Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 'You' You Want To Be

It's odd that I find myself waking in the morning thinking about hiking the PCT. Throughout the day, when I have a free moment to think my own thoughts I think about hiking the PCT. When I settle down to bed in the evening I find myself thinking about hiking the PCT. What is wrong with me? I have been reading through the journals on I find that there are other people like myself.

Even though my hike is still an unscheduled trip sometime between now and the end of 2017, it is as if I were hiking it next month. The reality is, unless I make it a reality it will only be wishful thinking. This summer my next objective is to hike the entire John Muir Trail north to south. This hike, while daunting in it's own right, is only a shake-down for the main event - the entire PCT.

I am training diligently for my JMT hike. I hike about thirty miles a week with a thirty-two pound pack slung on my back. I have found it interesting that my initial reluctance to hike around town with a pack on my back was based on my thoughts of what others might think of me. I have found that I care way too much about the approval or acceptance of others.

My hiking is forcing me to 'get-over-it' and start doing things without the constant mental exercises of weighing the social cost of my actions. Life is too short to spend it wondering about what other people think about you. Too much introspection is narcissistic and vain, I guess that describes the me I don't want to be anymore.

My current employment doesn't leave much time to contemplate hiking or the joys of being on the trail. So every day is a transition. I wake up with thoughts of the wilderness and thoughts of the God who created it from the wildness within his own being. I prepare my morning coffee and have my morning quiet time. Then it's off to work. My drive is a transition time, I begin thinking about the projects I am working on, the tasks that need completing, the meetings I need to have, etc. Then for the next eight hours I live, move, and breathe software application development and support. The day flies by and suddenly I find myself in my car on the way home. I slowly transition back into the life I want to live. I change into my hiking clothes, strap on my pack, and hit the road. I find that this late afternoon activity to be a rejuvenating time of reflection and clarity. Most of my best thoughts occur during this time.

I am looking forward to living the trail life for two weeks this summer. Some of my fellow hiking journalists are living that life today. I enjoy following their accounts. My current favorite journal is being kept by Mark 'SloBro' Hurd, perhaps it's his way of writing or his descriptions of his events. I think it would be pretty cool to meet him on the trail heading the opposite direction this summer.

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