Last week when a friend of mine asked me to present my PCT hike to a group of Year 12 women at her high school, I felt honoured to be able to share my story again.
It has taken me months to appreciate that the trail has left a permanent impression on my life. It has become part of my mind, body and soul. The memories are so deeply engrained that there’s moments I feel I’m actually reliving them, only to realise that world is now oceans and mountains away, and months ago.
But it does shock me to think that this time last year I was on trail, very much still in the thick of things. In fact looking back at my blog, on this day last year, I was walking along the waterless Hat Creek Rim.
Yesterday I was buzzing with nerves and excitement as the group of 200 young women filled the sports hall and sat down attentively. I had changed my presentation slightly from when I visited Judi’s schools near Agua Dulce after the hike, and focused mainly on how I prepared, what I took, what I ate, and the highs and lows.
The reactions of the young women were priceless! They were shocked, laughed, oooooh’d and aaaaaah’d, and in the end the buzz in the room and interest from the teachers told me it was a success. Here’s a video of some of the highlights, (and a thank you to Marty for your highly professional iPhone filming!)
I jumped on a plane back to Sydney after the talk, for my last few days in Oz before my trip to Spain. When I arrived home, the yearbook Judi had sent me from Del Sur Junior High School was sitting on the kitchen table, with a page to commemorate my visit there in October. Thank you Judi for the copy, and for giving me that chance to come and speak to your students. Having the opportunity to inspire kids has been the most wonderful outcome of my PCT adventure!