Thoughts & Lessons

So I was laying there one night in my tent thinking about this whole experience so far and why we’re all doing this. You walk miles on miles day after day with just the bare essentials to survive all strapped to your back. Some days are easy and some days you finally realize what hell might be like. Every night you take about an hour to set up camp and get ready to go to sleep just to wake up at 5 am, throw on cold clothes and then spend another hour breaking down your campsite. Usually the first few miles are you bundled up because it’s still freezing out and before you know it, you’re in the this full on sweat because the weight of your pack starts to get to you or the sun is finally out to ruin your day and have you strip down your layers. Rinse and repeat. I mean so why are we doing this? There’s no glamour involved. You’re shockingly filthy out here. Sometimes…most of the time. You give up all the comforts of being back home. There is never a time when your body isn’t in some sort of pain. I know in my last post I said I mostly got use to hiking day after day…well yea, that was a lie. Jokes on me. So the one thing I can think of that after everything I just wrote (do I not have you sold on a thru-hike) is how the trade off is worth all of that sacrifice and more. Subjective to the person you ask. As I write this though, I’m laying here cowboy camping listening to the birds getting ready to go to sleep as the sun goes down and the stars come out. Just waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the view of all these stars is worth it alone, but there’s so much more to this. Everyday I manage to take something away from the day or learn a new lesson. Like how I’ve always appreciated the little things in life but out here gives that a whole new meaning. Man, you take for granted how nice it is just to sleep on a flat surface and not slide to one side all night because this was as close to a flat spot as you could get. Or going back to my Gatorade story and how truly amazing that was for me. And I know it sounds crazy to hear Gatorade talked about like that, but when all you’ve been drinking for 5 days is warm water in the desert sun and you come across the one drink (literally didn’t think about anything else) that you’ve been daydreaming about…shit man, I don’t know if my words can do it justice but you get the idea. And that is a lesson in its own. How you can’t have the good without the bad, highs without the lows. I don’t think I would have been able to appreciate that the way I did if I wasn’t walking in the desert heat for 5 days. Another thing I take away from this is the freedom that comes with a thru-hike. One freedom I wouldn’t have thought about but started to notice was the freedom that comes when you don’t look in a mirror everyday. I remember watching Nick Offermans standup “American Ham” and one of the things he talked about was avoiding mirrors. It finally makes sense. When you’re not looking in the mirror everyday, over analyzing yourself and telling yourself, I look like shit today or I look fat, etc, there’s a huge psychological freedom that comes with that. Also the freedom of identifying with your physical form comes with that. If you’ve read “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle you know what I’m talking about (oh it’s that book again) and if not, read it already! If you don’t read, grab an audiobook of it. I can’t stress enough how important that book is. Enough with all that though. The other freedom that comes from being out here is the freedom of being in nature and just the beauty of everything out here. It may be the desert section but it still has its moments. I watched a documentary leading up to coming out here and one of the things this guy said was “there’s a lot of God to be seen in nature” and I kind of understood but not completely. I told myself I’d try to see what he meant when I came out here and I think I kind of get it. Before I get into that though, I wanna say this first because I know this can be a tricky thing to talk about. I believe that God can be anything you want it/him/her to be as long as it’s not hurting anyone in the process or putting down anyone’s else’s beliefs. Telling them what they believe in is wrong because it doesn’t match your beliefs. There is no wrong. The same goes for religion. Believe in anything you want, just as long as it’s not hurting anyone or telling them that what they believe in isn’t real. I saw a video where a guy said how surfing was his religion and the ocean was his God and he’s absolutely right. Truthfully I believe that everything is God. I believe I’m God and your God and everything that ever was, is, or will be is God. I think over the years the word God has gotten misunderstood and to try and reduce it to an old man in the sky just doesn’t seem right. Truth is though, it could be just as much as it might not be and the answer is we’ll never know. I think God is something much more than we’re capable of truly understanding but everyone once in a while you get a glimpse and that’s what I think he was talking about in the documentary. The thing with nature is, it just is. There’s nothing man made about it, no filter on it and it has this undeniable truth to it. It’s so easy to misunderstand things in life thanks to the mind, but when you’re in nature I think there’s an obvious difference that sticks out. So I do believe that God is everything, I just think that in day to day life it can be hard to see but when you’re in nature there’s nothing to cloud your perception. And dude, absolutely do not let what some 24 year old who’s still trying to figure it all out tell you what God is or isn’t (even though that’s not what I’m doing but you get what I’m talking about) because truth is I don’t know shit. Just got some ideas floating around. Like I said, God can be whatever you want it to be and I think a good belief system is crucial. It’s funny though, because when something goes wrong in your life one of the first things you do is blame God. I’ve been there plenty of times and I’m sure a lot of people can agree with that, but that’s not how it works. You can always ask for help, but everyone’s the creators of their own lives and you can’t sit around asking for things to come your way without putting in the work and doing the things you need to be doing for yourself. Man if you asked me if I thought if I would ever make it out here hiking the pct let alone standing at Kennedy meadows with 700 miles of desert behind me, the answer is hell no. Fuck no to be a little more accurate. It took me so long to commit to this idea because I kept talking myself out of it and “what if” started to take over until I realized I need to start making things happen. Just make it happen. It’s opened my eyes that well shit, if I can plan this whole trip out and actually make it this far, what can’t you make happen when it really comes down to it? C’mon son. It all comes down to your state of mind. You here all these people talk about it or artist sing about it because it’s that important. I’m sure as we get older we figure that out and more, but learn it now. This post was geared more towards the things that I’ve been noticing out here and just some thoughts I had floating around. Throwing up one more post about the trail itself.

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