Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hitting the Wall

As anticipated, I have reached the juncture in this little expedition where I begin to question and rationalize my decisions.  And equally as anticipated I am very good at arguing the points of my own folly at taking on such a stress inducing endeavor.  I hate arguing with myself, mainly because I'm usually right.

It seems a simple choice; continue with the plan to go on the hike while potentially creating a grand crisis of finance along with a mountain of backlogged problems, or listen to my unbearably rational and intolerably logical inner voice and stay home.  I hate my inner voice by the way.

I am not going to bore the reader with the details of my inward turmoil, suffice it to say most of what vexes me are very real issues.  There are some bits of irrational anxiety there, but anxiety usually happens for a reason, real or imagined.  If the underlying cause is not resolved, the anxiety will only act to diminish the experience, and possibly hinder one in succeeding.  Many a trip has been spoiled while contemplating if one has locked the back door.

Here I stand at the crossroads.  My knees hurt, I am fat, I am old, and I really like sitting in my recliner watching TV and eating good food.  My life, and my perspective on it, have changed greatly since those days I dreamed of wandering about in the woods.  The challenge of it is not what it used to be.  Life has been my challenge and a really long hike is not likely to reveal any new secrets.  I know myself, and I know full well (baring random acts of the universe) I would make it.  I don't need proof of my competency.  I've grown to have confidence in my abilities and myself.  So what reasonable and valid purpose is there in doing it?

None that I can fathom.

But one might say there are plenty of other worthy reasons beyond self discovery.  Lose weight and get into shape?  From what I've learned, most thru hikers pack on the pounds faster at hikes end and  I can do that sitting down with a pint of Ben and Jerrys tonight if I wish.  Worse yet, I would be drastically increasing the risk of a crippling knee injury that would put me out of commission permanently, and I still have bills to pay.  Meet new people?  Been there, don't care for that.  See the great outdoors?  I can do that from my back porch.  Bragging rights that I did it?  Yeah, that's a load of self inflating BS I don't need.  If I had one leg or was blind, then sure I would have something worthy of bragging.

Or if I were doing something like this...

But I'm not.  I'm just walking.  Most folk from what I gather rarely spend more than a week or two actually out in the wood.  The "hike" is just a thing one does for a while between the next hostel and motel.  More than ever the "hike" has become a humdrum thing.  No adventure and little more risk than getting into ones car for the daily commute.

With little meaningful purpose to push me along the trail or a genuine goal other than "because it is there," or a sense of doing something few have managed to accomplish, it becomes just another hamster wheel for me to run in, and I hate hamster wheels.

I may do it, I may not.  Stay tuned for further self deliberation.

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