It took me five months to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, five months to the date. I set out on my journey July 12th at the Hart's Pass trailhead and hiked the extra 30 miles up to the Canadian border, where I took my first poo (ever) in nature. Oh, I can remember it like it was yesterday. It's still hard for me to believe, but I reached the Mexican border on December 11th, 1:34 p.m. Alone, while still in great company. I've made some funny decisions in life, but this one takes the cake for BEST in show.
I learned more about myself than I could ever possibly share: that I am capable, I learned about these funny endorphins that release from physical activity, the sweet smell of pride that comes from miles of sweat, that yes, I care what people think and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. I learned to like myself... and that is a very valuable lesson, indeed.
I learned about the big beautiful outdoors: the high one gets from watching the sun rise and set every gift of a day, the unmatched taste of a beautiful water source, the perfect harmony in mother nature's web of life, that there is ALWAYS regrowth after a fire, that what goes down must come up, that the elements are far more powerful than you and me and they will forever win my humble respect.
I learned about others: my faith in humanity was restored... just as my mentor told me it would be. I learned that there are so many likeminded people out there but you have to get "out there" to find them, that people yearn to help, that we are similar... all of us, that there is far more good than bad, that judgements are silly (sometimes right, sometimes wrong), but very silly things. I learned that there may be one trail but many different journeys, stories and paths along the way.
The most important lesson is that we are incredibly capable beings. It all starts with a dream, a silly little dream. Most people who knew me thought my dream was crazy and I would crumble at one point or another. But I believed in my dream... and sometimes, that's enough. The lesson I want to share with you is to dream BIG, friends... dream big and believe in yourself. We have a very short time to get these dreams done. If we don't give them an honest attempt, at least we tried and have some great stories to share. Don't wait, dear, don't wait.