Setbacks and Denial

oregon sunset

So you know how I was feeling triumphant for having returned from The Pacific Northwest Tour sans major travel catastrophes for once. Other than feeling a little worse for wear, things went pretty smoothly considering the undertaking.

The bad news is that I was wrong. I’ve been basking in a healthy dose of survival-denial in that I’ve been ignoring the hand issue that plagued me since Salt Lake City because I knew if acknowledged the complications that I’d be hard-pressed to keep plowing forward. That denial stage got me through the remainder of the Pacific Northwest Tour… setting camp, breaking camp, cooking, lifting, shooting, and hauling for another four weeks.

But now that I’m past that and I have to face reality, I find myself giving way to a torn ligament that is very painful and terribly limiting with the only real solution being surgery. This means I’ll have to switch things up in terms of how I operate day-to-day as well as shifting adventures to more low-key efforts that don’t strain the hand until I get through surgery and recovery. Camping trips are going on the back burner since the physical demands of setting up camp are too much but there’s still a lot I can do to keep the adventure flowing. It will certainly cramp my style on the Hell Hike and Raft but with the help of my fabulous crew-mates, I’ll be fine.

In light of all of the potential physical challenges a person can face, this falls in the minor category. It is, however, a major hassle and makes daily tasks cumbersome but like my friend Petunia, it isn’t going to kill me. And while there are no guarantees, it is likely a recoverable and temporary setback and it just means making some adjustments in the meantime.

Anyway, the point of this being and that we all have our setbacks, big and small, emotional and physical. I think the key is knowing yourself well enough to be able to tap into the things that keep you in your happy place even when you’re struggling and keep pursuing them even if you have to change the process a little to accommodate your challenges.

Which brings me to a quote that always make me laugh and keep things in perspective…

Any idiot can face a crisis; it it this day-to-day living that wears you out. ~Anton Chekov


oregon sunset
It was painful, but continuing to plow through the Pacific Northwest Tour meant not missing the opportunity to see eye-popping sunsets in Oregon.


  1. Injury is part of the adventure. I’ve got a neuroma on a toe nerve needs to be removed. I’m determined to limp my way through summer, have the surgery in the fall, and be ready to fit into mountaineering and ski boots by December. One of my scrambling friends has been limping through summer on torn ankle ligaments (although that just sounds crazy). Take care of your hand! You’ll be back at camp before you know it!

    1. Absolutely Ken, it’s all a part of the gig. It would be nice to say it happened scaling some epic mountain rather than just closing the back of the car, though. Really, that could have happened at home just as easily. I need to make up a great story and see how far I can take it. 🙂

      Good luck with the toe. I’m actually really glad it’s my hand and not a leg injury. I can still hike with an injured hand…

  2. Seems like most labors of love are painful, a bit like child birth! We push through! Stunning sunset photo!

    1. Thanks Kimberly… agreed. The good stuff in life is rarely painless, right?

  3. Sorry to hear about the ligament. Hope everything resolves itself faster than you think! But great attitude and outlook on life. I totally agree with Chekov: day-to-day life can be a grind!

    1. I like that quote too, Raul. Surviving the mundane is the true challenge.

      Cheers, friend!

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