coaster ride of crazy emotions. For my fellow Pokemon fans, the feeling of apprehension right now is similar to what I expect it would feel like if Snorlax fell asleep on my chest.

Distractions and Half Solutions

If there is one thing that running has taught me, it’s how to go through hell and come out stronger. I have a list of things I need to do that’s about a mile long. Keeping myself distracted should help me get through this tough pre-trail time.

However, distracting myself from the problems doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Something else that running taught me was patience and perseverance. If I want something badly enough I will find a way to make it work, no matter what. I have 6 months and 2,000+ miles to figure it out.

T-minus 6 days to Springer.

Vikings only

Vikings only

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Comments 1

  • Jerry Bailey, "Viking" : Mar 30th

    Erica, NOBO from Springer in 5 days here, do not feel alone in your apprehension, I’m a 64 year old retired Green Beret, and this hike has me thinking many of the same thoughts you have. Knees, shoulders, “give a shit factor”……..we all have them. It’s just like Ranger School, one foot in front of the other, stop often to see what wonders are around you, breathe deeply and smile………Viking.


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