Today we join our hero in the middle of the night. A case of insomnia? Something on his mind? Lets listen in and find out what’s causing his night owl tendencies.
Hello my friends!
It has been a month since my last post and much has happened. I’ll start where I left off. As you know from my last post, I sold my truck. It was an interesting feeling to sell my truck and have the money in my hand. The money that equated to a year of hard work at minimum wage jobs right after I graduated. I say it was interesting because the same day, it was gone.
No I didn’t lose it. I immediately put it towards the thing I currently want most in the world.
I put every cent of it toward taking down my last student loan. The money that was my blood, sweat, and tears from 2012 cut a pretty good portion out of it. I gave this without hesitation because I know it puts me closer to my trip and therefore my dreams.
One thing I’ve realized to be true in my time on this big blue marble, is that no great victory comes without sacrifice. When I’m standing on that mountain watching my first sunrise, I’ll know everything that I’ve given to get there.
Nothing in this life worth having comes easy. If you want something, go get it, give everything you have to make it happen, and nothing can stop you.
A story to prove this point. When I got the news that we had work again and that it was concrete, I was happy for the work, but not so much the concrete part. My brother wanted no part of it, passed on the work and rightly so. The job consisted of breaking up over a hundred concrete slabs around metal columns with sledgehammers and then refilling them with concrete to a correct depth. You can easily picture it by thinking of one of those old-time prison movies where the inmates are breaking rocks. That is exactly what we were doing. Every day got a little harder and our bodies got a little bit sorer. But I knew it was what I had to do in order to get where I’m going. So I kept at it and by doing so was able to take down my last student loan a little further.
I’m definitely glad I did for another reason as well. Work dried up right after the concrete job and has been off and on ever since. So my progress has slowed considerably on paying off my last student loan, but I still am taking small chunks out of it with every paycheck.
I also usually get some equipment for the trip every paycheck if I have enough to last me the next full week. (I usually put over half my paycheck towards my student loan). And it’s good I do this because I found out I needed some equipment I thought I already had.
You see, on April 1st I decided I was going to start sleeping outside continually when I was home to further condition myself for the trip (the past 6 months I’ve been sleeping on a camping mat on the ground, no beds, so I am conditioned to sleep on the ground now). Anyways, I was in the Easter play (I was Jesus. No surprise right?If you know me or have seen my profile pic on Facebook you’ll get this). The play ran to later at night. So I didn’t feel like building a lean-to in the dark. Therefore, I just grabbed my tent and sleeping bag that I’ve had since college (they were high-end synthetic) and my new camping mat I got for the trip. I set everything up and immediately found out something I would need for the trip. A better headlamp. The one I had wasn’t dim, but it was really weak. I then settled in and wished winter was over…wait it’s April right? That night it dropped down to 30 degrees. Which actually shouldn’t have been a problem because my sleeping bag was supposedly good down to 32 degrees and I was wearing 4.0 winter under armor…but I found neither kept me warm that night. I admit to tapping out at about 4:30am.
The next night while I was discouraged that my sleeping bag and under armor didn’t keep me warm, and that I’d probably have to get a new sleeping bag for the trip, I was still determined to stay outside.
This night I chose a new spot, because the last one was on a slight incline. I found a nice flat spot and began to set up my tent…and found out I’d need a new one. The manufacturer used a liquid sealant on the interior sections. My tent was literally coming apart at the seams. Yet even finding this out, I was determined to stay outside…and then the thunderstorm hit. I’ll admit to tapping out a bit earlier than the previous night.
During this time it was really seeming like “one step forward, two steps back.” But the way I began to look at it was this. It’s better to find out now, than while I’m on my trip. So I added tent and sleeping bag to my list of things I still needed for my trip.
A friend of mine suggested I look into getting a military modular sleep system. It is two sleeping bags, a bivy cover that snap together, and a compression sack. I ended up getting one because it’s good down to -50 degrees and with the bivy cover, you can literally sleep in the rain with it. So the way I now look at it is this, sometimes you take one step forward so you can see whats ahead and then two steps back so you can get a running start to leap forward.
Tomorrow I’m going attempt to start sleeping outside again now that I have my new sleeping bag and bivy cover. I’m also going to start testing my other gear as well and probably film it.
Speaking of film, I got my Youtube Channel up and my first video posted. Check it out, like, and subscribe so you can follow my adventures across America. Here is the link:
It took awhile to put together, but I think it came out pretty great. Hope you all like it 😉
Anyways, there are a few reasons I’m up at 4:00am. Sleep comes and goes for me. I’ve always been a bit of an insomniac, especially if I’m excited or have a lot on my mind and with all the planning, preparation, and work I have to do for my trip, it’s not very often I get to sleep right away. But that’s not why I’m up this night. I’m up because I know in the morning I’m going to have to say goodbye to another friend I’ve known for over half my life. My cat snowball. He’s just turned 17 and is slowly slipping away peacefully. While it saddens me to see him go, I couldn’t ask for a better way for him to pass. Surrounded by love as he slips into that eternal rest. One can only hope to go like that themselves. Seeing a loved one pass brings up questions of one’s own mortality. I suppose that’s why I’m still up.
I’ve been thinking about all I’ve given to see my debt annihilated. Most people take 10 years or more to pay off their student loans. If I keep at it, I’ll manage to do it in a year and a half. Yet I feel all 10 of those years. I can honestly say I am probably in the worst physical shape of my life. A combination of lifting heavy things at work (sore back), a construction worker diet (gas station and fast food), and returning home just wanting to rest.
So I’ve decided to get all 10 of those years back on my trip, but I’m going to start right now. I’m coming up with a morning routine (Cardio, yoga, some old school workout, and something incredible difficult for me…a diet). This will no doubt be filmed soon and will likely be an episode of my show.
Well, I’m going to see if I can get some rest before the sunrise. I hope y’all enjoy the first episode of my show. There will be plenty more and will only get better.
Forever your friend,
P.S. if you want to stay up to date with all I’m doing to prepare for my trip, videos, and new blog posts, check out www.facebook.com/theoutsidersjourney and like the page.