CAVEAT: If you have no interest in hearing about Half Dome you should avoid my blog at all cost until around October 8th. It’s pretty much all I’m going to be talking about from here until the trip is over and sufficiently documented.
For the record, I am no longer on the ledge. Thank you Steve, and all my other friends for your kind and encouraging words.
Of course, once again, I am at a loss for words. I think that being at home gives me writer’s block or something.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Half Dome (duh) and this whole thing is turning comic to me. I’ve wanted to hike this piece of rock for over ten years. What has always held me back was the fact that I was out of shape and over weight. I always told myself that I was going to get serious about getting back down to (at least close to) my dancing weight. I was going to train serious and get some hiking skills.
It never happened.
Now, in eleven days, I am going to attempt this thing. I will at least go further than I have ever attempted to go before, and I am in the absolute worst shape of my life! I am embarrassed to admit I weigh the most I have ever weighed ever. Working two jobs, I am the least active I have ever been. And here I am, going to do what I feel is the physically hardest thing I have ever done so far in my life. This is going to be harder than my previous metric centuries (62 mile bike rides)
Of course now I have this crazy paradox going on in my head. I want to only think positive, think success. I visualize myself on top of that rock, crying tears of happiness (you know me, big crybaby), dancing on top of my world (for now), singing Solsbury Hill. At the same time, I want to assure myself that if I don’t make it all the way, it’s not the end of the world. Yet, I feel that telling myself that, I’m sabotaging myself and setting myself up for failure. So, having said that, I CAN do this, I WILL make it to the top (and back down).
In my moments of weakness, I am scared. I am going to go semi-nerd on you for a second. I cannot accurately describe the scene because I am not a Ringer, but if you’ve seen Return of the King, you should be able to piece it together and get what I am trying to say. It’s the scene where Theodin and the army come to the aid of the city of Gondor. The army comes over the ridge and looks down on the freaking huge Orc army laying waste to the city. The emotion I am talking about is the look you see on Eowyn’s and Merry’s faces. The look that clearly says, “Dear God in Heaven what the heck did I get myself into?” The look that says I want to turn and run away, and run away fast, but all the exits have been removed. After that look, Eowyn puts her arm around Merry and tells him, “Courage Merry, courage for our friends.” To me that statement says it all. It says, “we’re scared, but we’re going in anyways”. That’s exactly how I feel about this. I am scared, but I am going in anyways.
Yes, I know I am being melodramatic. That’s what I do. But you also know that you cannot roll your eyes at me and call me a drama queen because that will piss me off and I’ll go all Raiders on you and burn down your house. So just put your arm around me and say, “There there now, everything will be alright.”
I’ve created a special Half Dome playlist to give me inspiration as I am mentally preparing myself. It is music to inspire me to keep moving on my hike when I feel like I don’t have the energy to continue. I’ve even made a playlist I titled Panic Button, for if I should hit that brick wall. Unlike really hard bike rides, there are no rest stops with helpful volunteers willing to refill your water bottles, and DEFINITELY no broom wagon to carry you back to the start when your body can’t go anymore. Well, there is someone who can come get you, but later you’ll get a bill in the mail for $20,000+ for the use of the medi-vac helicopter. All the food I will eat in 12-14 hours I’ll be carrying myself, and I will be carrying a water filter with me for when (not if) I need more water. For those of you who are not familiar with the route, the only source of safe water is at the bridge below Vernal Falls, 0.8mi into the hike. When more is needed, it must be filtered from the Merced River.
So, in conclusion of this evening’s rant, I share with you my playlist and my favorite youtube video of the hike.
Half Dome Playlist
Dare You To Move- Switchfoot
Viva la Vida- Coldplay (yes, I know the lyrics are sad, but the music is upbeat)
Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
Solsbury Hill- Peter Gabriel
Right Now- Van Halen
Beautiful Day- U2
Don’t Break This Rhythm- Peter Gabriel
Where the Streets Have No Name- U2
Red Warrior- The Last Samurai- Hans Zimmer