The Why

A lot of people have asked me why I am hiking the PCT. Well, I’ve given that a lot of thought actually. In Zach Davis’s book, “Pacific Crest Trials” (no that is not a typo), he talks about how at some point on the trail, hikers are able to push through the physical barriers but the mental and emotional barriers are the ones that linger. In the book, Zach encourages hikers to write down a list of reasons for the “why” to refer to on the days that seem too hard to continue on. So why am I hiking the PCT? Well simply put, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. Something that seems unattainable but just barely attainable at the same time. Something that I can do to prove to myself that I can do it. On a much deeper level, however, there is something much greater for why I am hiking. 

I am a physical therapist that has been working with COVID patients for the greater part of the past year now. It has been the hardest and most emotionally draining experience of my life, but at the same time, it has been the most rewarding. During this time I have seen more deaths than I could have ever imagined. These patients are scared and alone, isolated in a hospital room with no certainty of ever seeing their loved ones again. Each day I go in a room knowing that this could be their last day on earth, the last meaningful interaction, the last masked face they see. Knowing this, I try to show them God’s glory. I try to be that positive light that they can look to for comfort.  I motivate them to stay strong and think positive. I let them know they are loved when their loved ones are unable to do so. But then I just get too dang attached to them. Why do I do that to myself? It makes the pain of losing them almost unbearable. I often think about my patients that have passed (I know I shouldn’t but I’m a human that has emotions ok?). What would they give to be able to see their families again, to breathe again, to walk again. This is why I hike: I hike because they can’t. I have always taken my health for granted. I must do this now while I am still healthy and have non fibrotic lungs. I hike in memory for not only my patients that I have had the honor of treating, but for all of those who have passed due to COVID. 

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Comments 4

  • Avatar
    pearwood : Feb 10th

    God bless you, Emily. Go for it!
    Steve / pearwood

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Tracey : Feb 10th

    Great reason to hike. Safe travels on your hike. I trail angel near the Hat Creek Rim. Maybe I’ll be out when you come through. Best of luck on your adventure!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Caleigh Alevy : Feb 12th

    This is exciting and beautiful! I look forward to following your adventures! Follow your dreams and show others they can too, amen! I love this dream, too.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Mike Fox : Feb 14th

    Thanks for being there for your patients. No doubt they love and appreciate you. Take care and enjoy your journey.

    Reply

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