Colorado Trail: Post 5

Why Do I Come Out Here?

Here’s a journal entry from a few days ago:

“I’m thinking about all the things I am so so grateful for today, and it’s a good day, and it feels amazing and the weather is perfect and there’s a cool breeze and the flowers are blooming and the aspens are doing their loud whispering thing and everything just feels perfect.”

It’s not always like that. I’m trying to sum up all the difficult and trying things about a long distance hike. I can’t think about it too consistently though, because I don’t want to focus too much on the negative aspects of things, especially when they’re so loud at times.

Long distance hiking is just as much of a mental game as it is a physical one. ITS. FREAKING. HARD. Not only that, but you have some serious suffer fest type situations to deal with. Lightning storms? Having to poop above treeline with miles to go? Wiping your bum in the rain and the rest of your TP gets all wet? That feeling where your feet ache so bad you feel like there will only be nubs left when you take your shoes off? Have you ever had on wet socks for more than 12 hours?? How about for more than 2 days? So why do this?

I can feel society and it’s habits slowly sliding off of me. I’m worrying less about work and schedules and miles and money. In “the real world”, those things take up so much of our mental day to day that you forget that you’re spending so much time thinking about things that aren’t at your core. So out here, when all that fades away, what’s left is a raw & exposed YOU. I think that’s why you get to know yourself so well out here.

How do you deal with struggle? Discomfort? Pain? Being away from home? How do you handle a frightening situation where all you have is your head and your heart and your small single body on the face of a mountain? How do you take in the beauty and pure unfiltered life that we are so often insulated from? Do you dance? Do you cry? Are you quiet? Do you scream with joy?

These things bring you back to yourself.

I’m not saying it’s a perfect experience. I’m pretty sure a lot of my posts so far have been about how much pain I’ve been in. But it’s all part of it. It’s a beautiful world out there.

I am constantly having to tell myself that I can do this, that I’m strong enough, to trust the situations I’m in. We all need a bit more reminding of who we really are, and not who society tells us we are or should be.

Anyway. That’s why I come out here.

Published by alexandriacantrell22

Trail-name: Pocahontas Atlanta-native and based out of SLC, Utah. Appalachian Trail 2016, the Colorado Trail 2018, Timberline Trail 2018

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