I Got This!

The Data

April 4-17

Day one to 15

Campo to Idyllwild

Mile 0 to 179.4

Km 0 to 288.7

One zero

A few neros

The Story

It seems fitting that I’m writing my first blog post for this thru-hike attempt on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of my last attempt. I almost can’t believe I’m the same person who struggled so much last year.

These last two weeks were not without their challenges, both physical and mental, but I was able to take them on and successfully hike to this point. I was even able to hike the portion between Warner Springs and Idyllwild that I missed last year due to back issues.

What’s Different?

My pack weight: I switched to a lighter pack (Gossamer Gear Mariposa) and tent (Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo).

My shoe system: I finally listened to the advice about getting bigger shoes. I still have Altra Lone Peaks, but now they are a size larger than I normally wear and have Kneed2Run insoles in them. I also use lamb’s wool between my toes and make an effort to take my shoes and socks off two to three times a day. The result? Happy, blister-free feet.

My fitness: This year I trained longer and on more technical trail, always with at least 25 pounds.

My mental game: Over the last year, I worked hard on discovering what was going on in my head. I learned some things about how I look at life and take on challenges, and I made conscious choices to do things differently. Daily, I would ask myself, “What do I choose to do differently today?” remembering that I always have a choice in what I do and how I think. I now start and end every day with a prayer of gratitude for everything I already am and everything I already have and for the opportunity to discover what’s true. When a negative thought comes up, I immediately, or as soon as I realize what I’m doing, follow it with something positive. For instance, if I get frustrated because I have to put my shell on yet again when the wind picks up, I think how grateful I am to have a shell to put on. My goal is to get to the point where the negative thought doesn’t even come up anymore. Finally, I try to be helpful when in the past I would have been needy.

The Result?

Having to carry less weight, gear that works better for me, and a more positive state of mind have made my experience this year so much better. The trail has been an amazing teacher of life, and I look forward to the next lesson.



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