Like so many people, I fear the common things – spiders, snakes, heights… But, my biggest fear is the fear of failing. I hesitate or turn down opportunities because I don’t know if I can do what is being offered. I have dreamed up many ideas I would love to do, but let them go because the fear is debilitating at times.
I held off on hiking many years because I didn’t know where to go or how to get started. I was afraid of unknown results. Then one day after reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I decided that if I was ever going to do the things on my bucket list, I had to start and give things a try. I could no longer say someday or I wish. I had to start taking actions that would lead to the ends I wanted. I started hiking locally, and then I found out that I had family members, who had similar dreams. We started hiking and reaching some of those dreams together.
I still have those fears that grip me and hold me back at times, but I eventually find a way around them. I came to realize this year that part of my enthusiasm dropping in training was because of the fear. We had a five to six month trip planned to hike the Pacific Crest Trail hoping for a spring 2020 start. But, I slowed down on training, trips were difficult, fear gripped me when I talked about the trip. It turned out that I was afraid of failure and the unknown. I didn’t think I could be out on the trail for that long of a period and have the exertion required hiking so many days in a row. I didn’t know if I could manage to be away from home that long or what it could do to my marriage.
Now I have a new plan. That is to hike in large sections. I can still hike the PCT, but it would be done over a period of time. This summer we are planning to get at least 60 miles on the trail and in a year or so get Washington hiked in a summer or less.