Mind, body, trail…

Over the past 3 months I’ve been developing my own theory for successful hiking. Why is it that some days are great, and others we simply long to crawl into our tent at the end of it? My theory is based on three elements that must cooperate and work together like a team – your mind, your body, and the trail. The mind must stay focussed to instruct the body, the body must listen to and obey the mind, and the trail (although we have no control over it) must stimulate and motivate the mind and look after the body. At the start of each day I chant this little mantra to myself before setting off, ‘mind, body, trail; mind, body, trail’. If all three can work together it will be a good day.

Today the trail messed with the body, the body complained to the mind, and the mind got angry with the trail. It was not a healthy hiking combination, and finally the pain of the body became so great that the mind broke down. (Be warned below is another video of me crying, AGAIN).

I continued to hike on, not because I’m a tough, but because there really was no alternative. I went for another mile before I couldn’t go any further, then sat on the ground, pulled out my packet of Fritos corn chips, and stuffed my face while I massaged my hip. I don’t know if it was the distraction of the chips or the massage, but when I got up to hike again it felt a lot better. The burning, shooting pain had stopped and I could walk somewhat comfortably. At least I’ve found a short term solution that will hopefully get me to Ashland where I’ll need to have it looked at.

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The last 6 miles to Paradise Lake where I planned to camp were some of the steepest since Yosemite. The trail and mind were at odds but luckily the body was cooperating again. I made my 26 miles to the lake by just after 8pm and was relieved to have enough light to set up camp and eat before darkness rolled in. I’m a lot more nervous at night since the mountain lion incident which is a real shame. My ears prick up at every sound and I generally avoid leaving my tent once it’s dark. I still cowboy camp, but not at established campsites. I think I ‘hear’ things now like I sometimes ‘see’ things on the trail, which end up being complete hallucinations or generally tree branches or rocks that look like people or foreign objects.

I couldn’t hear the spring I’m camped near before, but suddenly it sounds like it’s right outside my tent. I was sure someone was setting up camp right near me only to find nothing when I poked my head outside, and just now I thought I heard a woman’s voice. I may need to get the specialist to check my head when I get my hip looked at!

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11 thoughts on “Mind, body, trail…

  1. Get to Ashland girl and get that leg/hip/back issue looked at and consider some Zeros. Excruciating is probably the best word for the pain – and the video – the pain is transferred around the globe and we feel it deeply with you. Looking forward to a happy 1min30 soon !!!!

  2. Hi Rozanne! It’s Patricia, who you helped off the trail after my severe fit of acrophobia .. Thanks for the kind words on your blog! Boy, do I know about that mind-body connection… Unfortunately, I know about hip pain too. Please hang in there until you get to Ashland, then have them check out hip bursitis or the possibility of a hip stress fracture. You’ve been doing a lot of miles, girl! I’ll be waiting to hear how it goes. If you need any help at all with anything, I come up to Ashland almost every week and it would be glad to do whatever I can. You may just need a few days rest! Here’s hoping! Cheers!

    • Patricia! So good to hear from you! Can you suggest where I should get my hip looked at on short notice? Would be good if they could do something to fix it, not just diagnose the issue. I’m really glad you connected with me and I’ll definitely let you know if I need a hand up in Ashland. You rock, thanks so much! 🙂

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your pain – I almost started crying myself watching that video… It is obvious that you are in a LOT of pain, so I second the suggestion to go and see a specialist. Pain can be horrible, and it is always better to take care of it before hiking on (says she who did not follow that advice when her foot hurt and kept on hiking for 17 days before having to stop for two weeks straight because of periostitis).
    Take care of yourself!
    Sending lots of strength and healing thoughts your way!

  4. Forgot to mention for medical care, it’ll be best to get to Medford from Ashland; however, you should be able to find a walk-in clinic in Ashland to get diagnosed. Maybe by doing this stretches several times per day, you won’t need to see a doctor though. Best of luck, my hip feels your pain!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with the many who are following your blog. Your words of joy, of pain, of sweat and dirt are followed not only by family and friends, but also strangers like me who are inspired by what you are doing and will complete. My interest began last year when my son walked some of the way, but sadly had to leave the trail for reasons not related to his journey, and hopes to return to start again and complete. With best wishes from Cape Town.

  6. Hi darling, I felt so helpless, seeing you there in this excruciating pain. Not good to push your body that hard, hopefully you have it looked at in Ashland. The Trail is calling you to hike on it. The Mind is thinking about finishing it. The Body was nearly forgotten and is now calling out to you to slow down a little. Take on all the good advice. I wish you lots of strength darling, love Mutti xxoo

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