Angle to Key West: Mental Games (2/1)

Coastal Forest at Sunset

Sponge Island – February 1, 2013

Part of me believes the trip is finished already. The last 600 miles are a formality, a ticker-tape parade, a victory lap. It started as a whisper when I crossed the Florida border. Now it rings in my head. Key West is in Florida. I’m in Florida. The trip is over.

I’m a fool.

Beaches. Exposed coasts. Huge ports. The Everglades. The Keys. They will not give me their miles. They won’t hand them over on a silver platter. I still have to work. To battle waves and outlast storms. To push against tides and wind. To shiver in the night.

I look at a map and tick off twenty-mile segments like I’m eating candy. I think about the future. I think about what’s next. Where I will go when I reach Key West. What I will do. I think about it like I flipped to the end of the book and read the last page.

But twenty miles on a map is always easy. It’s not waves and wind and water. It’s an inch. It’s a moments thought. It’s poison.

I’m unraveling with six-hundred miles in front of me, fraying at the edges, pulling apart because my mind’s in a place that doesn’t exist, living in the future and dying in the present.

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12 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Mental Games (2/1)

  1. Embrace this leg and open your mind to what is next. Then it will present itself. Be in the moment, enjoy!

  2. As difficult as it is, you need to stay in the present moment. This is your gift, to observe what is in that moment and share it with us. We want to experience that moment with you.

    1. As Wendy and Rob said, be in the moment, be in the moment, be in the moment. No better place to be. All the incredible experience life is can be felt in a truly conscious moment. It is overwhelming. It is magical. And as Rob says, we all want to experience it with you. The goal is not Key West. The goal is this moment.

  3. Remember what it took to get where you are (and of course it is 17 days after you 2/1 post). You are on the final count down. The way I figure it, Florida is like Maine on the AT, Washington on the PCT and Montana on the CDT. What’s next? Do you recall what I suggested to you in the past? There IS always southbound!!!

  4. Stay strong!! You WILL make it!! We are all pulling for you and you enjoy these last miles. I pray for your safety and wish to meet you someday when you return to Tally town!! Carrie!

  5. This is the whipped cream and the cherry of the trip. You are in beautiful waters so take your time and enjoy them. But finish it!

  6. What an amazing person you are to undertake such a voyage with so much joy in your heart. I envy you. Do you know how many people would love to do what you are doing but do not have the courage or the stamina. God has given you much and you are truly giving it back to us who want to follow you.My friend just met you recently in Gulfport/St Pete and I read your story in today’s Times. I also pray for your safety.My very best wishes to you. Therese Dargie

  7. So nice to meet you in Gulfport when you and Margarete stopped by the IAC (where you blew your glass!) Safe travels. May God be with you. Be careful out there and enjoy this special season of your life!! Sally

  8. Did you really think it would be “Just a paddle”? The scope is so great that you may think you’ll never top it so the doubts set in that maybe you should not finish this one. Shake it off. You’re almost there! Time to relax and plan the next adventure. Never forget the high you get just before embarking on a new adventure. Never look back and never give up.
    Sandseeker60

  9. “The joy is in the journeying – not at the journeys end.” I get it.
    But, you’ll have to pull out your knitting needles and make something beautiful out of the unraveled ends. You have awakened adventure in hearts, inspired the possibility – of possibility. You may have these passing thoughts – they will pass…. because you have a higher calling, you will keep paddling until you complete the goal you set for yourself. We get the thrill of the journey without the chill of the night, and you – you my friend, had the dream and it isn’t time to wake up yet.

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