Here we go off the Deep End

There comes a point in any difficult journey where your perceived limits are tested and you question your ability to go on. Runners call it ‘hitting the wall’; climbers call it ‘the crux’.

As you push through, you discover the barrier was merely psychological; your body is much stronger than you realized. When you do this once, it is a fine personal achievement. If you do it repeatedly, day after day, something very unusual happens.

For me this occured while hiking the Appalachian Trail through Massachusetts. The mental and physical fatigue had pegged the scale so long it became irrelevant. The monotony of the trail produced an hypnotic, trance-like state where I no longer felt my legs moving. My personality faded away and my defenses disappeared. All that remained was a soul with flesh and bones in constant forward motion.

In this altered state, I could see myself as raw and unfiltered, but I also saw something else. For me it was like a compass telling me I was headed on the right path. The moment quickly passed but I knew something had changed deep inside my psyche. That day I realized the most incredible part of this journey was not exploring new geographic places; but a quest for discovering new inner landscapes.

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