This is what hiking 2,000 miles feels like

Hiking 2,000 miles feels like waking up tired every morning, like eating the same food again and again until it loses all meaning. It feels like wondering with amazement when 20 miles became a short day. Like pushing yourself up the last climb of the day. Going faster and faster while your legs ache and sweat runs down your face and into your eyes, but you don’t slow down, you keep pushing because you’ve become so strong that you no longer know where your limit is, where the bottom of this energy sits and it feels good to dig way down deep, to where you forget what easy is and there is only the burning left.

And suddenly. Suddenly you’re at the top of the climb and the world erupts around you and a wave of endorphins threaten to overwhelm your more human side and you laugh away the urge to open up your throat to the heavens and howl. But the urge is there, it is right below the surface.

Hiking 2,000 miles feels like the merging of what you hoped would be and what is. Where you realize that you’re now doing all of the things you’d dreamed of when you planned this hike. All of those desires which you held at arm’s length, knowing that the odds for finishing the PCT are not in your favor and it would break your heart to admit to yourself how desperately you wanted this, only to not get it.

But now you’re here and it’s nothing like what you imagined, though all the better for it. Hiking 2,000 miles feels like making it to the playoffs, the final round of the spelling bee, it feels like the moment before the hero pulls off the big heist. You’re not there yet but you are so, so close. And if you can just be smart and lucky and hold your body together for a little longer, then you’ll make it. And that will be the best worst day of this whole thing.

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