Solo Steps

A group from work was supposed to do the Piestewa Peak hike to the top today but it was cancelled for reasons I’m still not fully clear on.

So I decided to hike it by myself. I haven’t hiked in a few weeks and I want to keep the momentum going!

I woke up early this morning and took care of my budget type things and got the dogs situated (sidenote: I have one dog, I’m dog sitting for a friend) and then got on my hiking clothes and off I went.

When I got there parking was a nightmare. But I circled around another time and found a spot. Because I wasn’t going to drive for thirty minutes just to turn around and go home without having hiked.

This is the view of the beginning of the trail from the parking lot:
wpid-20140405_080908.jpg

Off I went towards the trailhead.

Up I went on the path!

I noticed that I was walking faster and with more confidence. I have more trust in the strength of my legs and that helped a lot.

I passed the first rest area without resting.

I stopped at the second rest area to take a photo:
wpid-20140405_081824.jpgThen I noticed I was getting shaky and afraid just standing there. But I went upward. Up and up.

Then, suddenly…it was like I hit a wall. I was in the middle of this one stretch of rocks and I just froze. I couldn’t go any further. The thought of doing so terrified me. I sat down. That didn’t help. I started wondering what would happen to me if I fell. Who would help me? What would happen? I was alone on a trail that scares me and it hit me and I got all up in my head about it.

Naturally, I wasn’t really alone. There were people everywhere. They just weren’t with me. They don’t know me. I don’t know them.

I managed to scoot down to a flatish area and I sat down and suddenly I was crying. I felt like an idiot.

A nice lady that calls herself Grandma Sandy saw me and asked it I was OK and I told her I was afraid of heights so she offered to walk down with me. She was awesome and sweet and called us Sandy and Andy and even though I hate being called Andy I let her because she was just so kind.

I walked faster down the trail than I have before and I realized that on trails like this, I still need the support of other people. And I’m not sure how I’m going to work around that.

wpid-20140405_082412.jpgThis is part of the trail. I went higher than this. This is an average portion, I would say. There are some that are rougher, there are some that are easier. This one is pretty average.

The terrain still scares me, I guess. And I kinda hate that. And I really hate that I don’t have a really good, reliable support system locally or a group of friends. It stinks. I’m feeling it today a lot after this fear attack.

I have really awesome, support people in my life and they are all thrown about the country and world. And that’s great! I love them. But according to all sorts of research a healthy person also has that locally. And I don’t.

I’m being morose. This is not the place for that.

So, I’m trying really hard to view this as a win. Because on my first solo hike I didn’t go to an easy trail that I knew I could hike just fine and dandy on my own. I went to one that scares me. And I did make it a decent way up the trail. I was likely a bit over half way to the furthest I’ve gone with the work girls. So that’s a good thing! I managed to do that much on my own! And I can keep pushing myself and I can keep going further.

I have to learn to be the voice of kindness to myself. Have that be my first voice instead of the one I have to remind myself to use.

I did a solo hike on a trail that scares me today. I win.

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One thought on “Solo Steps

  1. I love that last line! Even without your issues with height, solo trekking is not without moments of doubt and fear. It is overcoming those things that makes going alone so special, because we find that we can in fact rely on ourselves. No matter how many times I travel into the backcountry alone I still have those moments and I think that is part of the reason I keep going out there 😉

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