Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes we need reminders

It's easy to fall back into the usual habits, rituals, and comfort zones.  In all of my Antarctica prep and school work, I often forget how just 3 months ago I was knee deep in river fords and gazing across glacially carved valleys at breathtaking mountain-sides.  Our bodies and minds can so easily forget highs and lows.  It seems we have a tendency to sort of "average" an experience over whatever time period it was done in.  In other words, the entire summer of 2010, just like the summer of 2007, will be remembered fondly as a great experience walking along the PCT.  Somewhere in there though, are the subtleties, the peaks and valleys, that make the experiences we all have so unique.

Last week I ordered some PCT stuff online just to have my usual stash of paraphernalia:  patches, water bottle, etc.  I got to thinking about this photo I have on my desk at school.  It's a framed photo from my Katahdin summit on the AT.  I look at the picture a lot while I'm sitting there, toiling away on some proposal or something.  It helps me to remember what can be accomplished when we have pure determination.  Much like I stated after finishing the Leadville 100:

"Inside each and every one of us is an infinite well.  An infinite well of determination, drive guts, grit, and will.  At any point we can tap this and accomplish things that we would normally think to be impossible. We just have to believe, and that well is endless.  When you need more, you just dig deeper.  Each of us can do more than we think we can, and is capable of more than we think we are."

So "lest I forget" I decided in lieu of another framed "finish" picture at work, that I would make something that I would see everyday, that would remind me of what I'm capable of...when I believe.

Every morning when I sip my coffee I will see two things:

1.  My motto, anthem, and motivator while I hiked the PCT:
       "to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield..."
Tennyson's quote that symbolizes for me, the drive to keep going, discover new places and adventures, and to never give up.  Also, these words are forever inscribed under the memorial of Robert Falcon Scott...the polar explorer who lost his life while trying to best Roald Amundsen in the race to the South Pole.

2.  My reason for pushing myself like I do...
      "...and not when I come to die, discover that I had not lived..."
Thoreau's quote that reminds us all, that we had better get to living....and not have any regrets when our time does come.

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