Sunday, March 18, 2012


The thru-hiking season is almost upon us. Woo-Hoo!!! 
This means different things to different people. For some, it means scrambling to purchase last minute gear and make arrangements to get down to the California/Mexico border in a month's time. For others  - read trail angels - it means helping hikers through a variety of means, including giving rides, stocking (and re-stocking) water caches, and feeding hungry bellies along the trail. And for the rest of us, it means reading trail journals while crafting the plans for our own thru-hikes (or just passing the time while at our cubicles). 

I happen to fall in the latter category of folks. As such, I will once again attend the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) as a wannabe (organizers' term, not my creation - though fitting), to chit-chat with past, present and future thru-hikers, as well as check out all the new gear, watch trail related movies and attend trail related talks. 

I am very much looking forward to attending the Kick Off party again this year because last year, when I attended this remarkable event for the first time, I got WAY more out of it than I could have ever imagined. I was blown away by the nice, caring, friendly, passionate and courteous people of the thru-hiking kula (Sanskrit for community, or community of the heart). Attending that event restored my faith in humanity, as I was glad to acquaint myself with those people and to know that people like them do in fact exist. They take genuine interest in their fellow hikers and are willing to help out in any way possible. I am very proud to be part of that kula!

As great as those people are, I am also lucky to have another delightful kula in my life - my yoga kula. I am grateful for the people I have met through yoga because they too are very genuine, passionate, benevolent people. 

I truly believe that the people we associate with are an extension of ourselves, and that those same people play a major role in our growth and development. So if you have any plans of thru-hiking the PCT, CDT, AT or any other long distance trail, I suggest you attend events catered to, and for the benefit of, like-minded enthusiasts - and hopefully meet a few wonderful people too. (FYI - if you plan to attend the ADZPCTKO, registration is now open.) If thru-hiking is not for you, consider participating in trail maintenance projects. You will have a chance to meet great people while simultaneously providing a valuable service. And if that's not your cup of tea either, you might want to give yoga a try. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself and whom you might meet. 

“The Koi fish grows in proportion to its environment. If you keep it in a pail of water, it grows only 2 inches. But if you let it loose in the wild it can grow up to 2 feet.” ~Dr. Nido Qubein 

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