With my marathon goal reached and countless miles traversed on difficult trails, it is time to break boundaries. In three days I begin a fastpack of the entire historic Rota Vicentina through southern Portugal. I will be entirely disconnected from my medical care. I have ongoing mild graft host disease affecting every system in my body. There is no medication that will improve my situation, so I don’t take any. I will be traveling solo, with all my possessions in a 20 liter, 12 pound ultralight running pack.
How and why?
How: Hard choices. Effort. Planning. Letting go. Embracing the grace and beauty of epic failure.
Why, from my earlier post:
I am doing it for myself, for the indescribable joy of experiencing the essence of humanness. I am doing it for those who can’t, and for those who think they can’t. I am doing it because I love dirt and hate pavement. I am attempting this in the name of love, truth, grace, and beauty, which is the reason why I do nearly anything in my spartan and highly distilled life.
I have called out to the universe to tell me that survival and physical accomplishments don’t put me in a tiny demographic. The response has been silence. So I might as well just continue creating my own demographic, my own universe, and see what happens. This then is my own social movement, even if it is a social movement of one. But I know this: There are people facing dire circumstances right now who need to know what I am doing. I have lived in their hell, a place where one cries each day with desperation and aches for some tether to the world of possibility. So if you are reading this, pass on my story to them. They, along with the rest of the world, need to know that everything coming from me is the truth, and not a staged version of the real thing. Apparently that reflects a tiny demographic as well.
There is no doubt. It is definitely time to go.
Beginning 22 January, I will be posting daily from the trail through my NEWS link and social media.
I believe that how I begin and end my day defines the rest of it. Consequently, how I begin my year will probably define my next few months of living.
I began my last day of 2017 waking up to a glorious open desert surrounded by my own personal detritus, the debris of two weeks camping in the Mojave desert. It was four wheel drive to Chiriaco Pass and the instant rush of Interstate 10, then hurtling through downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, past iconic exits like Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon. I stopped at the ocean on an absolutely crystalline late morning and stuffed myself on organic crème brulee French toast and fruit. Then to San Luis Obispo to give myself Christmas at my favorite running store in the nation. I pulled into my brother’s driveway at 6 pm, in my two-week wrinkles and dirt, and walked into a crab feast and a full house of friends. I woke up with the coyotes and ended the day among good people sharing their wit and stories of travel
I am beginning my first day of 2018 right now, typing this. I woke up in my favorite bed in the world, in my beloved Airstream, and cranked up the Plimsouls from 1983. “A Million Miles Away", an extra strong press of my favorite coffee, a huge slice of pizza, and now I am off to burn calories and sweat my way into the new year. I am ready for whatever.