Dirt tends to highlight scars and my feet are quite dirty and quite scared. I have accrued a decent number of injuries over the course of my life and most of them to my legs and feet. The important ones being my left ankle has not really worked properly since birth. With odd pain syndromes starting as I overused it dancing growing up. After an explorative surgery, the severity has lessened, but occasionally it’s an issue. The more notable injury is perhaps that I 3rd degree burned both my feet three years ago. Doing what? Deep frying Milkyway bars… sigh. They have healed remarkably though the skin is still a little sensitive. These are my feet and are what I hope will carry me the length of the PCT.
I started the PCT with a base level of fitness, maintained mainly through climbing, occasional running and hiking and sporadic yoga and dance classes. I tried to train. Read all about good training methods and yet did not consistently stick with any of them.
On the PCT
So I began the PCT quite unsure of what I could do. I did not know how many miles I walked an hour while hiking or how many breaks I liked. You find these things out fast though on the trail.
To my surprise, I walked about 3 miles an hour, taking a break about once an hour. And I could do 20 miles a day. The first days felt pretty great. There were however little pains. My hipbelt on my pack rubbed painfully day one. Leaving my hips burning with even a brush, but that soon faded. A few hot spots threatened to become blisters and some of them did, but none in too bad a place to cause problems.
I managed to dance my way to the office at the Lake Morena Campsite night one, but after trying today, following a week of 20mile days, I most certainly have lost the ability to dance. More serious pains in my ankles and calves have made some days challenging but luckily those too have passed.
It is beautiful that here your body is no longer put on the backburner. Whatever is going on is important because it means getting you further down the trail. The body is one of the most important things out here. Hiking alone one morning, I tell my body it is loved and appreciated and how impressed I am with what is possible. I say it because I am and my body is what consumes many of my thoughts on trail, whether hunger, strength or pain. I listen to all if these things, away from the city I must listen. We shall see how it goes further down the trail!!
“This article originally appeared on The Trek. You can read it here“.