The "Unbreakable" Concept
The abs beneath your shirt glisten with fresh sweat as you climb yet another mountain. Your quads forged with heavy food carries, long days of turning your feet in deep sand, and countless miles, fire with ease bringing you forward. Your shoulders pulled back and tight over thousands of hours point towards the sky ready to be the focal point of any burden. Your mind is sharp with the crispness and cleanliness of this life you have found on trail. Your mind has been through suffering and come out stronger and harder in its new found flexibility. Your feet have broken with blisters, broken with callus, and are now immune to such trivial pains. Your body, mind, and spirit are probably in the best shape of your life, you feel overflowing strength, you feel overflowing clarity, and you probably, rightfully so feel indestructible.
We all are capable of "the incredible" but to reach the incredible...
We first must also recognize we are not unbreakable.
No human is indestructible. Let us say that again, no human is indestructible. Our sports idols, athletes that we look up to that accomplish amazing feats that seem superhuman, are just as human as we are. They have times that they set their mind and body careening towards the breaking point, and then they have times of rest. They need both, we all need both. With the influence of social media on our world today, we continuously have to remind ourselves of this fact. The "wow factor", the "sparkly", the "flashy" is sometimes the only thing we all see, when in fact life does not work that way, people do not work that way. We are all human, we all have struggles, we all have non glamorous days, we all are prone to believing someone is indestructible when we do not get to see the other side, the human side.
Let us take you into the human side today. The time when the "indestructible" feeling, was not enough to stop the reality of depletion. A very personal and upsetting story, as it was the first time our body simply quit. No amount of mental strength could convince our broken body otherwise, no "hardness" that we all utilize in different aspects of life to succeed through suffering, no tricks nor ploy we could use to change the harshness of our own perishable humanity.
Back to the beginning of April 2020. We had successfully completed three thru-hikes since the beginning of February. Three aggressive hikes with minimal rest or repair. Consistent 30-40 mile days over rough and rugged terrain for two months straight. Our body was lean with muscle, was a powerhouse that we believed needed no replenishment, only miles and water to carry us forward. Our mental strength was unbreakable having been tested day after day. It almost was secondary now, not even a consideration to hike hard, hike fast, because we knew our body would sustain no matter what. Until it didn't.