Once upon a time, before Uber and Lyft, there was a FREE method of car-sharing based solely on trust, kindness and curiosity. Hitchhiking isn’t for everyone, but it’s taught me one of the most important lessons of my life—that you can choose rational caution over irrational fear when making decisions and taking risks.
2,100 miles down, 500 to go! Flip-flopping (a.k.a. hiking a long trail in large, non-contiguous sections) is a style of thruhiking that really works for me because I like doing things my own way. However, flip-flopping does have its drawbacks…
Back in May, after walking almost 800 miles north on the PCT from the Mexico border, I got to the base of Mount Whitney during a snowstorm. Realizing that a Whitney ascent wasn’t going to happen for me then, I sat in my tent and cried. The next day, I bailed out of the High Sierra, vowing that I would come back to do the John Muir Trail section (which extends from Yosemite to Mount Whitney) in the summer. I was determined to finish hiking my home state atop Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. The mountain had evaded me once but it was going to happen, dammit…
When you’re working towards a big goal, you will inevitably experience trials and tribulations. Life doesn’t always go your way—and that’s a good thing. If it did, you wouldn’t innovate and grow. You wouldn’t appreciate the little victories nearly as much. So this is just a reminder that whatever you’re struggling with right now on your path is part of a bigger story. Zoom out and take a deep breath. You’ll make it through.
For the past two days, I’ve hiked completely alone for the first time on my Pacific Crest Trail thruhike. Sure, there are lots of other hikers around—but I know none … Continue reading It’s OK to Need People.
Hiking thousands of miles and living outdoors for months isn’t always easy or fun. In fact, it’s uncomfortable most of the time. But that’s what makes moments of sheer joy like my experience on San Jacinto Mountain so profound. In my 31 years on this planet, I haven’t found anything else that makes me feel so alive.
There is nothing quite like a rattlesnake to snap you out of your head and into my body. On Sunday, April 1st, I had my first encounter with an enormous Western Diamondback while hiking out of Scissors Crossing on the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m grateful for this snake for reminding me to pay attention to my surroundings and get out of my head. Being in your body means being present. At any moment, you could be challenged to take swift and immediate action in order to stay alive.
Feeling your best doesn’t just mean “looking good.” It means, first and foremost, cherishing and nurturing the body that you’re in. It means, instead of holding yourself to some standard of external beauty, holding yourself to a certain standard of self-care. Is there something you can do this year that will get you out of your head and into the “soft animal of your body”—even just for a moment? If so, my friend, I urge you to do it. The world around you will be better for it.