Monday, June 13, 2016

Try Again; Fail Again; Fail Better

 Every morning when I head to work I can see the North Fortuna Trail looming in the distance. It is a prominent beige line on the ridge that eventually disappears into a cleft on the summit. Everyday I look at it and wonder if I'll ever get get myself back on the peaks. Will I ever return to my former self?

Even though I've long to be in backcountry portions of Mission Trails since we moved in August. For some reason I have it in my head that the fire road after the San Diego River Trail is too difficult for me, even though I did it successfully in October. Knowing that I will never win an arguement with my mind, I decided to try to find an alternate route to the Fortunas that avoided that particular fire road and better my chances of achieving my goal. I have never been to the Clairemont Mesa trailhead so I figured that could be a good route, or at very least something new to check out.

I arrived at the trailhead around 8am and crossed a bridge made of I beams and plywood under loudly zapping power lines. Immediately the trail, which is really just a fire road, (remnants of Camp Elliot) climbed steeply, as all urban trails in San Diego seem to do. It was a quick ascent though and before I could really get winded I was at the top.

I stood for a moment on the plateau and looked around for a place to pee. I took a few steps off the road and stumbled upon several pieces of carin art. The array of circles and designs gave me a sort of witchy vibe and I was stoked to have found it!

Not finding a suitable place to pee I pressed on. My mind kept cycling negative thoughts and I did my best to just let them float by. I walked for a while over a level gravel road before reaching the crest of the hillside overlooking Suycott wash. In the distance I could see the road I'd taken to the Fortuna's many times in the past and thought to myself, "damn, that looks steep and long. I can't believe I used to fly up that thing," 
What I don't remind myself of is what I term 'flying up that thing' now, was perceived then, as a too slow pace of an inferior hiker. Hindsight, is 20/20. Now if I can apply the understanding of my skewed perspective to the present, I will never be down on myself again. That's the goal.

By now my feet were screaming and thus the negative thoughts were overwhelming my ability override them and I knew I wasn't going to acheive my goal for the day. I tried to tell myself it was ok and suiting up and showing up are half the battle as I retreated the way I'd came.

I won't let it get me down. I will try again tomorrow!

Warning: Boring Health Related Content Below

The struggle with my feet, knees and hip is not new as many of you know, but this is definitely a new type of pain. It is constant, even when I don't hike and regardless of shoe type or even no shoes. It is so bad in the morning I can hardly walk and it takes me about a half hour to be able to walk the stairs without going one step at a time. 
I suspect the chronic Psoriasis I've had since I was 18 has now blossomed into Psoriatic Arthritis. I have made an appointment with my doctor but I'm not in a big rush to get that diagnosis. I am on a mission to get off of pharmaceuticals, not start new ones. I was hoping I was just having this pain because I'm insanely fat, which I'm sure isn't helping, but the pain in my hands and the swelling in my knuckles leads me to believe it's more than just the extra weight. 

I am inspired, however, to drop this weight now more than ever and have been approaching my Ketogenic diet from the perspective of eating disorder recovery. I don't get down on myself when I eat. I'm not restricting any foods from my diet, but the pain in my body is good incentive to choose to eat low glycemic foods and gives me the opportunity to pause and modify my diet with inflammation in mind. I know that a lot of my PCT issues were mental, likely caused from the shitty food choices I made. I am grateful to have a body that tells me when something is up so I can fix it. One day, I think my body and mind may actually work together.

So today I stopped short of my goal, Tomorrow, as Scarlett says, is another day.

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