Before I entered into the High Sierra I created a music playlist designed to complement the epic terrain and help propel me through the steep climbs. The playlist (entitled Crushing It) consisted primarily of soundtracks from various movies such as Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, Batman, and Transformers. In the Sierra I came to the realization that the beauty of my surrounds provided ample motivation. Once I reached Northern California, however, the playlist became a great asset. In the sunny, hot afternoons while I hiked through the monotony of the vast forests, my epic playlist helped energize my spirit. I’d pop in my earbuds anytime I needed to out run an approaching storm, hike a few quick miles before dark, or arrive in town before the Post Office closed. The added adrenaline often helped me hike an additional half mile an hour (or more) faster than my average pace.
Of the serval dozen songs on my playlist, one of my favorites is the Superman theme song, not because I like the movie or the song itself, but because the song brings back a special memory. I remember as I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma the Superman theme song suddenly blared throughout the old rickety theater. My uncle, who happens to play trumpet professionally, smuggled his trumpet into my graduation ceremony. At that moment the song ceased to be Superman’s theme and became an anthem of confidence. When I hear the song I think of my uncle, my family, and friends. Before I even stepped foot on to the PCT I had a group of people who confidently believed I would complete the trail.
When the anthem cycled through my playlist I would instantly remember the confidence of my supporters and I knew that whatever obstacle I faced at the time I could overcome, even if I doubted my own abilities. When I fear failure I loose sight of who I am and where I’ve come from, but luckily in moments of doubt I can lean on the confidence of those who often see a clearer image of who I am.
Just before I completed the last few switchbacks that led to the monument at the end of the trail, I thought it was appropriate to play the Anthem of Confidence as my last song on the PCT. As the anthem played and as I hiked closer to the monument the sounds of cheers and noise makers added to the composition. When I turned the last corner I could see my parents waiting for my arrival at the monument.