When I came to Iceland, I suffered from a stupid condition called self-doubt. This is probably the most dangerous condition for a thru hiker. So much of completing a grand task, such as walking across a country, is dependent on your mental drive. I’ve never let other's doubts phase me, in fact, I’ve always used it for motivation… at least there’s one positive we can glean from being a stubborn young lady. But man oh man, my confidence was down from the very start. I listened to the criticism… what a dangerous thing to do.
Day three and I considered giving up.
What happened? Well, I lost my sunglasses, of course. It was a sign, I just knew it. He was right, I must not be prepared.
Native Eyewear sent me to Iceland with a new set of shades and they were simply awesome. I’ve never worn glasses before, this was my first pair. You see (pun intended), my eyelashes are too long and I need to make eye contact with just about every person I come across, something all the ex’s struggled with, but hey, that’s me. Also, one of my favorite things in life is squinting at the sun. Sure, it might sound funny to you, but I love the feeling of warm yellow rays kissing my face! Yum! Since my eye whites started getting foggy, I became a sunglasses wearing woman. It was great! It felt like I was on drugs with the intense polarized color. Why didn’t you guys tell me about this before?
It was my first challenging off trail haul when I realized they were gone. All the fears and doubts came flooding across my cheeks. He was right, I’m ill-prepared. I’m never going to make it. I’ve already lost my glasses… I’ll surely die in the tundra if I continue. I prayed to Thor that night, and asked him to give me a sign if I should quit.
The next morning, I woke up to a lecture given from myself to me. It went something like this: First of all young lady, remember your 14 day rule! You are expected to lose things and struggle right now. You’re getting back into the groove. No giving up so quickly. Secondly, it’s a freaking pair of sunglasses! No big deal, this happens all the time, you can get a new pair in town tomorrow if you really need them. You will survive. Third on todays list, since when have you ever listened to criticism? Even worse, since when have you internalized this nonsense and let it get you down?! Girl, you need to remember who you are. You’ve hiked over 5,500 miles in the past 2 years… starting with ZERO experience, you did it all alone, unsupported and without any financial help. How many thru hikes? Exactly. You taught yourself how to ride a motorcycle in Asia and crossed 3 countries without injury. You’ve got your degree baby, when your high school PE teacher told the class that you would be a drop out raising kids out of a car on welfare. You aren’t going to pull the weak card this easy. Get your ass out of the sleeping bag and go hike. Its a beautiful day. No time to waste. Come on baby girl, you can do it. Let me see that smile.
Well damn it, I did it. I turned off the GPS to work on my navigation skills and was spot on. I marched myself over a volcano as proud as an ox. There was a sea of tourists below in the parking lot on the Southside of Krafla. It sure felt good to arrive on foot. What a sight I must have been for them, and them for me. Onward through the gorgeous braided lava fields... Spectacular. It was hot and sunny all day long, and then suddenly, I was plummeted by a quick and forceful hailstorm. It only lasted 20 minutes but you better believe it had me skipping like a child with an ear to ear grin. Onward with the rainbows... I'm telling you, a minimum each day of two or three. I danced the final mile into my resupply point at Reykjahlíð. Booked the last room in the village and fell asleep with some newfound strength. You got this Bloody Mary, you're even 1.5 days ahead of schedule.