Water and Willpower

Two weeks before the PCT. I start Easter Sunday. Two weeks…

Needless to say, I’m feeling a lot. I’ve been feeling a lot…

A lot of angst. Worry. Fear. Doubt. A lot of doubt. Excitement. Elation. Overwhelming appreciation for myself and all those who have gone before me. Everyone whose told their story, shared their personal journeys, reveled and cried at the moments experienced and memories made. Thank you for being open with those of us who, whether we know you personally or solely through the interwebs, gain so much from your insights and lessons learned. What to do. What not to do. And the ever important, ever present premise of Hike Your Own Hike which underlines every story, every hike. Live your own life. Follow your own unique and beautiful heart. Only you can know what’s best for you, what works for you, what will make you happy. Only you can be your best self.

This is me my becoming mine. Two weeks before I start the trail and I’m ready. I’ve done what I’ve needed to do. Lined everything up. Junked the old car, gave notice to work(x3), confirmed places to stay in San Diego, purchased plane ticket, ordered gear, researched, ordered more gear, researched, hiked for “training”, researched, ordered gear, sold gear, researched and researched some more. I’ve done more research for this hike than I’ve ever done for anything in my life – ever. I’ve never felt so committed to anything else. So eager and willing to learn, to know.

Now that I’m so close, I’m getting waves, sensations, of what it will feel like once I’m out there. Walking in the wild. Free, untethered to anything but my backpack and a map. Water and willpower pushing me forward. Upward. Toward my goal: Growth. Ultimately that’s what this hike is about for me. The good growth that comes from living your own life. Hiking your own hike. Choosing your dreams and pursuing them fully until they’re exhausted and spent and you’re completely satisfied through to your bones.

Two weeks.

May I flow with the ease of water

May my will be powerful and resolute

My body sturdy and strong

My senses aware

And may my movement always be from the heart.

Fulfilling A Dream

I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650 mile trek from Mexico to Canada, a little less than 4 months before I planned to start. I’d originally intended on hiking the PCT in 2020. I’d been intending it for a couple of years, and then, as she does, life threw me some curveballs. Some really hard, sharp, heart splitting curveballs that sent me into a tailspin of “now whats” and “what’s nexts” and “what the fucks”. I knew I couldn’t remain in the situation I was in, so I started searching around. Not externally. But within.

I began seeking within myself, in my heart, for possibilities. Ideas. Imagining scenarios. I knew that if I just continued looking and remained wide open to life and her mysterious ways, I would hit on something. Or something would hit on me. That something was the Pacific Crest Trail. It was a dream I could pull up close and wrap around myself. I could lose myself in it completely and let it fill me up. My sister was the instigator. In my depths, she saw a potential path and opportunity for growth. And if there’s anyone tuned to good growing opportunities, it’s her (peep it: briharris.com).

On Thursday December 27th 2018 at 9:26am she sent me the text ” What if you hiked the PCT this year? ”

I was driving. I grabbed my phone, glanced down at the message (I know, no bueno), and I immediately burst into tears. Absolutely erupted. Flowing straight from my heart and center. I sent her two long voice messages several minutes later, but all she could pick up from either one was “I can’t stop laugh crying!” It was true. I laugh cried all the way from Haiku through Paia and into town. It felt so inexplicably freeing to feel direction again. To feel a course. A rush of YES YES YES YES YES YES – this! This is what is “what’s now”. This is “what’s next”. This is why the what the fucks happen! So you can get the fuck back on track. On trail!

I begin the trail on April 21st, 2019. I have poured myself into preparation. Reseaching and gathering gear. Strengthening my mental status. Hiking around Maui. Buying and rationing out bulk noms from Costco for resupply packages. Making list after list after list, trying to set myself up for success as best as I can. I’ve been working 3 jobs six days a week in hopes that I can save enough to financially support myself through this. Truth be told though, there is only so much one can do. Yes, I can gather the physical supplies and that’s important. I can mentally send myself out ahead, imagine what it’ll be like, what it will feel like, and prepare for the challenges and the overwhelming swells of appreciation to come.

Only the experience, though. The real time, real space, physical and emotional experience of hiking this hike will truly prepare me for what it has to offer. Only the moment can teach me what the moment holds when I meet it fully and move through it. I can only give what I have when I have it. I expect nothing from this trail but challenge and reward. I expect nothing less from myself. Challenge, grow. Challenge, grow. Challenge, always grow.