Who the Hell is this Guy?

I’m not sure what you’re hoping to get out of reading my blog. I’m guessing that the majority of you are people who have bought squares in the pool, speculating on how far I’ll make it on the trail. A few of you may be wondering if I’m dead, and I promise if I meet such an unfortunate end, I’ll blog about it just as soon as I possibly can. Finally, there are probably some of you who will stumble upon this while trying to decide if you want to attempt the PCT or are in the process of planning a hike. So, this is my assumed audience, and I am going to do my very best to make this interesting and fun to read. I would recommend taking everything I say with more than just a grain of salt as I’m openly telling you now… I’m full of it.

I think I should start by giving you an idea of who I am, especially if you’re considering using my experience as a data point in deciding if you will take on the PCT. Reading beta about a hike or mountain is hard because you never know where the writer is coming from when they say something like, “the approach is hard.” That statement means two completely different things if it is said by a middle-aged used car salesperson or if it’s said by someone who runs ultra-marathons and has summited Mt. Everest. I am much closer to the former.

So, who the hell am I? That is a big question, and one I plan on tackling on the PCT, but in generic terms, I am:

  • Soon to be 45 years old.
  • Divorced after 20 years of marriage.
  • Father of two kids.
  • I’ve worked in construction, security, the oil field, truck driving, real estate, sales, and for the last 10 years, I’ve been a funeral director/embalmer. I know… Ewww.
  • Scuba diver, love it, not great at it.
  • Lived in Germany for 3 years.
  • I’ve played mini-golf in all 50 states.
  • Traveled to 26 countries on 4 continents.
  • Prefer dogs over cats.
  • I “played” sports in high school but have no natural athletic talent.
  • I joined the Army and served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne division for 3 years.
  • I was very good at the ruck marching part, okay at the push-up and sit-up part, and terrible at the running part.
  • I had a serious back injury in the Army that led to surgery.
  • I have bad knees from the Army as well.
  • I have had two shoulder surgeries.
  • I broke my ankle last summer hiking, and it’s still bothering me some.
  • As I write this, I’m dealing with a hyperextension injury to my right knee, which is the bad one anyway.
  • Oh yeah, I also have idiopathic supraventricular tachycardia, which means my heart goes crazy whenever it feels like it for no apparent reason (probably related to exposure in the Army).
  • I have been working closely with my doctor, and she said, “Go for it, the worst thing that could happen is you’ll die.” I really like her. =)
  • After the Army, I got fat.
  • Then I got back in shape.
  • Then I got fat again.
  • Then I got back in shape.
  • Then I got fat again.
  • Then… You get the point.
  • I’ll be starting the PCT in good, not great, shape.
  • I’ve climbed every 14er in Colorado.
  • The hardest one and the easiest one for me was the same mountain. The first time I was fat, the second time I was crazy in shape.
  • I am comfortable with extreme exposure, as long as I have very solid foot and handholds.
  • I am not a technical rock climber, but that hasn’t stopped me from climbing some faces I had no business being on.
  • I have never, ever been lost. However, I often find myself somewhere other than where I thought I was.
  • I have completed 2 long-distance backpacking trips, the West Highland Way in Scotland when I was 21 and the GR20 in Corsica when I was 42, both about 100 miles each.
  • I have also amassed an amazing beer bottle cap collection and completed the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago’s.
  • However, I currently don’t drink… much.
  • I’m not stupid in the woods, but I will roll the dice if I think the odds are in my favor. Except for whitewater, I don’t screw with whitewater.
  • I fully believe if I scream and wave my hands at a grizzly bear, he’ll be terrified and run away. (It’ll be hilarious when this is read at my funeral because I was eaten by a bear).
  • I am not afraid to face the suck, but I love long hot showers and soft beds.
  • You will never catch me car camping, but I will backpack in and camp anytime.
  • I WILL NOT QUIT on the PCT unless I have a legitimate family emergency or I am physically unable to continue.

All that said, to simply give you an idea about what I mean if I tell you, “the approach was hard”.

I hope you enjoy reading this, and I wish the best of luck deciphering my bad grammar and spelling. We are both going on an adventure. Cheers.

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Comments 4

  • Veronica Hoffman : Mar 30th

    🙏❤️ blessings along your journey

    • Levi : Apr 3rd

      Much appreciated

  • thetentman : Mar 31st

    Nice post. Good luck.

    • Levi : Apr 3rd

      Thank you!


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