Sleep. It’s an underrated commodity. Sleep restores your mind. Sleep relaxes your body. Sleep allows both your mind AND body to erase hurts, sweep clean struggles, and think fresh. Overall, sleep (I’m talking really good sleep) restores the initiative to work hard again, just one more day.
Without sleep, and again I mean really good sleep, decision-making is skewed, psychological motivation is off the charts, and physical endurance may as well be tossed in the trash.
I’ve been thinking for days as to how I should address this post and let my closest friends know that one more time I’ve left the trail. You know who you are. You’ve encouraged me, supported me, and given me every possible reason to hammer out this journey. Yet, I just couldn’t overcome the lack of sleep, and more specifically, the very real pain in my back.
The short story:
- I got off trail at Warner Springs (planned), 110 miles into this adventure.
- While off trail, I asked my doc to take a look at several things.
- I needed surgery. I had surgery, and while waiting through recovery, planned my return.
- I returned to the trail just over 9 weeks following surgery.
- I chose to return with a sleep system that was anchored around a tent, instead of my usual hammock and tarp.
- Sleeping on the ground became absolutely brutal, inflaming the degenerative disc in my lower back.
- Back to the drawing board. I have returned home and will kit myself once again with my standard hammock/tarp system.
- One more attempt will be made to get on trail at the beginning of August to see how far I can go before mid-late September.
Until then, we plan and we hope. Third time’s the charm!