So I’ll start with the good news. I woke up in the hostel this morning to see a winter front strongly blowing through Big Bear. Strong winds, snow, sleet…so glad we pushed through last night and we weren’t out in that. The weather is expected to stay pretty cold this week, so hopefully it will at least be dry. This is definitely a hike of extremes!

Sorry, no picture today..I spent most of the day with my computer and catching up on correspondence and posting my videos and pics from the past section. Definitely embodied the name “Wired” today! These zero days are supposed to be relaxing and I’ve actually managed to work myself up into a pretty good anxiety attack as the day has gone on. I tend to expect a lot from myself and it seems to have come to a head today.

Many things are getting me anxious. One is that I’m very much a details person and when I stop and get off the trail, I start to freak out about what needs to be done both for the trail and off the trail in my personal life. I’m a multi-tasker, so I’m never just focused on one thing. Being on the trail definitely calms me because I’m far enough removed from civilization that I can only concern myself with the basics of hiking. The problem is that when I get off, I seem to be overwhelmed with all I perceive there is to do!

One undue pressure I’ve put on myself is responding to all the comments on this journal. I love journaling and it has helped me feel okay about this trip because I’ve had a lot of guilt about it feeling selfish and irresponsible. Now that I’m able to share it and it has inspired so many, I’m able to hike more freely. It really is inspiring and motivating to read all of the responses and personal emails that I have been getting. I never expected such support and generosity from people I’ve never even met! I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to reply to almost all comments and emails and that has become overwhelming. That is on top of keeping in touch with the great community of family and friends that I have. I am going to tell myself from now on that it’s okay if I can’t reply to everyone and I shouldn’t try because I’m on the trail and everyone will understand that I can’t respond to everything. Don’t get me wrong, your comments are AMAZING and I LOVE reading them! I just won’t be able to respond as much as I would like and I’m going to have to not beat myself up about that.

The another part of my anxiety is my weight. I stepped on a scale today and have lost 6lbs, which is a lot for someone my size. When I get anxious or stressed, I don’t eat. When I was nauseous for a few days, I got nervous about not eating enough and that got me even more tense and less able to eat. I’ve always had this problem of not eating when I’m stressed, but not when I’m spending 12hrs a day expending an incredible amount of calories and energy. I’ve gotten myself in a bad cycle this past week of stressing about not eating enough and then being too stressed to eat. I’m just going to really make an effort to snack consistently through the day and hopefully, that hiker hunger will set in.

Another point of anxiety is that I have all this correspondence as soon as I get off the trail with my family, friends, and the journal…and then there were A LOT of hikers at the hostel I was at. All great people and definitely full of energy. I tend to find my own space away from it all cause I get drained by larger groups, but just even the conversation and activity around me can wear me out.

So, not exactly the zero I was hoping for, but I think I’ve found some good strategies for dealing with some of my worries and hopefully all will be good. I only have 4 days til my next town in Wrightwood where I will probably not take a zero and there is a popular trail McDonalds on the trail between here and there, so all looks good for fattening up!

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