One of the things I do each day that scares the crap out of me is put myself out there on the internet – posting on Instagram, publishing blog posts, creating YouTube videos and even posting/responding to different threads in the various Facebook Groups I belong to.

What’s so scary about putting myself out there is my fear of being judged. My fear of writing something people will not like or not agree with. My fear of trolls and rude comments. These are all silly fears because honestly, I shouldn’t let fear hold me back from sharing my experiences and opinions. I also shouldn’t care what other people think about me. To each his own. Not everyone will always like what I do and agree with what I say and that’s okay.

I walked 1,873 miles in 153 days and earned this medal, fair and square.

Recently, I’ve received some negative feedback about my thru-hike along the PCT. I was called a “fraud” for not walking all 2,652 miles. Some might argue I didn’t earn a PCT competition medal because I only hiked 1,873 miles of the trail. The thing is, I’ve never claimed to have hiked all 2,652 miles. I completed my hike, my way. I’ve always been honest and transparent with exactly how many miles I did hike, along with the sections I skipped and why. No one would’ve ever known how many miles I did or did not hike along the PCT had I not kept track and posted it online.

Even writing and posting this is scary, which is why I’m doing it. I mean, what if this post creates more negative feedback? If I had to pick one lesson I learned from hiking the PCT, it was to face fear in the face and work through it until it was something I was no longer scared of.

You guys, I refuse to live my life in fear. Love me. Hate me. Support me. Judge me. I’m just here to share my experiences, both on and off trail and hope to inspire others to live the best version of themselves, whatever their passion may be.

So let’s open up the discussion. What are you afraid of? What’s holding you back from doing the scary things? What’s the one scary thing you’re going to do today? Tell me in the comments below.

12 comments on “Why It’s Scary To Put Myself Out There On The Internet”

  1. Kathleen, please keep up the good work with your posts. Don’t let the naysayers influence you. You are an excellent communicator and to receive a post from you puts a smile 😀 on my face.
    My main fear is to hike the JMT next summer solo. I retired 4 years ago and am not a youngster anymore. I am getting in better shape have good hiking gear to reduce weight.
    The distance you hiked on the PCT is commendable.

    • Thank you! I saw plenty of other JMT hikers on trail this year. I bet you’ll have no problem meeting people out there, both JMT and PCT hikers alike. When do you start? Where are you starting from?

      If I could pick one section of the PCT to hike all over, it would definitely be the JMT portion of the PCT in the High Sierra!! 😊

  2. I plan to start from Kennedy Meadows South or maybe Horseshoe Meadows around July 17th depending on the snow and getting the permit. The one challenge I have is the food carry to MTR or VVR out of Kearsarge Pass. The food carry out of Horseshoe Meadows is too far (to MTR) unless you hike more miles which I may not be able to do.

    • You’re going to have so much fun!! 🤞🏻 for a low snowfall year and no late season storms.

      I’m going to be writing a blog post about my food resupply strategy on the PCT. Here’s where I sent myself boxes in the Sierra: S Kennedy Meadows, Independence via Kearsarge and Mono Hot Springs via VVR. If I had to do it again, I’d resupply in Bishop instead of Independence and send a box to MTR instead of messing with/waiting for the ferry to get to/from VVR. VVR was so expensive and not really worth the hype. I heard a lot of good things about MTR and it’s not that far off trail. I hear the hiker box at MTR is quite impressive. Lots of PCT hikers were able to resupply out of the hiker box there. Once you get to Reds Meadow, you can easily get into Mammoth for a decent resupply at Vons. Going over Kearsarge Pass was beautiful!!! Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. 😀

  3. Kathleen, thanks so much for the info. I will probably resupply at MTR. But VVR may be good if going to Mono Hot Springs?? Any idea how many days to get to MTR from Kearsarge Pass hiking at a lesurely pace (I guess 7 days)? As you can tell I’m concerned about running out of food.

    • If you want to go to Mono Hot Springs, which is amazing btw, you’d have to go through VVR to get there. Just don’t get sucked into the VVR vortex. It’s expensive!

      I’d say you could count on 6-7 days from Kearsarge to MTR. It took me 7 days to get to VVR/Mono Hot Springs and I was doing 10-15 mile days in that section. Getting over Kearsarge Pass back to the PCT is about 7 miles and then it’s about 68 from there to MTR. MTR is only 1-2 miles off the PCT.

      Are you planning on using the Guthook app for your trip? I highly recommend it. All of the sections of the PCT and the entire JMT are on there. I used Guthook everyday on trail. It was a lifesaver!

  4. Anyone who doesn’t understand why you skipped most if not all of Oregon needs to be put on a 3-day hike back in time in Southern Oregon the week you hit the border. This year’s smoke both down there and all the way up past Crater Lake was horrible. And you’re right, who cares what haters think? I don’t judge, and those who would judge me, I’m not focused on. What am I afraid of? I’ve been struggling to be okay with accidents, injuries, and time off the trail. I’m afraid of falling again, last year’s fall high above Eagle Creek was almost my last. I’m afraid of being unable to run, hike, climb. I’m constantly there all year long, in all conditions, and I’ve had serious accidents. Ultimately, I’m afraid I’ll end up dead in the Wilderness, due to mistakes or carelessness, or just plain bad luck.

    • The smoke was so horrible. I had ash falling on my tent in Northern California. 😕

      I’m afraid of falling too. I fell a lot on the PCT and started rolling my right ankle in Washington. I think falling is a fear all of us hikers share so you’re definitely not alone with that one.

  5. Yes, I have the Guthooks app and use it often. Very good app. I’ll decide if I go to MTR or VVR during the hike. My understanding is that MTR doesn’t allow hikers to use the shower or eat at the restaurant unless you have booked a room there?
    Thanks again for your information.

  6. Hi Kathleen,

    I am one of your fans. Keep doing what your doing. I really enjoyed your video. I don’t like getting right up to cliffs so I guess I will have to get over that quick as I begin my trek along the PCT. My reason for wanting to do the PCT is for the adventure and for the beauty that abounds there. At my age however, I fear that the challenge of the trail might be more than I can handle. I am 58 now and I feel my body breaking down, especially my feet. How will I feel in six more years when I can retire and finally plan my dream to hike the PCT? There will be complainers and distractors regardless what we do or say. Just accept those that appreciate you and respect those that don’t as they have bigger issues than what they direct towards you. They deserve our sympathy. I always thought I would do a thru hike along the AT. However, after reading blogs of hikers doing each I have fond that the PCT is what I truly want to do. Do you plan on doing the CDT or AT. If so, I’ll be following you. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

    • Thank you! I saw a large variety of ages out on trail so don’t let that hold you back., I’d say start going on training hikes and get your body in “hiking” shape. It’s never too early to start training and if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

      The PCT will always have a special place in my heart. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any upcoming adventures I plan. 😀

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