„What the fuck were you thinking?“ „You should have taken it slow!“ “After 32 years you still haven’t learned anything?” “It’s all about balance girl!”While I lay on the couch with my left leg up the voices in my head are talking… loud… angry… all at once. Even putting my hands over my ears doesn’t help. It just gets worse.

“I know,” I think, “I know!” Balance’s never been something I am good at. And the voices are right I guess. After 32 years of living with and in this body (being this body) I should know better.
But now here I am, on the couch; as if my knee problem alone wasn’t enough to deal with, I now strained my muscles (really hoping I didn’t rupture the muscle fibre) in my left upper leg. I officially am a moron. I could punch myself in the frikkin face. I started doing more work outs and yoga to prepare for the PCT but apparently I did too much too fast… too too too. Why can I never take it slow?
While I lay here I feel anxiety growing. I’m scared . It overcomes me like a monster creeping up from behind, putting his hands around my throat, choking me… one moment slow and mean, another moment fast and brutal. “What if I can’t hike to Canada? What if it doesn’t get better? What if? What if? WHAT IF???”

It comes to me I always have to learn the hard way. I need to be more kind. I need to use my brains. I need to listen to my body. There is so much I need to learn. Life teaches me no matter what. Maybe it’s time I start learning lessons before they are forced upon me.
I try to remember “Have I always been a slow learner?”
I entered school at the age of five. Started studying in university at 17. And at the age of 21 I had my first masters’ degree in my pocket. So no, I wasn’t slow. But all these things were kinda forced upon me. Looking back the education system turned me into a robot. I functioned. Yes. I played the game well in terms of grades and degrees and shit no one ever cares about now. But the game didn’t do me good. The game we were all forced to play made me a very sad teenager, an unhappy twenty something. Constantly looking for the true meaning, constantly searching for a way that felt right.
I haven’t been kind to myself in the last 17 years. I haven’t been kind to my body, nor to my soul. There were times I almost starved my body to death, I didn’t wanna nourish it, not in a literal and not in a metaphorical way. My body was an “it” not a “me”.
In a way my JMT thruhike healed me. It healed my relationship with my body. And my knee injury taught me that I only have this one body, this one temple of my soul. I need to take care of it.
It’s kinda sad that it took me 30 years to finally realize I am beautiful, I’m fine the way I am, I am worth it to be alive
So yes maybe I am a slow learner. 
That’s why I am angry right now. Angry that I didn’t take better care. Angry that sometimes old patterns creep up and I turn into a robot. Angry that I’m angry. I know “being mad” is not the right way to deal with this. O how much longer will I need to calm the storm? To feed my hungry soul? To learn lessons with grace?
Storms always will happen sailing this sea of life. The question is how to sail, how to steer my ship. Do I go with the storm? Do I push right through? Or do I sail around?
I guess there is no standard answer. It all depends on the storm, it all depends on me.
I am scared. I really am. I hate this storm; this storm I created myself.
O dear… I need the calm after the storm… soon… please. 

12 thoughts on “Calm after the storm

  1. Gute Besserung! Heute war wirklich ein Sturm – ein Sonnensturm – falls dir das ein bisschen hilft, dürfte also so ein bisschen was “in der Luft” gelegen haben.. meine Yogastunden sind zum Teil auch ziemlich unrund gelaufen heute.. Liebe Grüße aus Ö! (hab deinen Blog erst vor paar Tagen entdeckt weil ich mich gerade ein bisschen mit dem Thema Fernwandern, noch theoretisch, beschäftige – super schöner Blog und seeehr schöne Foto Aufnahmen :-)).

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  2. It's January, you have time. Nice to get a stiff reminder now rather than in the trail. Moderation is not an easy word especially when curiosity causes us to seek what's around the next corner or atop the next ridge. I'm 55 and still learning. Was ready to cry uncle on a recent solo snowshoe outing that turned from a few hours into nearly 14 miles and a 10pm finish. Be patient and heal well.

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  3. Gute Besserung hoffentlich bald. Habe grade deinen blog entdeckt. Sehr toll!!! Ich weiß nicht, ob du das so denkst, aber falls du denkst: ich will das unbedingt schaffen, dann könntest du das ändern in: ich wünsche mir von ganzem Herzen, den PCT laufen zu können. alles Liebe Daisy – das ist mein Fahrradfahrer-Name. Den hab ich auch in den States bekommen…. aber ohne irgendwelche dramatischen Ereignisse.

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  4. That's a bummer! I am sure that you will get better soon though, and before you know it, you will be walking down the trail… taking in all of it's beauty… living life to the fullest, and loving every minute of it! Enjoy… 🙂

    ~Stick~

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  5. Forty years ago when I was living in San Francisco I learned about the Dolphin South End Running Club’s motto, which I remember as: “Start slow and taper off.” I have used it successfully to counteract my urge to do too much too soon ever since. I am using it again now since I just found out I have an August permit for the JMT! You are one of a growing number of people who have popularized the JMT, and made it harder to get a permit. But, you are also one of the people who brought it to my attention, so, Thank You.

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    • Ah yes Kelly, there are always those two sides of the medal. Long distance hiking and trailrunning have become more popular, and indeed I think so too partially because of the internet, blogs, media. On the one side the trail suffers under the increasing number of hikers, on the other side I believe time in nature and wilderness induces a deeper nature connection and relationship which people might not have had before. I hope that that connection, that understanding, makes people take better care of this earth, practice LNT not only on trail but also in daily life. I wish you an amazing hike on the JMT (congrats on getting a permit! I heard it’s become very difficult this year to get one), it is sooo beautiful. Take it easy and enjoy every step of it!!! Happy trails to you!!! Cat

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