As I sit on the plane, winging my way to the west coast, I’m attempting to get into the right mindset. These last few weeks as I’ve been reading weather reports and blogs from other hikers, I’ve been in worst-case-scenario mode. Each of my thoughts have evolved around how I’ll physically prepare myself for icy passes, rushing rivers, steep climbs, freak snow storms, heat waves and wild fire. I have all the gear I need for all possible conditions. But I’ve yet to prepare myself mentally.
There’s a meme I came across in one of my online hiking groups. It’s an image of a woman gazing at a steep mountain range and it reads, “sometimes the fear won’t go away. So you’ll have to do it afraid.” I found the meme fitting and taped it to my wall at work. For weeks the JMT scared me. But now that I’m only a few days from my start date, I’m searching for a stronger stance. “Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously: Never once did her fortitude waver during that long hike.” Trying to embrace it.
When I hiked the Camino, I was forced to push myself to the limit and in those moments, I was confronted with myself. All of my strength, all of my weakness. There was no hiding from myself or denying what I was capable of. It was very powerful for me. What makes me unsure about this trip is on the Camino I felt I found my limit but this adventure will require even more from me. I don’t yet know where it’ll come from. But I’m about to find out. I’m ready for this.
There she is!