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On overcoming fear, or, you know, not.

potrocksu

Yesterday I turned 32. This weekend has been epic and I want to share some of the shit that has been less than epic but super important:

Friday we went to Potato Chip Rock in Poway. 8+ miles on the trail, most of it a calf-screaming shit show on the way up. I haven’t hiked since we did the Trans Catalina Trail between Christmas and New Years. I almost barfed. But it was exactly what I needed after the dumpster fire that was Wednesday on the train.

And if you’ve seen my calves, you know they’re fucking EPIC but they were SCREAMING.

We got to the top, where the iconic Potato Chip Rock is, and I was excited to get my picture on it. A signal that I had, again, trusted my body to carry all of THIS (waving hands around my body) up that mountain. I already had captions for it in my head.

We got to the rock, and you have to climb a bigger rock first, jump over a crevice in the rock, to walk out onto the potato chip.

I got up the first rock just fine, but when I looked across the crack (which felt like the Grand Canyon, BTW), I couldn’t do it. I sat up there for probably 10 minutes.

“You’ve jumped out of a plane something like 700 times, but you can’t jump over to this rock?”

“The whole point of enduring the pain you did to get up here is to get the damn victory picture on the rock and you can’t even do that…”

And then I was like WHOA WHOA WHOA – “INSIDE MY HEAD VOICE” – SLOW IT DOWN. We don’t talk to ourselves like that around these parts.

And so I sat on the rock and had a little pep talk.

“That nice older woman just showed you how to do it. Legs here, hands there, pivot around the hands.”

“Why did I feel it was necessary to say she’s older? There’s a nice woman who just showed you how to do this.”

Nope, still stuck.

So I sit down again.

“What is my lesson here?”

Gentle nudge: “It’s okay to say no.”

But booooooody, if we do this, we will be triumphant! We can talk about overcoming fear!

Gentle nudge: “Or you can get your happy ass off this rock, let other people do their selfies, and be on your merry way, knowing you made it to the top and you don’t need the picture of you on the rock to prove it. You can validate yourself.”

YOU CAN VALIDATE YOURSELF.

And I realize the rock by itself is still me posting a picture at the top of a hike and could probably also be construed as some kind of posturing but this rock is symbolic of my boundaries.

And this rock will serve as my reminder that I can say no and I can validate myself.

Today is my first full day of my 32nd trip around the sun and I’m pretty fucking stoked about it. Massive board meeting today, assuming we can get out of bed. My legs are SORE you guys!

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