personal best.


35 miles in 5 days. I didn't doubt that I could do it (mark that up to being stubborn, and the deluded self confidence that comes with over-estimating my abilities). But, I wanted to like it. I wanted to be the kind of person who goes backpacking – one who seeks adventure, and climbs every mountain, and drinks water.

And yes there were times that I wanted to throw a little temper tantrum.  Like on the day we were supposed to be at our campsight after four miles on an "easy day" and we were only half way there. Or the night I slept with a water bottle pressed against my head to soothe the 16 seperate mosquito bites on my left ear.

I've picked out activities - and entire outfits - for the kind of person I want to be. A cart full of "healthy" at Whole Foods, a "care free" macrame t-shirt. These personas never stuck.

But, being in Yellowstone and breathing fresh air wasn't like that. I wasn't trying on a new persona with my new nylon pants. Instead I found something inside myself - something real and that had been there all along.  

I didn't feel like a new me. I felt like the best me.

[(photos) on ilford b+w film with pentax k1000. more on flickr.]

10 comments:

  1. the best me feels so, so good. i've been missing her lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me too. It's part of the reason set out to finally sort through all the small (but significant) things I learned on this trip.

      Lately I've been feeling like that line from the movie You've Got Mail (hopeless romantic alert ...) : "Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts--your arrogance, your spite, your condescension has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and walking away, you zing them? 'Hello, it's Mr Nasty.' "

      Delete
  2. Congratulations! This is so amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really love this picture of you Sam. I can see that it IS the best you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda, I was surprised to discover that "the best me" has hair that looks like the top of a teapot.

      Delete
  4. "I didn't feel like a new me. I felt like the best me."

    Very much the sentiment I felt in climbing Mount Donner in Dundrum, Northern Ireland. And in spending three months abroad in Austria. There's nothing like the feeling that you set out to do something, leave behind your comfort zone, and accomplishing that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. you look like such a baller with your gear. oh man, i dont think theres any place in the world more inspiring that yosemite. im so happy you got a chance to spend some time there--i would give anything to swap a day in india for a day in yosem. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. i just reread this and noticed you were in YELLOWSTONE, not yosem. so i take back part of my previous comment, but then add that yellowstone is on my 2012 goal list of places to visit. its always looked like pure magic to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimia, Yosemite is a special place to me too! My family and I camped there every year for fifteen years. Now that I've gotten the hang of the backwoods I'd like to go again and experience it in a different way.

      I highly recommend Yellowstone (although there are few things in the world that compare to the view of Half-Dome)

      Delete
  7. sam- im planning a trip to yellowstone! id love your advice! lets talk soon!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for commenting, Darling Reader! I read + love each and every one of them. (Anonymous commenting has been turned off due to robots)

ashore All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger