Hello, friends! I cannot wait to tell you all about the wonderful opportunity I had during the first week of August. Thanks to some rockin’ people over at Diabetes World Tour, Every1Matters, and the Sweet Foundation, I was able to join a small group of Type One Diabetics as we backpacked through the Sierra Nevada in California. The team assembled in Las Vegas, Nevada, where we could get to know each other in preparation to summit Mount Langley in the Sequoia National Park.
While I hope to upload a post with a little bit more info about the trip, I wanted to talk first about summit day and our final push to the top.
At this point in the trip, the team had been backpacking for three days through both Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Park. Summit day was going to be the longest and most difficult day be trekking.
At two-thirty in the morning, we layered up and stumbled from our tents into the cold air. Coffee and cold oatmeal were passed out among the group and eaten slowly in folding chairs that circles the site. We set out at four o’clock and walked the switchbacks by beam of our headlamps. It was still before noon when the final summit came into view. A few more miles of scrambling and we found ourselves standing at 14,042 feet, surrounded by peaks in every direction. Pockets of snow spotted the landscape that was otherwise a series of yellow, tan, and grey. Looking down over a drop-off that was thousands of feet deep seemed to overshadow the fact that we were tired and dirty… mostly dirty.
Several things came to mind as I sat on the edge to take in the view. Mostly, I was shocked by how little I worried about on the trail. All of my problems from back home seemed to melt away to such a degree that I couldn’t even remember what they were when I tried. The textbooks that I needed to order, the boots I wanted to buy, the emails I had to send… none of it mattered as we stood on the summit of the mountain. I realized then that being on the trail seemed to make everything a little bit easier. Clothing on the trek was worn for function and purpose, everything else was disregarded.
I wished in that moment that I could somehow apply this worry-free mindset to the rest of my life…The days off-trail when I am overwhelmed with school, work, and relationships. Maybe all we can do is attempt to remind ourselves of this. Maybe the best we can do is try our best to remember that there exists simple and peaceful places that don’t revolve around consumerism and the opinions of others. That way, we can be on the summit all the time.