Hello Again, Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself
Hi everyone, for those of you who don’t know me from last year my name is Alyssa and I’m @thebcbackpacker on instagram.
This will be a long blog as I need to touch on a few things and recap last year for the new people reading (You can also read up on my previous blogs from last year to get a better picture)
Let me treat this blog as kind of a Q and A of questions I’ve gotten since I’ve been back home.
Where have I been? And why haven’t I blogged since being off trail?
I have been putting off this reintroduction post in the hopes that I will finally spark some inspiration and get to typing, but honestly… I’ve been nervous and maybe even a little bit embarrassed to start blogging for y’all again.
I had failed the PCT right? No one will want to read what I have to say anymore because even though I went through hell and back and kept going…
I still failed. And that still stings a bit even now.
Why did I first decide to hike the PCT?
TW: Sexual Assault and Suicide
The most prominent reason is because I am fighting for my life and by deciding to do this trail in 2022, that was the first step in saving my life. The PCT has saved my life a few times already, and that was before I even stepped on that beautiful sandy desert floor by the southern terminus.
After I was sexually assaulted I was broken. I couldn’t leave my house without someone else with me and even then half the time I couldn’t make it past my front gate. I was ashamed, scared, and I crumbled into pieces.
When I found out about the PCT I was ignited with a fire in myself that I thought would never come back to me. I decided to turn this terrible thing that happened to me into a way to help others and to hike for people like me who had been hurt by people in the worse way.
I raised awareness through social media. I also did interviews though the paper, radio, universities, and personal blogging.
I started a Go Fund Me to raise $11k (1K more than my goal), and donated it all between two SA charities.
Those of you who have read my previous blog posts and the blogs on my website know more about this more in detail.
Hiking this trail became something bigger than myself. It wasn’t just to save my life and bring me back to myself, it was to help other humans who are struggling through what I went through. And it worked. I received so many heartwarming and heart wrenching messages about other women, men, and non-binary who were assaulted and had lost all hope until they came across my story. Some messaged me their story when they had told no one else before me, some asked for advice on how to get past it, some told me that watching my journey helped them start to get out of bed. It was so so wonderful to hear that I was truly helping others find their strength again.
It’s time for me to get back up, dust off my gaiters and get back to trekking.
Why am I coming back to trail to finish the miles I missed plus more? I need to, I have to. Everything in my body, heart and soul has been telling me I need to come back. I knew I would need to come back to the PCT even when I was still ON the PCT last year. I knew that my first two injuries taking me off trail for 34 days would mean I couldn’t have anything else happen if I wanted to finish it last year. We all know what happened next though… (read my fall down 7 times get up 8 blog from last year for more of the story) So basically since Mid May last year I knew I would be back. Didn’t know how or when, but I would be back. Turns out I needed to be back to trail in 8 months.
Why am I back this year and not next year when that seems more feasible financially?
This desire I have in me to come back and finish what I started is so strong in me that I have decided that I have come back now.
There are a few reasons for that. The huge change in my mindset from before I started the trail to when I came home was astonishing. I wasn’t as scared of the world anymore. However, after being home for a few months I noticed myself slipping back into being scared of things again and I know I can be brave and I need the trail to help me work through my trauma some more.
The other reason is just that I want to keep the momentum going. I’m ready to go back now, I’m dialed in mentally, I’m willing to take off another 5 months now, but my life may change later in the next year or two and then I might not be willing to “put my life on hold” as people would say. So it’s now or never in my mind.
When do I start and where?
I start May 1st and I start at San Jacinto…. I’m fucked right? Starting there when I don’t have trail legs? Yes it will be hard, but I’m ready for the challenge and I’m going to take it nice and slow. (No injuries this year right? Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me please)
Signing off for now
Well, that’s all for this blog, I know it’s incomplete, at least it is in my mind, but I needed to just get something out there and get the ball rolling.
T-minus 12 days till I hit the ground walking. See you out there friends 🙂
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