One Mississippi, Two Mississippi …
With just days remaining before I embark on this grand adventure from Mexico to Canada, I keep checking my sanity.
I hear the voices of logic and reason whispering in my left ear. “You’re 67. SoCal has set an all time record for snow. You’ve never done anything crazy like this before in your life. “
The voices of adventure whisper back in my right ear. “Alpine meadows and super blooms. Heart-thumping panoramas. Never seen before vistas (at least not by me).”
I keep hearing that the physical is only 20%. The mental is 80%. Notwithstanding the 75% who limp off the trail in the first 100 miles. Wait. What?
So back to why. I’d better have a darned good reason – a healthy reason, with a good reward at the end – to keep me motivated, hadn’t I?
I’ve given it some thought and I’ve come up with a simple strategy, a daily routine. I don’t know if it’s enough, it’s certainly not unique, but at least it’s a starting point.
1. Rise up in morning with a smile, pack my belongings, establish a routine.
2. Eat something nutritious. An army marches on its stomach, they say, so a good resupply strategy is important. I’m fortunate to have a Trail Angel sitting at home coordinating my logistics.
3. Walk. Just tell myself I’m going for a little walk today. I don’t care how far. I’m just going for a walk.
4. Adventure. Everyday is a new day, a new experience, a new milestone. What will I see when I round the next bend?
5. Rest. Stop when I get tired. Massage the muscles and feet. Tell myself “It’s not a race.” Take a nice long nap every day.
6. Do it again. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi, all the way to Canada Mississippi!
Taken together, it spells “R-E-W-A-R-D.” This is just the Physical part. though. What about the Mental Game, the other 80%? That, I believe, really involves unpacking Adventure in the mind’s eye each and every day. Whoah! I feel another Acronym coming on!
1. Happiness is keeping a good sense of humor and having fun. I pledge to look for the silver lining in the clouds.
2. Explore the new neighborhood to discover new truths and wonders. I’m an Explorer on a Journey of Discovery.
3. Acquaintances. Make some friends along the way. I plan to share stories and experiences and engage with others on the trail.
4. Learn something every day along the way. This old dog is looking forward to learning some new tricks.
5. Take lots of pictures. Something to look back on. Something to share with others who are concerned for my safety and wellbeing.
6. Homeward bound. I know I’m on a journey of discovery, but an overriding prerogative is to come home safely. Otherwise, what’s the point?
7. Yes! Celebrate the accomplishment when it’s all over.
Keep a H-E-A-L-T-H-Y attitude. In other words, come home in better shape than when I left.
I don’t know if this strategy will work or not. I have yet to test myself against a forest fire, a raging river crossing, worn out by hiker hunger and a parched tongue, or soaked to the bone in a torrential downpour, and camping in an 80 mile an hour wind in sub freezing temperature or scorching heat, with blistered heels in a cloud of relentless mosquitos, or myriad other bedevilments that plague every hiker. It won’t all be rainbows and unicorns, I’m told!
So, chin up, one step at a time. Wish me luck!
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Bob, I look forward to hearing about your progress.
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