Mind Body Soul: My Reasons Why

Howdy, I’m Caitlin / Catie / Pretzel. 

I snagged that trail name on the Continental Divide Trail 2019. I only hiked a month in Montana but that was long enough to know I would be pursuing a full thru-hike one day. Here I am with a couple of big horn sheep on the CDT. 


I’m from Corpus Christi, Texas where I didn’t spend too much time outside (it’s hot!) I actually didn’t go camping for the first time until I was… twenty-two! I’ve been a nanny, a teacher, and a wilderness therapy field guide. 

Why am I attempting to walk 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada? In short: mind, body, soul. Kinda cheesy? Let me break it down for you. 


For all of the ways the trail will challenge my mind. I’ll become familiar with different map features in (my opinion) a fairly straightforward way. There aren’t many directions to go, right? Haha!  But in case I get off trail somehow, I look forward to that challenge. I welcome all of challenges that may bring feelings of frustration! Flapping tarps in the wind, calculating how much water to bring, budgeting resupplies funds to last. I hope to see these challenges as practices in mindfulness. Take a deep breath, solve the puzzle, and offer gratitude for the lesson.


Speaking of learning, I learn best through action. Through movement, through actually doing the dang thing myself. What better way to learn about my own body than being with it in such a raw sense? I will test my limits and learn when to take it easy. I will gain strength, awakening new parts of my muscles. Every day will be an opportunity to physically move through whatever emotions are arising. 


Connecting with myself, other people, and mother earth. Seeing the sunrises and starry skies that could never quite be captured in a photo. I’m on a journey towards understanding my own self, my hopes, my fears. I believe I will grow to see myself reflected in people all around me. We are mirrors of each other, after all. I’ve been thinking about my future friends a lot recently. People on trail, people in towns, people back home cheering for me. I look forward to meeting their eyes and hearing their stories. 


Day in and day out, I will be walking to remind myself of this truth: we are not separate from nature, we are nature.



Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?