I’m training for the West Coast Trail hike with my daughter in July. It’s a multi-day backcountry excursion that I am presently ill-prepared for. Nonetheless, a few times a week, I pop on my backpack (loaded up with 20-30 pounds of stuff) and wander up and down hills, trails, and even town.

I need to work up to 40 pounds, which seems a stretch at this moment, but I figure every week I’ll just add a few more groceries to my pack and maybe it won’t seem so bad. ‍

Learnings are coming even before the trip and as usual, the lessons mimic life quite closely.

For example:

The correct gear – bag size and fit are so important; if this strap is too tight and that one is too loose it can have a horrible impact on your body and ability to carry your gear for a long period.  And don’t even get me started about correct footwear! This makes me things about the resources we have for the jobs we do, both at work and at home.  

Do you have what you need? 
Is there something you need to ask for? 
Is there something you need to get for yourself?

The correct amount of gear – not enough and you won’t have the supplies you need for warmth, shelter, and sustenance; too much and the weight will slow you down or even make it impossible to finish.  Everything you pack means you leave something else behind – ie do you want an extra pair of socks or that inflatable pillow – you can’t take both.

Is there something you need to let go of/get rid of?
Everything comes at a cost – every ‘yes’ you say, means a ‘no’ somewhere else and vice versa.

The Correct Plan – Choosing a hike that is challenging but doable. Not too busy – but not too deserted. We must research, plan and have a plan b, c and d.

What do you need to learn to do?
What do you need to do more research on?
The Correct People – We are going with another Mother-Daughter team, we will have to put a lot of faith and trust in each other both before and during or adventure.

Who do you want on your team?
Who do you want riding shotgun?

Who needs to move to the back seat?
Who needs to ride on the bus, in the other direction?

When I take off my pack, I feel so free and light and everything seems so easy.

Is there one thing you are tolerating that you can get rid of that will make everything else a little easier to bear?

People want to talk to me when I’m carrying a pack. I know I’m just in training but strangers think I’m on a big excursion and are eager to find out where I’m from and where I’m headed. I’ve been thinking I should maybe make up a good story.

Your life is your story; your book; your movie.

What are you going to write in the next chapter, the next scene?

I’m sure I will continue to learn as my training progress, in the meantime, I invite you to sit with a question or two as you plan for your Q2* excursion.

To your revitalization, Steph

Stephanie  Staples

Stephanie Staples

Your Revitalization Specialist

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