Thursday, July 9, 2015

THE RETURN

2 Years Ago


Two years ago, I made a decision to stop writing this blog, but I've continued to reply to emails from my fans:

"Dude. Your blog brought meaning to my life. I am lost without you. My soul is empty. Please come back."
Dear Loser: I've been busy. I have a life. I suggest you get one too. Thanks.

OR

"Hey buddy, did you keep your beard after the hike? It looks rad."
Dear Corey: Yes, I kept the beard, and thanks…it IS rad if I keep it trimmed. Otherwise, I look like a crazed psychopath.

OR

"Love the blog, and I really wish you'd write about your hikes again.  It seems like you really hate hiking, but I think it would be good for you."
Dear Di: I do hate a lot of things, and hiking just happens to be one of those things. And despite this declaration of hate, you're probably right (as always).... maybe I do need to hike again.


I'm fortunate to have so many loyal fans who want me to write again-- and that's why I'm declaring my RETURN.  For the past several months, I've been secretly training my body and mind for the upcoming XTREME HIKE 2015.  Yes, I've decided to hike again-- which means I'm bringing my talents back to this blog.



So two years is a long time to go missing, and I know you're wondering: what has Scott been up to?  Glad you asked.

For the past two years, I've been a dad.  I've done a few other things, like go to work and cool guy stuff (ie: reading books about war, re-watching Breaking Bad episodes, sneaking handfuls of potato chips from the pantry when no one's looking, gaining weight, and creating new expletives), but most of my time was spent being a dad (and going to work).  Being a father is incredibly important job, and I didn't want to take my responsibilities lightly.    

Last year, I signed up for the Xtreme Hike, and I was so psyched to spend my summer staring at trees and popping blisters-- but after thoughtful consideration, I backed out. I was a quitter, but I needed (and wanted) to spend the summer enjoying time with my daughters.  'They' say you never get this time back, and I wanted to be present for my girls, rather than 'the strange dude that cooks us chocolate-chip pancakes on the weekends."  It was the right decision for our family.  

So WHY am I doing this year's Xtreme Hike?

First, I need a break from the kids.  Yeah, being a dad is great and all, but after a year of being DAD it's time for ME again.   We'll always share the wonderful memories of 'Dad Time,' but I'm not really sure the girls appreciated this time together.


Making core memories on Goofball Island

The girls keep asking, "Hey dad, when are you going to get off the sofa and do something?" and "Remember that hike you did? That was cool. Do you do cool things anymore?"  And sometimes they wake me up from my nap on the sofa and say, "Daddy, you need a hobby."  Maybe daddy just needs a drink, and the best place to do that is in the middle of the woods where you can't crash your car after a few shots.  (Girls, when you're old enough to use the Internet, I hope you come across this blog and know that I TRIED, girls…I really did.)  So yeah, everyone's on board with daddy finding an activity outside the house. Even my wife.

Speaking of my amazing wife who joined me on the first hike-- she's not hiking with me.  I've tried to get her back on the trail, but she keeps telling me: "blah blah DIVORCE blah blah."  I know she WANTS to be out there with me, so maybe next year.

The second reason I'm doing the hike? It feels pretty damn good to accomplish something as challenging as the Xtreme Hike.  Two years ago Di and I raised $7,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and hiked 31 miles in a day... I want to beat that accomplishment this year.

It feels great to kick ass.


So what's in store for Summer 2015?  Well, I already missed the kick-off hike because I was on vacation.  I made up for it with my own training: a 4-mile hike of the hills of the Outer Banks, NC with several minutes of X-training (Corona Curls and Rum Punches).

Ready to kick ass.

THIS Saturday, I will return to the mountains for the first time in 2 years.  I'm setting out to conquer Elliot's Knob (somehow that doesn't sound right).  I don't know much about the trail, but I have a feeling I'll hate it-- unless there's a water slide that takes you down the hill to a poolside bar.  I've been reading the reviews and it sounds like a true gem:

"If you are hiking this in the summer, be sure to bring bug spray, though, as the biting gnats were horrendous and left bites that bled and itched for a week."

"We ran into a rattler that wasn't too pleased to see us."

"If it's a sunny day I would definitely wear sunscreen because you're exposed to the sun for a good portion of the hike- especially at the outlook."

"We go to the woods to enjoy nature, but seeing the immensity of the clear cutting of the forest made us sick...such destruction!"

Bugs, snakes, sun, and DESTRUCTION!!!1! They don't scare me. I'm a man. I can deal with that stuff (with proper bug spray, snake-bite kit, sunscreen, and prepper go bag).  But HILLS? I hate hills-- most aging, overweight people do. So this was probably my least favorite comment:

 "It's the toughest hike I've found yet in Virginia.  The trail builders apparently do not believe in switchbacks."

And then I looked at the elevation profile:

Fun times.

And then I looked at my calendar for the rest of the summer and thought, "Cool, what else could I do with my time this summer?" I thought of a trillion other things that sound more fun than hiking the state's most difficult trails, but… none of them have any social value whatsoever.  No one benefits from me sitting on my sofa with a cold beer. Well, I benefit…but this isn't REALLY all about me.  It's about fighting Cystic Fibrosis.  So please take a second to donate to my hike to help fund CF research and to find a cure.  Donate Here: http://fightcf.cff.org/goto/seaborn



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