The week leading up to starting the hike has been full and interesting. All parts of life that I was juggling seemed to demand my attention. I'm not living in my car, without a job, or "free of time" by any means. It's taken considerable amount of effort to plan this hike and affording the time to hike the trail certainly had its toll.
As contracting goes, a time critical removal project squeezed its way into my work world...I worked 14 hour days, on average, from July to February. Life was work, run, eat, sleep. Once the project ended, I had 3.5 months to finish a 9 month project. The solution was hike/run faster from archaeology site to site and pound out reports. My company and colleagues helped any way they could, and they did! Especially in GIS technology and support...You know who you are, Thank You!
The only way to escape the feeling of impending doom was work harder. After work was working out to prep for the trail. After that was planning and preparing for the PCT, starting a website, and dinner in there somewhere. On weekends, where there was free time?...I'd train more with long hikes of 20 to 30 miles; round trip usually takes 7 hours minimum.
Don't forget to throw in visiting friends, family, wedding related events, and other social happenings. I'm sure many have similar busy lives and likely busier. Friends and family...Y'all with kids are rock stars because I imagine that having kids put my schedule and energy efforts to shame! I'd like to stress here that this busy crazy life is a great thing...it wouldn't last, but it's good. Humans are amazing.
The point is, there's never enough time...am I right? And we all gain more time by not sleeping. Free time right there! But my body rebelled at my choice; I was spending energy I didn't have and it came with costs.
Three Weeks Before...
This brings me to three weeks before the trail and let me start with this...bachelor party. Yeah, starting to sound like classic poor decision making, and it's true. I made some poor decisions, but I learned that I just can't turn down a good time when with close friends. Like many bachelor parties: no sleep, lots of travel, extra excitement, sharing of beverages with friends and strangers in odd ways, and a moment or two of "why did I do that?"
All in all, we were fairly tame and that is a good thing. The group was a bunch of runners, so we spent most of the time outdoors, hiking, and visiting old training grounds in Mammoth Lakes. With cold lakes, tight calves, and a new spectacular track...I tore my calf. Good decisions were not made. But you'll likely have the same amount of trouble keeping an English Whippet from racing on a track.
I returned home with an injury and a terrible cold that knocked me out for a week. This is not how I thought my training and health would be just before the trail. The last three weeks have been recovery and some rebuilding. Which brings me to today. I'm on the train and headed to Campo, CA.
I didn't change my arrangements, but I'm changing my approach slightly. Slow down...at first anyway. I've been able to aid my leg back into good health. For a week a half, I've been hiking 12 miles, running 7 miles, and doing plenty of low impact strength training and i feel fine. Still strong actually, and my calf feels more than good, it has healed. That doesn't mean re-injury isn't dominating my mind.
Although I'm confident about my leg, listening to my body will be paramount. I haven't noticed any favoring or slight ergonomic imbalances from compensation, but it doesn't mean I'm not doing it. After a few days, any unusual soreness may be an indicator of new potential problems. My overall attitude...I'll be OK, I'll listen and figure it out.
Live Life to its Fullest
Here's my point for sharing this blog post. I had plans and I imagined my start to be more "fit ready" than I currently am. Right before the start, I've already had to adjust my plans...I strongly considered waiting until July to start in the north and go SOBO. Plans change! And more often than not, things don't pan-out perfectly. But being able to shift on the minute and make it work is invaluable whether the challenges you face are within your control or not. And staying positive about it is very advantageous.
We're human...as much as we try to do the logical thing, we often choose the sensational. And that's a good thing! Look around. We surround ourselves with things that are appealing more so than functional. And when it's the other way around, it's kind of depressing.
Here I am today, pushing away the "someday" attitude and fulfilling a long desired adventure...and without sacrificing living life to its fullest. I'm taking chances, I'm making mistakes, but I'm also having the greatest time. AKA maximum human.
On a related note, check out Homemade Wanderlust - Dixie's video,"Cross the Line"...truly inspiring.
P.S. I'm excited to for tomorrow.