Got to watch “Wild” last night thanks to a DVD copy from our friends. Great movie. I’m so happy that Reese Witherspoon produced the film so more people can know about this woman’s crazy story. When I was 14, I spent 28 days in the Central Cascades doing Outward Bound. That experience at such a young age really shaped my life. As a teenager and young adult I became avid backpacker and counted the peaks I had climbed. At 18 I climbed to the top of Mt. Witney in one day with my dad. I dreamed that one day I would hike the Pacific Coast Trail. My friendships revolved around crazy backpacking adventures. I worked so I could buy Tevas, a stove, a better pack, the perfect bag. Given how I live these days — in a high rise building in New York City with a doorman with a husband who loves fancy hotel stays, I guess I’ve changed a lot since my wild “walking” days. I also have a bad back, so I doubt that will ever hike the PTC. There was some point in my life when I could sleep anywhere, and I did — on trains, futons – ha ha — on the ground, upside down…instead of inside a hotel, in Athens, I slept on a hotel rooftop in my sleeping bag. I was the opposite of luxurious. Why would I stay in a fancy hotel when I can sleep in my tent? Why would I drive a car when I can walk, ride a bike or if I have to take a bus? That was my mindset all the time. That’s who I was until….I got interested in playwriting, and shortly after that, I started working in advertising…and started to meet more sophisticated people. I can recall the people I worked with in advertising never worked before the age of 22. I’d been working since I was 15. At 26 I got my nails (and toes) done at a salon for the very first time. These days I get my mani-pedi once a week. A luxury. I made fun of people who got their nails done when I was wild.
Despite my lifestyle changes over the years, I will never completely change. I’m considering getting my groove on for some Snowboarding today. I grew up here, near the mountains. My friends were big into boarding and skiing and I often came along for the ride when they were off on their “Black Diamond” runs and I was stuck in some snow hole. But a manufactured glide down a crowded mountain, however beautiful, was never totally my thing. I was never super great at skiing or snowboarding. But as backpacker, I soared. I love a good hike, the fresh air, the view, the challenges, being one with nature.