Well, what should I say? I mean, something so deep in me is changing and I can't quite pinpoint it yet. I am excited at the progress I've made, and I am a little behind schedule because I slowed down a bit to start trying to enjoy the finer things of the hike like the days in town, the friendships and the social side of the hike. I have started caring less and less about the milestones, mile markers, the percentage I have finished from some insignificant point. Instead, I am focusing on what I have learned, still need to learn, and what can I do to make each day as awesome as the last. What it is I can do to sustain the level of happiness I find out here. I try to burn those lessons and thoughts into my brain, to make them routine so that after this adventure is over and I am moving on to my next endeavor, that I can maintain a level of happiness even when not everything is in my favor.
So as it is, I have hike 706 miles on the trail, and dozens and dozens more off trail, in towns, and searching for water. I am now DONE with the So*Cal section, out of the desert, the high desert, the sand and the sun. No more constant fear of rattlers, no more cactus and desert rose and yucca and schitzo lizards. I can't say I'll miss it: I passed it's tests, I've respected it in the best way I know. I have shed my blood, sweat and tears to get through with a smile. (well not blood, I haven't bled yet, and nobody makes me bleed my own blood....nobody) Now I have hiked over 25% of the way from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. 25% is just an arbitrary number though, it really describes nothing but that I am actually making progress. I am happy with myself mentally, and physically for getting stronger. I am the healthiest I have ever been. I no longer hate looking at myself in the mirror, even though my body still looks pretty much the same, it feels so much different. Mentally, I am so proud of my progress. There have been some difficult days. There have been distractions from home, thoughts of the past often lead to getting down on myself, learning to live in the present and look forward to the future rather than worry about the past and dwell on negative thoughts and situations out of my control is becoming easier and easier to do. I have an amazing support crew, I have so many people to thank and I truly appreciate all the support. Knowing that I somehow can inspire other people simply by just trying to live my own life and better myself feels so good and I can't wait until I can sit down with some of you and share some time so I can relay my thanks in person.
In less than 5 days I'll summit Mt. Whitney. For the 2nd time in my life. To stand at the elevation of 14,504 feet with my brother and father was one of the greatest moments of my life, but walking on my own two feet from Mexico back up there should be truly amazing as well!
Thank you all for everything!!