1052 to 1062
Miles hiked: 10
By 2 PM on my second day back on the PCT, I was already having a mini-meltdown. I’d completed 10 miles, my pre-determined limit for the day to be easy on my foot after the stress fracture. What was I gonna do in the 6 hours still left before dark? I am so conditioned to keep hiking as long as there is daylight. I felt the pull of the trail with every cell in my body. But I realized I needed to rest my foot. I was not gonna re-injure my foot. NO WAY was I risking that.
|Totally frustrated with my 2 PM finish time.|
|The soothing sound of rain on my tarp.|
|What was wrong with me for not wanting to spend more time here for a rest break?|
Adapting to shorter miles and to being still was a more difficult mental challenge than I’d anticipated. I needed to figure out techniques that would allow me to feel as engaged and connected to the outdoors as I do when I am moving down the trail. Advanced-backpacking warrior-ninja-level technique.
While I was hiking, I had also tried to slow down my hiking pace as another way to adapt. The downhills were OK, but I kept forgetting to take it easy on the uphills. My darn legs would get all excited whenever I’d start to climb. Back in the groove like nothing happened, totally forgetting the poor feet. The feet weren’t complaining or anything, but I could tell they were weak and I didn’t know what they could handle yet. Anyway, I knew I couldn’t go on hiking like this. I knew it was a bigger problem- that of my mindset.
|Uphills make me want to fly up up up and away.|
If I took a good photo, would that make my hike more meaningful? What about if I saw a cool flower? Learned some new skill? Swam more? Stopped at more vistas? Or had some insightful realization? Those things are so much harder to measure and put a finger on than miles per day displayed with pride at the top of a blog post. Do badass hikers take the time to sit and watch every moment of a sunrise or sunset? How will you all know I’m not just a slacker goofing off in the woods? How will I tell if I’m really having a meaningful experience out here?