I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free. ~ Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Our own Diane Peterson is hiking the Washington section of the Pacific Coast Trail.  She departed from the Bridge of the Gods on Friday July 29th. She will be hiking approximately 520 miles! Why? Diane said she was inspired by the challenges her fellow trainers and gym members have taken on (STP, Spartan Race, climbing Mt. Rainier, Base Camp of Everest, Marathons, aerial arts, firewalking) and she was inspired by the book Wild in which Cheryl Strayed hiked part of the PCT.  Like Cheryl, Diane will be taking on this adventure by herself.  “I want to challenge myself, push beyond my limits…in a way I could not chicken out of!  I want to be completely responsible for myself without leaning on a husband/father/brother.”

I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Unlike Cheryl Strayed, Diane was smart and prepared for her hike!  Diane did specific strength training for the last year to allow her to carry a heavy pack over long distances and varying terrain. She followed a plan set out with information from her Ortho Kinetics Assessment, this helped to correct and support her body for the hike.  She will be carrying her food and equipment for up to 20 miles per day, despite having scoliosis and a degenerative disc issue.  

Diane, who is also a professional diver, fine-tuned her equipment by trying it out on the trail “the same as we do for diving” she said.  She got out and hiked in all weather over the winter conditioning herself to being outside. As the hike got closer she worked on the arc trainer here at the gym to prepare for hiking elevated trails and she hiked longer distances in terrain similar to what she will experience on her section of the PCT.

“I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me?

The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one. ~ Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

“When I have signal and battery I’ll be posting pics on Instagram (dancingscubahiker) which will also post to my Facebook page. I will also be picking up resupplies at 3 locations. Old School letters and treats always welcome!”

Click here to follow Diane. The password is w1lddi@ne.

You may leave a note of encouragement for Diane at the gym, and we will send them on to her at her resupply locations. Estimated resupply dates are 8/13 and 8/18. Otherwise you can help to welcome her back to the gym on September 6th! We wish Diane all the best!

What’s on YOUR bucket list?  Talk to us, we can help get you there!