I spent the first two weeks of July trekking with a small group from Damascus to Harper's Ferry on the AT. You could call it vacation -- it had that immersive quality that allowed most of my routine "life" to temporarily evaporate. For an average of about 10 hours per day I was consumed with the task of locomoting myself across beautiful - but difficult - terrain as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even the downtime was demanding: hydrating, re-fueling, packing for the next day, pitching camp, and finally recovering. All that focus is quite compelling. I asked one of my comrades in the adventure, Troy, why we put ourselves through so much difficulty. His response? This is when I feel most alive.
Maybe that's why coming back to regular life requires some adjustment -- and not just because I'm gimpy from tendinitis. So far I've just tried to switch modes completely. I haven't even tried to reconcile the world I lived in for the past two weeks with the world I normally live in. Like my son after his "Summer Scholars" camp, I am wishing it was next year already and I was in the midst of the 2013 Tour De Virginia. I keep wanting to tweak the stages and get the plan laid out, even though I have more pressing things to do. I want to process the 2012 Tour and write some kind of report, but I haven't been able to get the distance to even begin to really assimilate the experience. So let me just say that will be forthcoming...
For now -- I think I can say that I'm well enough. Nearly every required system responded to the demands I placed on it. I felt better than anticipated. My energy stayed high throughout almost every day. That has to be thanks in part to the help of my brother James who had everything we needed ready for us at the end of each stage. My feet did remarkably well. My other comrade Anne had horrific blisters starting from the first day. I had no blister issues (thanks to top-quality socks from Swiftwick and trail shoes from TheAidStation). I did fall more than I would have thought -- 5 times -- with some painful scrapes and bruises. Troy fell once, but he fell hard. Anne fell 13 times, with obvious and painful abrasions to show for it. I think we will all heal in short order and get on track for our next round of adventures -- whether they are escapes from, or approaches to -- real life.
Quite the adventure, Eric. Many of us enjoyed following it from the posts along the way. You really doing it again in 2013?ReplyDelete
Eric is working on the 2013 tour details today. Though he is still having difficulty walking one week after the end of the 2012 Tour, he's looking ahead to next year. Can I say . . . . crazy?!ReplyDelete
That was Robin's comment above.ReplyDelete
Again next year? Hmm...ReplyDelete
Good to know you're still trying to collect your thoughts... I find myself in the same state. How does one wrap up this endeavor??? I've literally dreamt about it every night, and find myself there mentally still.ReplyDelete
It sounds pretty interesting that you spent a lot time there. Specially that you took your body to the limit.ReplyDelete