Stress revealed


This fortune makes me laugh.

I shouldn’t be so stressed. In fact, I’m probably not that stressed, but somewhere in my mind I feel like I can be, and I’m feeding off of that.

I quit drinking caffeine a couple of months ago. I’m kind of proud of that. Then I started exercising every morning. I missed only two Sundays because of dumb hangovers. The workouts are only 10-20 minutes, and the ongoing goal is ultimately to boost and hopefully level out my metabolism. I also started counting calories again (which I’m not a fan of), took my vitamins, ate my fruits and veggies and quickly started to feel pretty amazing as a result of it all. I was establishing new habits that weren’t as hard to keep as I thought they would be. I especially felt good when I stepped on a scale to see I was only 1/2 pound from my goal weight. I was actually a pound and a half lighter than I was when I got home from my PCT thru hike.

I was in control.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Feeling in control meant I felt strong, healthy and confident. But this weekend I let go of that control just a tiny bit. I think I let a stress that I’m not even certain is real take over. I indulged in copious amounts of delicious restaurant foods, waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I might throw up. My body was rebelling against some poor decisions and reminding me that I am still as fragile as I’ve always been. This is a good thing. A subtle, humble reminder.

Looking back on these few, poor choices, however, resulted in my eyes welling up with tears. My reaction led me mentally running away to the trail and missing it in a way I haven’t missed it yet. I have a big test on Tuesday and I’m afraid I’ll fail. I’ve temporarily fallen back into some old, unhealthy habits. With letting myself realize, or I suppose simply admitting a few small fears to myself, I let my mind run away for just a moment. I immediately tried to escape by closing my eyes tightly and setting myself back on the trail.

It’s just reality and reminding myself of my imperfections and remembering to accept them with a full heart. I can still be in control here, and it’s not over because I binged, or because I didn’t study as much as I had planned. It just means I need to wake up and stop beating myself up for such a silly minor mental setback.

I am going to do the best I can like I always do, and that’s all I can ask of myself. Whatever the outcome is is meant to be, and good or bad, I will learn from it and keep stepping forward. I’m not doubting myself, as I know I’m fully capable of getting back on track with my metabolism goals, and passing my CDL test. I think I’m just mentally preparing myself for a different outcome than I’m hoping for so that if it does go that way I can put it behind me that much quicker.

Emotions are weird and I don’t always understand how they intertwine and work. But I do know I miss that freakin’ trail, I know I will get up and work out tomorrow and eat my celery, I know I can pass that test, I know I’ll be disappointed in myself if I don’t, but I also know I’ll try again until I do. I know that if and when I do pass, I’ll carry a mile-wide smile all day long and toot my horn when given the chance. Dammit, I just hope I get to do that on Tuesday and not prolong this whole emotional thing!

Onward. I’ll never stop thinking of trails hiked or dreaming of trails unhiked. And right now I’m going to read my pre-trip notes and focus on staying relaxed.

Tonight I love chance. It’s meant to be taken… and it’s meant to be a challenge.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)


4 thoughts on “Stress revealed

  1. Robin,
    I will be thinking of you tomorrow and if you don’t pass on the first try, there will be another opportunity. Try not to stress out!

  2. You can do it!
    It’s tough really. I’d like to say it gets easier, but it never really does. There is always stress. For me, I’ve lost/maintained weight for a few years – then had a baby. Start over. Have another baby. Start over. Get stressed at work. Start over.

    Right now I’m “starting over” again (have lost about half the second baby weight). I hate counting calories. hate it hate it hate it. But it’s the only thing that works for me. Eating mindfully? Not so much. My mindful eating resulted in a 300 calorie brownie and two glasses of wine yesterday. Pretty sure my 20 minute swim and 2 mile walk didn’t burn off that much.

  3. I know you can do it. Good luck. Remember what your dad said about if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Those are words to live by and those words are getting me through my own hard days too.

    Go for it, enjoy it and look back on triumphs with a smile.

  4. Thanks Robin. I needed to hear that I am at one of thoes places also. So much a challenge To be or feel like I am out of control that it might just be self inflicted and not real. Diamonds are made by stress so I guess we will all be diamonds someday.
    You express yourself very well. I am sure that helps Looking forward to your tales of the road.

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