Wednesday, July 1, 2009

30 June 2009

Today we crossed into the state of Washington, our third and final state of the hike. For the last day of June, we encountered a fair amount of snow occupanied by snow melt rivers. For awhile I was bothered by the frigid water, too cold for any leisure activity. Even drinking too much is a shock to the system. Now I'm trying to accustom myself to it.

When fording or wading in a glacial river (temp roughly 1 or 2 degrees above freezing), the body sends out millions of nerve impulses telling me that the water is unsafe. My limbs completely go numb, and I don't even realize all the cuts and bruises that I am receiving from the sharp rocks of the river. After leaving the water, my body still aches, but my feet are in sever pain. I don't understand why my feet would be so much more painful than any other body part exposed to the water.

With running, I was able to teach myself to ignore certain pain. Pain exists to tell us something is wrong. If we know that the pian will be short-lived or that it isn't damaging, we should be able to ignore it. I was successful in doing this for running. Now I need to do so for cold water.

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