Irrational fear. One of the more self explanatory terms I know of. This type of fear doesn’t make sense, at least not to those hearing or seeing it exhibited in the person having it, and sometimes not even to the person having the fear. A pastor friend of mine is highly claustrophobic. Hates enclosed, tight spaces. He is a large man. Not fat, just a big guy. A man’s man at that. So to see him and to hear or know he has that fear is, well, irrational. Hence the definition.
As I’m planning on this section hike, there are a lot of things I find myself being fearful about. Now, let’s be clear. Not terrified. Not frozen with fear. Just anxious about things that I really should not be anxious about.
For example, rain. Have I seen rain before? Yes. Have I gotten wet in the past and not freaked out about it? Yes. Am I worried about rain on this section hike? Yes, yes I am. Why? I really don’t know. I have rain gear, a pack cover, and the dry things will be able to stay dry as I have packed appropriately. Will things get wet that shouldn’t? Of course they will. I am a strong believer in Murphy. He WILL show up and mess with you at any and every opportunity. Planning and organization are strong banes to this imp but stuff will happen. So, why worry about the rain? Still don’t know. Maybe hypothermia is in the back of my mind. Maybe it’s just the thought of being alone in the “wilderness” in foul weather. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, severe weather doesn’t worry me. I know, crazy right? This is why they call it irrational fear. I have often slept through tornadoes, watched as they have gone by (obviously many miles away), marveled at lightning storms and slept through those as well, tied to trees in a hammock no less. Why on earth would a little rain bother me? Don’t know. Sincerely.
Also, critters getting my food. I have everything that I need to properly bag and hang my food to keep it reasonably out of the reach and off the olfactory radar of the general critter population. Still can’t shake the fear they are going to masterfully abscond with my food stuffs half way in on my hike and I’ll be stuck hiking at least one if not two days with no food. I have a public but well respected love affair with food. I won’t say I live to eat but I do love good food. Being on the trail tends to increase my appetite two or three fold. Many have marveled at the copious amounts of food I can put away and still be willing to graze or snack on a whim. Could this really happen? Sure. Is it likely? Not likely, given the measures put in place. Again, irrational. See previous definition.
Will I overcome the fear? I have no choice, at least in my own mind. I’m going on this hike and will complete it. I might even add to it should my pace and timing prove faster than planned. It’s a new thing, to be certain. New things can be fearful. However, they can also be exciting. It’s a thin line between fear and exhilaration. Whenever possible I’m choosing to shove the emotion over to the exhilaration side of the fence….hard. The fact that my friends, who don’t hang in hammocks, don’t hike and don’t get outdoors, are freaking out over these very things is almost a comfort to me. I know, sick isn’t it? See, I know I can do it. I’ve been wet, cold, hungry, tired, hot, and lonely before. Still breathing in and out. Certainly enough to blog about it.
SO! Once more into the breech my friends. I’m going and nothing will stop me. Not even my irrational fears. Now that plane falling out of the sky…..