That’s a Good Thing

My knee often hurts going downhill, it’s winter in Seattle, and my lab project just took several steps backward.

Those are not good things.

But holy crap who cares – I am about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, I have my ideal start date for my permit, and my brother is making a custom design for my ULA pack.

The PCT is a good thing. A really good thing.

At least I am guessing it is – it’s an assumption that I get to validate or demolish starting in approximately 2 months. But it isn’t unfounded – usually the best part of my week is going hiking, being outside. Hiking up Mt. Si last week was absolutely the most joyful I have felt in awhile, and not because I have been totally miserable, but because on that day, the weather was awesome, the view was great, I was alone in the woods, my knee didn’t hurt, and I was on top of the damn world (mentally – Mt. Si isn’t actually that tall). I am  really excited to wake up everyday knowing that I get to do my favorite thing in the world…again…and again…and again.

Mt Rainier from the top of Mt Si

The aforementioned view from the top of Mt Si – Mt Rainier with its cloud hat drifting away.

So I like hiking – not a shocker given that this is a blog about thru-hiking. But I suppose since this is an intro post, I should clue you in on a little bit else about me.

I am soon to graduate from college (5 years wiser) and on some level, the way my school year lines up means that choosing to take that partial 5th year lined me up perfectly (at least for my desires) to thru-hike the PCT. So when I realized that I could easily take extra time to get my degree, I embraced the idea as a way to push myself to do this crazy thing. Now of course, as I reach the finale of college, it is all feeling a bit rushed. I am trying to plan for 5 months in the woods, and also apply for jobs, and still live my life. So yeah, it can be overwhelming at times.

But I try and focus on the good things, big and small, which I haven’t always been good at but have recently been working on after a friend was talking about New Year’s resolutions, and one really stuck with me. It was the practice of everyday finding something and recognizing it as a good thing, and verbalizing that. I’m not great at resolutions, so my interpretation of this has been more along the lines of mentally pointing at the blooming hellebores, or the guy feeding the geese french fries and proclaiming loudly (in my head) “That’s A Good Thing!”. When I actually do it, I remember that thing rather than letting it pass me by, and it creates a positive memory instead of washing away in the routine of life.

This practice might just be the key to my PCT experience. I know that as much as I love hiking, it is often going to be hard and unhappy, and I will feel the drudgery of routine as I do in normal life. But, the more I practice the happy things here, the better equipped I will be to do the same while on the trail, and I have every intention of doing just that.

So, if you want to hear all about the happy things (and inevitably how much my feet hurt, or other complaints), come along for the ride. I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop.

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Comments 2

  • Anton : Feb 12th

    Hiking is a good thing!

  • Christen : Feb 13th

    Happy Hiking ? to you Heidi!! I ❤️’d your hiking post and the upbeat way you wrote about your hiking journey! Keep your hiking journalism up!!


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