Monday, September 15, 2014

71. Hiking On After A Long Break

"I'm setting up the tent," I said definitively, dropping my pack to the ground, and then spasming all of my limbs outward in a flurry of flailing arms and stomping feet. It was a little like when a horse twitches its entire body to try and dislodge all of the flies. This was never an effective way to get rid of mosquitos, but it was juuuust violent enough that it helped me get out the frustration of being lunch for 1,000 insects. 

"But it's only 10am," said Whistle, "Aren't we hiking on after this break?"

"Absolutely!" I said, unrolling the tent from its stuff sack and then whipping it around me like a matador, trying to scatter the new cloud of insects that had begun to swarm me. I set up the tent, without the rainfly, then dove inside it and zippered the mesh closed behind me.

"But I am going to enjoy this break even if it kills me," I sighed, stretching out and laying down on the floor of the empty tent. I offered for Dumptruck and Whistle to get into the tent as well, but expressed that they felt it would be too hot, and instead contented themselves with getting water from the creek in their water bottles them dumping them all over their heads.

We had already hiked a really good distance that day, but planned on doing more after 2pm or so. We waited out the mid-day heat in a small grove of trees, and I drifted off into a nap in my tent. 

Then later in the day, I had to make a decision. Well, really it wasn't much of a decision because we were planning on hiking on, and we were definitely going to go, but I still had to put in the mental and physical effort to put myself back together and keep going. I will be honest with you, dear reader, sometimes this was really hard. Sometimes the thought of just napping a whole day away seemed great. 

Except in those cases it wouldn't have been great, because it would have been avoidant. We took lots of zeros, and nearos, and deviated from our plans constantly. But those were all for fun reasons, or health reasons, or practicality. We hardly ever ended days early out of sheer laziness

But that didn't stop the lazy monster from trundling after me on the trail some days, drawling in it's ho-hum voice You could just stop here for the day, y'know.

When we did stop for long breaks on hot days, that was when it was hardest to ignore the lazy monster, to pick up and carry on even when, god forbid, it wasn't perfectly fun all the time. Therefore, it was always a little celebration victory when I was able to look the lazy monster in the eye and tell him that he was NOT the boss of me, and hike on. 

I think this carries over into a lot of our daily lives, too. I think it specifically applies to chores. They're rarely fun, but I always feel really good once I get up the energy to do them and get them done. Hiking the AT wasn't a chore, but some days it could feel that way, because of the weather, or not having the food I was craving, or walking through 10 spiderwebs in a row. On those days, defeating the lazy monster was a truly spectacular feeling, because it meant that I was commited, even when things weren't perfect. I knew all I had to do was keep hiking, and I'd get to a place that was where I wanted to be.

Even if that place was at the next trail town, sitting on a curb outside a gas station eating little debbie's pies, and not sharing any of it with the lazy monster.

Clever Girl

1 comment:

  1. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.