pre-race jitters

“Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open window and look out to see whose there.” Rumi



My purple zpack arc blast awaits.The contents soon to be added, currently sitting a little haphazardly around the pack.  Re-supply boxes are stacked, semi-packed and nearly ready to be shipped.  All identified by purple duct tape decorated with silly little owls. Six medium sized USPS boxes containing fuchsia colored Brooks Cascadia’s size 11, 2 pairs mens black 100% nylon socks, (per the strong recommendation of Tatu Jo) and lidocaine patch (in the event I have back pain) taped up and ready to go.Clothes neatly laid out in preparation for take-off.


Starting to feel a bit apprehensive. Well, maybe not apprehensive. Kind-of wondering what to do with myself. I need to get the truck smogged. I want to pick up some healing stones to give to Joey before I leave. I really need to pack my pack. But I am stuck. Sitting here drinking a chai, feet propped up and well…I guess I am resting!! What I am really thinking is,”oh my god..I am really gonna do this! I am really gonna hike the Pacific Crest Trail! This is awesome shit!!” As my friend WhyNot!? just said to me…” it’s healthy to feel apprehensive right now…its important to feel respect for this journey.” I remember back when one of my daughters was learning to surf. I mentioned to a friend about her fear. He said it is good to have healthy fear (respect) for something like the ocean. I suppose it is the same for the trail. There is a lot of unknown out there. Even though its been hiked for many, many years, each year; each day is a little bit different. 

It’s kinda like pre race jitters. I have certainly had my share of those. I remember so clearly. Walking up to that starting block. Stepping up. Shaking the kinks out of my arms and legs. Awaiting that starting blast. Fear and expectation as I am standing on block #4. One of the faster blocks. The gun goes off. I dive. Did I false start? No. Go. Hard. Swim.  But this isn’t a race. It won’t be over in a couple minutes. I am not 12 years old. I am 57. I can do this.summit

The aches and pains have begun to pop up. The low back starting to ache. A bruise on the bottom of my foot. A cavity I think needs repair. Cookies. I will make my favorite Paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe. This will take some time. Prepare. Bake. Eat. Procrastinate.

I have been down to the ocean three times already today. Breathing in the oceans swell. Letting it fill me with powerful energy. A black crow visited me again this morning. This time I got her crowing on my smartphone. Perhaps I can interpret it. I have been told to listen deeply. I think I will carry it with me. I believe perhaps she is one of my spirit animals. She has crossed my path 6-7 times in the past week. I am listening.IMG_2130

Deep sigh. What haven’t I done? Should I re-evaluate the contents that will soon fill my pack. Has the base weight risen due to panic packing? They say we pack our fears. I believe this. I have added an extra beanie. Then removed it. The  zpack mittens have entered and exited my pack many times over the past couple days. The pink  long sleeve zip-up ice-breaker is sitting on the edge of the table. In or out? Orthotics,  tyvek, extra leggings, camp sandals, umbrella….ahhhhh!!!! Here I go again. Questioning myself. 

It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows great enthusiasm and great devotion; who spends him/herself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he/she fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his/her place shall never be with this timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” Theodore Rossevelt

and another challenging moment






3 thoughts on “pre-race jitters

  1. Better to start with a few extras and send them home or bounce ahead, than be regretful on day 1, 2 or 3. Course it’s still a dance of weight. You survived Patagonia, you can survive the SoCal desert. I’m jealous you get to hike with WhyNot. Enjoy the journey, each step, each mile, each new view . . .

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