“THE GOAL: HIKE THE PCT IN 2020 FOR MY 50th BIRTHDAY YEAR”
It all started when…
I am a novice / baby / wannabe thru hiker who has dreamed about walking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for years. But something always seemed to distract me, whether that was working in production or life or adulting. Or maybe it’s just that I let those other things feel more important than thru hiking...for 5 months...on the most audacious adventure of a lifetime.
Being an athlete my entire life (Ironman triathlon, Krav Maga, team sports), my recent struggles with nagging injuries has made me question myself and my bodies resilience. With my 50th birthday just around the corner, I’ve been searching for something to confirm / affirm that I’m still an athlete. That I’m still me! Then, luckily, I had dinner with Olivia, a PCT thru hiker. Not just once, but twice...and I was hooked. The PCT could help me answer doubt with action. Hearing her stories of the trail lit a fire to stop talking about it and start doing something about it. To put up or shut up. So...
Step 1 - Goal: thru hike the PCT in 2020 for my 50th birthday year.
Step 2 - Gather information and plan.
Step 3 - Where to gather information as I have questions about literally everything!
...and that’s where my conversations with Olivia come back into play. I had so much fun listening to her stories, lessons learned and cheats for the trail. We dove deep into her food tips, where to shop and how to freeze dry. I might even have taken pictures for future reference!! We talked the mental game, how do you keep going when every step is painful, when you’ve lost track of your why. We talked gear and strategies. We talked!!!! And I LOVED every single minute of it.
As I write this, registration for the 2019 PCT permits has just opened, which means I need to get my ass in gear...and spurs me to ask: How can I talk to as many experienced thru hikers as possible before I step on the trail? Pick their brains on all things thru hiking. And how can other wannabe thru hikers benefit from these conversations too?
From those questions, the Hiking Thru Podcast was born. Ninety minute conversations with experienced thru hikers to talk about feet and sleeping, food and packs. A little mental game plan. And a lot of stories.
Even in the first few conversations that I’ve had so far, I realize that at the core we are all searching for something, answers to questions we might not even know we have. And in searching for those answers on the trail we do things wrong, we overpack, we carry crazy things, we’re prepared for the last trail but not necessarily this trail...but the Trail is patient and if we are forgiving with ourself there is time to swap things out, to leave things behind and to find our way again.
See you on the trail!!