Things That Excite and Terrify

It’s almost hard to believe that the PCT is finally coming to fruition for me.

My next post on here will be from the trail.

Today I wanted to briefly touch base on some of the things that I’m excited about, and some of the things that terrify me about this journey that I’m about to embark on.

A nice dry camp

Things that terrify me

In no particular order – here are some things that I’m worried about.

  1. My body falling apart. As a hypochondriac, I’m constantly convincing myself that my body is weak and defective. The only thing that will get me off trail this year is if I have a major medical issue and am physically unable to continue. I was a sick kid, and I know that a lot of my hypochondria has no merit to it and mostly just stems from some bad experiences in childhood.
  2. Not being experienced enough. Sure, I’m out bagging peaks and crushing miles as often as I can, I’ve even done the Tahoe Rim trail – but don’t be fooled, I have NO clue what I’m doing. I still mess up on the daily. I have a serious case of imposter syndrome, better than being an overconfident ass though, right?
  3. Not having control. When things aren’t going well, my initial reaction is to jump into action and take control of the situation. I’m a natural born leader, that’s just my personality. Sometimes, it works out great for me, other times it makes everything worse. Letting that control go is something that I’m already uncomfortable about, but if you’re too comfortable, you’re not making progress.
  4. Leaving my cat, Plumas. The Camp Fire killed my three cats because I wasn’t home when it happened, and then I couldn’t make it home to save them. While I’ve stopped blaming myself, feelings of guilt still creep up on occasion. I know Plumas will get all the love and care he deserves while we’re gone, but leaving him is going to be hard.

Plumas and I stretching together

I have anxiety. If y’all couldn’t tell already. I’ve struggled with it my whole life, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Whatever your issue is in real life isn’t going to magically disappear on trail. Sometimes, I think overcoming anxiety doesn’t mean that you aren’t scared – I think it means doing something even though you’re scared.

What I’m excited about

Again, in no particular order.

  1. The personal growth. I don’t believe the trail just magically fixes your problems – in fact, I personally know it to make the problems worse at times! Very much like “real” life, resolving issues takes work and dedication. For myself, hiking is a meditative act. Hiking helps me be more deliberate in my actions and slows me down.
  2. The experience! One of my biggest fears is missing out on life. In my early twenties I worked in a retirement home and saw a lot of people die with regrets, I don’t want to be one of those people who put off their dreams until retirement – I want to live NOW. Life is so temporary and the world is a big beautiful place.
  3. Sharing this experience with Angler. I must admit, I have the “lone wolf” mentality. I started off backpacking solo and always imagined that’s how the PCT would go too. I’m excited for us to share this experience with each other, there will be challenges, but I believe if we overcome those challenges our relationship will be even stronger.
  4. The future. I know, I know…. I’m supposed to be living in the present. But here’s the thing – this experience has already changed me so much and I haven’t even started yet. While I plan to live presently as often as possible, I am also eager to see where the lessons I learn will take me.

Angler and I having breakfast

Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of myself. Proud to make a commitment that scares me. And proud to follow through with it.

The anticipation is killing me. I can’t wait to start this thing – although I’m slowly starting to realize that I already have.

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